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Friday, 29 June 2012

Love is unconditional selflessness, a strong emotion and virtue that touches us all daily. It's something that we all possess, and something two Bondi locals, Julie Jenkins and Mel Dymott, also known as Hoot and Howl, are using to raise money and awareness for our homeless youth who are in need of some heart felt love.

More than 32,000 young Australians will sleep on the street tonight, with the majority aged between 12 and 18 years old. It’s a big issue to tackle and these women are starting locally.

“love is a four letter word” is an event that invites amateur and professional photographers to interpret ‘LOVE’ in photographic form.

Submitted works from photographers, such as Uge from Aquabumps, will be auctioned with all proceeds going to Bondi Youth Accommodation to provide housing, new opportunities and access to education.

If you love the idea, use this four letter word to help create a difference, help the homeless and bring some love into your home.

You can bid on the top 50 Love is a 4 Letter Word submissions at the Beach Road Hotel from 14 – 30 June 2012 or bid online at the Love is A 4 Letter Word

A silent auction will be hosted at the Beach Road Hotel on Saturday 30 June.   

Zoë from Simple Life Strategies interviewed Julie to get some further insight into the event.

Zoë B: Jules, I hear you and Mel are the masterminds behind the ‘Love is a 4 Letter Word’ event and the ‘Hoot & Howl’ organisation . Can you tell me a little bit about your backgrounds? And how ‘Hoot & Howl’ was born? 

Julie: Mel and I have worked in music events for over 30 years combined - from international music festivals such as Rhythm and Vines in NZ, V Festival in the UK and Australian music festivals Vibes on a Summers Day, Good Vibrations, Livid, We Love Sounds, Ministry of Sound and Playground Weekender. We've also toured international artists and put on various club nights in Sydney - Chinese Laundry, Home and the infamous Hacienda in the UK. We had events rolling before we even had a name for a company. Hoot & Howl has happened organically from the birth of our first event Winter Warmers and its spin off events. 

Zoë  B: What inspired you to put on a fundraiser for homeless youth in the Eastern Suburbs?

Julie: It's winter and it's cold. We see a lot of charity events helping young people overseas but not so much for youth in need where we live. After the Garage Sale Trail we had a mountain of surplus clothes and didn't want it to end up in landfill so we called around a bunch of local charities. Not many would take donations so we started to look into the plight of homeless kids and started investigating which organisations actually dealt directly with youths on the streets. The fact that its winter and rather than taking them to an op shop we wanted to make sure that they went directly to youths on the street. This idea morphed into an event to raise funds and awareness as that's what we do, which then grew into spin off events. 

Being Bondi residents we felt it was important to help those around us.

Zoë B: Can you tell me a bit more about the concept “Love is A 4 Letter Word’? 

Julie: Love Is A Four Letter Word was one of the many concepts that landed on the table after one of Mel's brain spews. We figured everyone loves taking a picture or has captured that special moment of love; making it accessible to everyone. We have entries from 2 very talented young ladies being 9 years old and 15 years old. Professional photographers that have jumped on board to help with fundraising are Bondi's own Uge from Aquabumps and award-winning advertising talent Jonathan May and Jennifer Stenglein who has shot for Vogue and Oyster magazines. Bidding is online at and the auction will take place at Winter Warmers on the 30th of June. 

Zoë B: Bondi Youth Accommodation sounds like a great cause – how did you get involved with them?

Julie: We have always wanted to give back to the community and in particular to kids in our area who have had a rough start in life or are doing it tough. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't around in the Eastern Suburbs, people tend to associate this more with the outer suburbs.

Bondi Youth Accommodation have been housing young people for around 30 years, those living on the street as well as the hidden homeless.

– young people who are; couch surfers, youth refuges, unsafe at home, seriously overcrowded, squatting or camping. Bondi Youth Accommodation's aim is for the young people who do become homeless; should be supported in as many ways as possible to ensure their homelessness is short-lived, and they do not become entrenched and that they be provided the opportunity to participate in all aspects of community life.

Zoë B: Wow. Sounds like a great cause. What’s been your favorite photographic exhibit so far?

Julie: That's a hard one, there are so many favourites! 9 year old Mae West's - Shadow and15 year old Chaquira Cusack's - Desperate Need For Love really stand out for us.

Zoë B: Wow you certainly are busy! Thanks for sharing. It’s really heartwarming to hear about such great causes and I hope locals get inspired enough to get involved! Thanks Jules. 


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