By Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO
Letter to the editor by VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter was first published in the Bendigo Advertiser on 3 March 2014.
What a thrill to see over half a million Victorians taking in and participating in the spectacle and atmosphere of White Night.
This event is an absolute win for our state in more ways than one. Not only is it a celebration of art, technology and community, it’s also closely linked to health and wellbeing.
White Night is about more than beautiful projections and showcasing our amazing artists and architecture, it’s also about reclaiming our streets as safe and inclusive spaces for everyone.
Elderly migrant women and men rubbed shoulders with teens, little kids on shoulders stood tall amongst the masses, and inner-city hipsters explored the many precincts with folk from regional and rural Victoria.
Everyone who came to White Night did so with the best intentions and despite the few niggling issues common to every fledgling event, the energy was overwhelmingly positive.
VicHealth was proud to support the marathon 12-hour I Could Have Danced all Night dance lessons at Federation Square, which got tens of thousands moving. And imagine how many steps people in the crowd would have taken throughout the evening.
Its emphasis on being an alcohol-free event goes to show we don’t need alcohol to enjoy the wonders of the CBD after dark, directly challenging this cultural assumption that nightlife and alcohol must go hand in hand.
Congratulations to the White Night team for creating a truly awesome world class event and we look forward to it growing even bigger again in 2015.