News State SA News Craigburn Primary breaks record with Do It In A Dress campaign following Bernardi backlash

Craigburn Primary breaks record with Do It In A Dress campaign following Bernardi backlash

Craigburn Primary school
Principal Paul Luke says he is 'unbelievably proud' of his students. Photo: ABC News: Sowaibah Hanifie
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

An Adelaide primary school at the centre of a fundraising storm inadvertently whipped up by Senator Cory Bernardi has broken the donation record for charity One Girl.

Craigburn Primary at Flagstaff Hill is holding its Do It In A Dress charity event on Friday, in which students wear dresses to raise money for girls in Africa who do not have access to education.

The fundraiser for One Girl was thrust into the national spotlight last week, when Senator Cory Bernardi took to Twitter to criticise it, describing boys wearing dresses to school as “gender morphing”.

The school had hoped to raise $900 but has achieved 300 times that after it went viral because of Senator Bernardi’s tweet.

One Girl CEO Morgan Koegel, who has travelled to Craigburn Primary, said the more than $275,000 raised so far is the most ever generated by one of its campaigns.

“It started with something that was a little bit negative but I feel nothing but pride right now,” she said.

“The reason that people have jumped on board, have donated, have said something in support is because they’re inspired that primary school kids were mature enough to recognise that raising money for other kids to go to school is something worth celebrating.”

Principal Paul Luke said he was “unbelievably proud” of his students.
“It’s been a fairly crazy week,” he said.

“When it all ballooned out … most children were coming to school not really aware of the media frenzy that was happening

“The level of excitement with our students has been just amazing. They’re in awe of the amount of money they’ve raised but, more importantly, the translation of the money into the number of girls who are now able to be educated in Africa.”

Mr Luke said the fundraiser has provoked healthy and respectful discussion within the school community.

“[It’s a] great lesson in media literacy and critical literacy for kids. We live in a democracy, we know that everyone’s entitled to their opinion,” he said.

“To be quite honest, I think the majority of students were pretty much unaware of the social media craze that was happening.

“For them, it was more [about] looking at the meter tick over and they became conscious that the voice was getting out into the public sphere, certainly through the Australian community and now the international community.”

Senator Bernardi earlier said he stood by the original tweet and did not consider his outrage to be a “mistake”.

View Comments