Young women triumph over adversity

Emmalea Gulland enjoyed a complete hair, makeup and clothing makeover thanks to Joan Dellavalle and her team at Ebony and Ivory. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d420584
Emmalea Gulland enjoyed a complete hair, makeup and clothing makeover thanks to Joan Dellavalle and her team at Ebony and Ivory. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d420584

Ms Gulland last week received her fresh new look, along with Libby Baugh, care of salon owner and South Perth resident Joan Dellavalle at one of her complimentary Empower Me workshops.

‘I want the women to share their new confidence and hopefully empower other ladies,’ Ms Dellavalle said.

The two women were not out celebrating their new look after their makeovers; instead they returned to the Esther Foundation accommodation, which provides support for women in need.

Ms Gulland said her struggles with anxiety, depression and addiction had led her to the South Perth support facility, which houses more than 45 young mothers and their children.

After five months on the program, Ms Gulland said she was seeing the benefits of working through her issues.

‘It can be really tough, but it is worth it,’ she said. ‘I am seeing quite a big change in my attitude and my thinking has changed.’

Ms Baugh said her spiralling use of alcohol and drugs, including losing her licence while driving under the influence, had prompted her to seek help.

She said getting anger management and drug and alcohol recovery assistance had been the major benefits of being at the Esther Foundation.

Foundation executive director Patricia Lavater said the Empower Me workshops helped give young women struggling with a life crisis, a chance to regain their confidence ” inwardly and outwardly.

‘Combine both, and you will see bright, confident young women who once felt there was no hope for them,’ she said.

‘As we work together within the local community, we will see more young women’s lives enriched.’

Ms Dellavalle said she was simply happy to be able to give back to the community.

‘If I can help someone with their outer appearance and give them the boost they need to attend a job interview or event, or for someone to be able to look at themselves in the mirror and believe they are worth something,’ she said.

‘I decided to launch these free workshops because I feel like my purpose in this universe is to share what I have learnt and uplift people with what I do in any way possible.’