Amidst the 1000 cheering audience members and 17 CEOs competing at the Dancing CEO’s competition on Friday 17 May, the real winner was Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ).

Appearing for the second time in Dancing CEOs, Australian Innovative Systems’ CEO Elena Gosse broke the event’s fundraising record after raising $83,550 individually as 2019 Allstar Fundraising Champion as well as being crowned winner of the Allstar Judge’s Choice Champion Award for her dance routine.

The amount Elena raised is the highest individual amount ever recorded in the event’s six-year history and contributed to the overall record fundraising total for the event of $440,000 on the night. Funds raised will be used by WLSQ to continue to provide free legal and welfare assistance to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

The 55-year old CEO surprised the crowd by performing a dazzling dance routine. Elena said that her return to the stage was about unfinished business. “After raising over $23,000 the first time I competed in 2016 and winning Community Awareness Champion, I was determined to return and take out the top title, to continue to support the great work of Women’s Legal Service Queensland,” Elena said. “No one should have to live in fear of violence. The fact that one woman is killed each week, and one in six has experienced domestic or sexual violence by a former or current partner is beyond unacceptable. We need to stop talking statistics and start talking about the lives of the women affected. This means that one in six women who you may work with, are friends with, exercise with or catch the train with are victims of violence.

“As a community we need to talk openly about this insidious issue and make a united stand against it. We need to raise awareness about the different types of domestic violence and promote organisations like Women’s Legal Service Queensland as a place where women can receive free, confidential help so they can enjoy a happier and safer future.”

Elena acknowledged the contribution that her family, friends and business community made to her Dancing CEOs campaign, as well as the collective effort of the participating CEOs. “The combined efforts and passion of the CEOs and our supporters tonight shows just what can be achieved when people work toward a common goal. Imagine what could be achieved if every person made the same commitment to actively work toward recognizing and preventing domestic violence and supporting those who need help to escape it.”

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