REPORT Nathan Li
What do Geoff Huegill, Jarrad Hayne, Fitzy and Wippa, Luke Jacobz, Luke Mitchell, Alex Dyson, Matt Moran all have in common besides being good-looking celebrities? They are all ambassadors of Stella Fella, an initiative created by the philanthropic organisation Project Futures.
“Good guys are the new cool,” as Stephanie Lorenzo tells us about her new campaign. “It is what we want to see represented in society. It is what we want to see embodied in all men everywhere.” The Macquarie graduate and founder of Project Futures is eager to present the initiative for all to involve and help those in the developing world.
“Human trafficking is the second largest organised crime in the world,” Stephanie says. “There are 27 million people enslaved in all sorts of industries from hospitality, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, construction and so on.” The global issues severely affects people’s livelihood. “We are talking about human beings being worth less than mobile phones – people being disposable,” Stephanie says. “The quality of lives of these people is dire and exploitation is rife in places where there is extreme poverty, less education and vulnerable communities.”
Stephanie was inspired by Canadian journalist Victor Malarak to involve men in issues that affect women so as to stop the demand and end the supply. Stella Fella aims to alleviate the issue. “Stella Fella airs on the prevention side, by getting more men to speak up and be involved in conversations about treatment and value of women in their lives of others,” Stephanie says. “We are bringing to light in a fun and positive way the very nature of what we want to see in humanity: treating people as people, not commodities that can be bought, sold and exploited.”
Gender plays an important role. “In many cases, particularly in the sex trafficking world, women are the victims and men are the perpetrators or the johns who use these victims,” Stephanie says. “Stella Fella is not about blaming men; it is about bringing to light that there are fantastic male role models in our community with values that we want all men in our lives to uphold. It’s also bringing back the ideal of chivalry, honour, respect for others and better treatment of people.”
Stella Fella is a campaign for all to get involved in. “Anyone can nominate a Stella Fella in their lives,” Stephanie says. “It could be a mate, brother, dad, granddad, boss or employee.” A Stella Fella is defined by a code of ethics. This includes Show Respect for All; Be Honest and Reliable, dedicated and committed; Be Selfless and lead by example; Be charitable and forgiving; Show Courage and Humility; Be Bold, Take a Stand; and Always wear a bow tie.
You can do the last one by purchasing a bow tie from an extensive selection on www.stellafella.com. The finals party will take place on Friday 16 August at Beresford Hotel, Darlinghurst. Nominate a great guy in your life now and join the champions of Stella Fella to combat this global issue.