Adam Bandt’s Wife And Sarah Hanson-Young Slayed Last Night’s Midwinter Ball W/ Anti-Coal Dresses


Parliament’s annual Midwinter Ball returned last night for the first time since 2019 and the Greens were out to slay with best dressed no-doubt going to leader Adam Bandt and wife Claudia Perkins.

Politicians, journalists and community leaders gathered at the Parliament House Great Hall for the fundraiser event on Wednesday evening, which was serving serious Yule Ball energy. But while most politicians looked like… well, politicians, a couple certainly turned heads.

Bandt’s wife Perkins channelled Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the 2021 Met Gala in a white, full-length dress covered in red and black text that read “coal kills” and “gas kills”, with some slick, long black gloves. Bandt wore a simple tux with a matching pocket square of the same statement fabric.

The outfits were a protest against one of the event’s main sponsors: gas giant Woodside Energy, as well as the fact fossil fuel companies can even sponsor government events, let alone political parties.

Perkins also wore the symbol of climate activism organisation Extinction Rebellion on her cheek. The group protested fossil fuel sponsorship outside parliament during the event.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young‘s outfit also referenced AOC’s “tax the rich” dress with a similar hourglass white dress with a statement on the back in black letters that read: “end gas and coal”. The trim on the bottom was also covered in the same text.

The dress was made by Adelaide artist Liz Cahalan from recycled materials.

“The body of the dress is made from a 50-year-old damask table cloth, and the lettering is made from a fast fashion handbag that had fallen apart,” Hanson-Young posted on social media.

Other Greens politicians boycotted the Midwinter Ball as a protest against Woodside’s sponsorship.

WA Senator Jordon Steele-John abstained and said it was “another reminder of the perverse hold coal and gas have over our government, no matter who leads it.”

The rest of the ball looks were perfectly acceptable. Here are a few notables:

Jodie Haydon and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. CREDIT: ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
Bree Coggan and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney. CREDIT: ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
Senator Jacqui Lambie and Deputy Liberal Party Leader Sussan Ley. CREDIT: JAMES BRICKWOOD

A full gallery can be viewed here.