School slammed by Bernardi for ‘Dress Day’ fundraiser now donation leader

Boys, girls and teachers at Craigburn Primary School at Flagstaff Hill wore dresses to school to raise money for girls in Africa who do not have access to education.


Senator Bernadi last week took to Twitter to criticise the not-for-profit One Girl’s fundraiser as “absurd gender morphing”.

One school in SA now has ‘wear a dress day’. This gender morphing is really getting absurd #auspol南京桑拿,南京SPA,/399EoSQxYz

— Cory Bernardi (@corybernardi) September 20, 2017

The Senator’s comments prompted a rush of donations and the school has now raised more than $275,000 – far exceeding their original target of $900 – and Craigburn Primary school is now at the top of the charity leaderboard for donations.

Craigburn Primary School’s Principal, Paul Luke, and One Girl CEO Morgan Koegel address the media.Michael Haines/Kevin Killey Photographics.

Principal Paul Luke, who wore a dress to the event on Friday, said last week the feedback from the school’s decision had been positive, and the school was focusing on the charity cause rather than the political controversy that has arisen.

How cool is Will from Craigburn Primary School! Do It In A Dress today for a great cause, with a touch of Crows @theTiser ❤️💛💙 pic南京夜生活,/wlPntyRbEE

— Katrina Stokes (@Katrina_Stokes) September 29, 2017

Overwhelmed by the school’s success, One Girl CEO Morgan Koegel flew to Adelaide from Melbourne to thank the students.

“All of us at One Girl are incredibly proud of the Craigburn Primary students. It is because of these students who were determined to stand up for the right of girls to be educated that thousands of people around Australia, and even the world, have been motivated to stand with them and demand the same,” Ms Koegel said. 

“It costs $300 a year to educate a girl in Sierra Leone – her school fees, books, uniforms – everything she needs to go back to school and succeed. The fundraising effort of Craigburn Primary and contributions of so many generous people will change the lives of hundreds of women and girls.”

Comedian and actor Josh Thomas donated $2,000 for the cause and helped promote the fundraiser on Twitter.