TURIA Pitt is ready to brush shoulders with royalty today.
The local burns survivor, author and motivational speaker will meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, at a lavish welcome reception being held at the Sydney Opera House today (Wednesday).
Invited by NSW Governor, Marie Bashir and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, Turia is excited about the prospect of meeting the royals, saying she was “frothing out”.
While the lavish royal affair will be hard to top, Turia has been busy planning her own gala event.
She will host a glamorous cocktail party on May 15 at Sydney’s Doltone House to raise funds for Interplast with tickets selling fast.
The night will include a range of canapés, premium drinks, entertainment, circus performers, auctions and lucky door prizes with celebrity compère Emma Freedman, a special performance by Celia Pavey and a motivational talk by Turia.
Guests of honour at the event will be Sara Leonardi-McGrath and Glenn McGrath.
Along with her efforts to organise the event, the Narrawallee resident has had a full schedule, taking part in the Variety Cycle, travelling to Laos to see the work of Interplast first hand and preparing for her upcoming trek along the Great Wall of China, again to raise funds for Interplast.
Taking part in the Variety Cycle with partner Michael Hoskins at her side, Turia joined the group of cyclist to journey part of the 4000km ride from Sydney to Uluru.
While Turia and Michael completed only part of the ride together, a Variety representative said the couple “was able to give motivation to everybody in any single day”.
Turia and Michael also travelled together to Laos on a humanitarian mission, seeing first-hand the work done by Interplast.
“It was both challenging and confronting to see kids and adults alike with such horrific injuries – particularly since the injuries would be easily treatable here in Australia,” Turia said.
“At the same time, I was inspired by the resilience, resourcefulness and adaptability of all the patients that the Interplast team treated.
“I believe in Interplast even more now that I have seen the tangible impact that this organisation has.”
Turia became involved with Interplast through the surgeon who treated her when she was hospitalised after sustaining burns to 65 per cent of her body in 2011.
She is a passionate advocate for the charity, along with giving her time to promote awareness about organ and tissue donation.
“Interplast is a charity that provides free reconstructive surgery to people living in developing nations,” Turia explained.
“So they could perform surgery on people with cleft palate, women who are victims of an acid attack or even other burn survivors.
“My plastic surgeon also volunteers for Interplast on an annual basis, so you can understand why I feel so close to the cause.”
Seeing the volunteer work undertaken by her surgeon, Turia was inspired to take up her own challenge and will be walking the Great Wall of China with a group of friends from June 1.
“[My surgeon’s efforts] made me think: if this busy bloke can find the time to help out, then surely I can do something too,” she said.
To keep up to date with Turia’s adventures and fund-raising efforts, visit her website www.turiapitt.com