Rebels with a cause

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Street Watch - By SHAN­NAN OSRIN

THE Red Hat­ters, an over 50s group for women, want to ex­pand to Cottes­loe.

Bar­bara Hous­ton and Mar­ion Buchanan are among two of the 35 mem­bers in their group, the Rel­e­vant Rebels.

Ms Hous­ton, known in her group as the ‘ Danc­ing Queen’, helped es­tab­lish an El­len­brook group last year that now has 27 mem­bers.

“In Cottes­loe, there is no Red Hat group so peo­ple who would like to join the Red Hat­ters have to go a long way to join any other group,” she said.

“So if we start a group here, it will spread even fur­ther.”

Ms Hous­ton said it would be up to each group to plan their own events.

Ms Buchanan, known as the ‘Vice Queen of Shop­ping’, joined the group in 2007 and said wordof-mouth and web­site were the main ve­hi­cles in spread­ing the word.

“We make our pres­ence felt when we are out and about be­cause we dress sim­i­larly, we wear red fas­ci­na­tors, pur­ple clothes, bling and jew­ellery,” she said. “When we were walk­ing through the city one day, peo­ple stopped us and asked to take pho­tos with us be­cause they haven’t seen any­thing like it.”

Ms Hous­ton said their colour­ful gear at­tracted a good amount of at­ten­tion.

“A lot of peo­ple say, ‘you girls look nice, so pretty’ and ‘what’s this all about?’, so we are like a walk­ing ad­ver­tise­ment,” she said.

Ms Hous­ton said the aim was to have peo­ple in the same age group that had shared ex­pe­ri­ences.

“We have all been moth­ers and grand­moth­ers look­ing af­ter ev­ery­one else’s chil­dren so we think ‘it’s time for us, we want to do our own thing’,” she said.

“When you get older, you tend to get over­looked and that’s why we dress like that; we stand out, and we say ‘that’s right we’re still here, still rel­e­vant’.”

The Red Hat­ters are host­ing a con­ven­tion called the Fre­man­tle Fling for all the groups across Australia on March 13, 14 and 15. Call Ms Buchanan on 9409 2289.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d431983

Bar­bara Hous­ton is look­ing to set up a Red Hat­ters group in Cottes­loe.

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