Celebrating 100 summers of Australian surf lifesaving


Swimming Down Under in Australia House
20th January


In 2007 Australia celebrated 100 summers of surf lifesaving. Today there are 303 surf lifesaving clubs in Australia patrolling over 400 beaches and the SLSA (Surf Life Saving Association) is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the world. It was an Australian working in the High Commission London who introduced Australian surf life saving methods on English beaches way back in 1952. Bude received a reel, line, belt and surf ski from Australia in 1955 and the Bude SLSC became a reality.  


Phil Aiken, Lloyd Dorfman, Sir Charles Mackerras, HE Richard Alson
Sir Charles Mackerras, CH, AC, CBE
Australian of the Year in the UK

Sir Charles Mackerras is undoubtedly the most distinguished Australia musician in Britain and with his international achievements and lifelong service to music, the Australia Day Foundation is proud to present him with the 2007 Australian of the Year in the UK award.

In 2005 at the age of 80, Sir Charles Mackerras was the first recipient of the Queen’s Medal for Music. At the ceremony the Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, said: “Sir Charles Mackerras is one of the most highly respected and greatly loved musicians of our time . . . and has become a central figure in our musical life…bringing us superb performances with a continual spirit of adventure”.

Sir Charles began is musical career at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music studying piano, oboe and composition. After moving to the UK in 1946 he won a British Council Scholarship, enabling him to study conducting at the Prague Academy of Music. He is a specialist in Czech repertory and following his life-long association with Czech music is Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Charles was awarded the Medal of Merit from the Czech Republic in 1966.

Returning to England in 1948, Sir Charles began his life-long association with Sadler’s Wells Opera, now the English National Opera, remaining on the company’s conducting staff until 1954. After a two year engagement as principal conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the mid fifties, he guest conducted orchestras in Britain and across Europe, including his first of many appearances at Covent Garden in 1963.

Ten years later Sir Charles Mackerras returned to Australia to conduct the inaugural concert of the new Sydney Opera House. Throughout his musical career he has conducted at the Welsh National Opera, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera.

Sir Charles Mackerras received a CBE in 1974, was knighted in 1979 and made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1977.


Lloyd Dorfman
Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

With his vigour and determination, his business involvement in Australia and his support for the Australian Cricket Team, the Australia Day Foundation considers Lloyd Dorfman a worthy recipient of the 2007 Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award.

Lloyd Dorfman is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Travelex, the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist with 93 shops in airports around the world. After reading for the bar, he joined a merchant bank and in 1976 at the age of 24 opened his first foreign exchange shop in central London.

Lloyd Dorfman’s association with Australia began in 1989 when his idea of putting foreign exchange units in domestic terminals resulted in a deal with Ansett – Australia is now Travelex’s third biggest international market. Lloyd Dorfman credits his use of sponsorship as a factor in his success and in 2001 he signed a five year, multi-million pound sponsorship of the Australian cricket team. He appointed Adam Gilchrist, the Australian cricket vice-captain, as a non-executive director to Travelex Australia’s board.

When Cricket Australia wanted an event partner who would donate millions of dollars to sponsor the Tsunami aid world cricket match of the MCG, Lloyd Dorfman agreed to be that partner. In 2001 Lloyd Dorfman became the UK ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and in 2002 won the British American Chamber of Commerce’s UK Entrepreneural Award. He is a patron and Deputy Chairman of the Prince’s Trust Development Board and an Honorary Fellow of St. Peter’s College, Oxford.


Joe Roff
Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK

In recognition of his dedication to Australian Rugby and his outstanding achievements, the Australia Day Foundation presented Joe Roff with the 2007 Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK award.

Joe Roff is currently studying at the University of Oxford where he is reading a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having swapped caps for a more traditional mortar board. Joe Roff’s career as an outstanding, world class Australian Rugby Union footballer began in Canberra with the ACT Brumbies. Joe developed his rugby skills at school and he continued to hone these skills to the point where he became one of Australia’s most outstanding rugby legends and one of the world’s best attacking wingers.

Joe’s record includes 86 Super 12 Caps, 95 State Caps and 84 test Caps for Australia. He became Super 12’s all-time leading try scorer and, with 27 test tries, is currently third on the Wallabies’ greatest test try scorers count.

He scored an impressive 221 test points in Australia.

Joe Roff retired at the end of the 2004 Wallabies test series - his farewell from Super 12 rugby was memorable because the Brumbies won the Super 12 competition that season. In 2006 Joe moved to the UK to begin his studies at Oxford where he played amateur rugby, representing the Oxford Rugby Football Club, affectionately known as the Dark Blues, in their traditional fixture against Cambridge University Rugby Club at Twickenham Stadium on 12 December 2006.



Joyce O'Hagan and Shane Osborn
Shane Osborn


The superb four course dinner was created by London’s leading Australian chef Shane Osborn of Pied- a-Terre. Shane aged just 29 became the very first Australian chef to attain Michelin status. A passion for what he does has resulted in Shane being awarded two coveted Michelin stars. Shane said his menu was inspired by flavours that reminded him of his early days cooking in Perth and included one of Shane’s signature dishes Chilled Pumpkin & Ginger Soup, and the main course was Australian beef, generously donated by Meat & Livestock Australia. Hardys premium Australian wines accompanied Shane’s menu.


Robyn Archer and Paul Grabowsky
Robyn Archer and Paul Grabowsky

Australia’s internationally famous cabaret legend, Robyn Archer AO gave a stunning performance. The brilliant pianist and composer Paul Grabowsky accompanied Robyn on piano. Robyn began singing at four years and professionally from 12 years old, everything from folk and pop to blues, rock, jazz and cabaret. Robyn has performed all over the world and has written over 100 songs, a dozen theatrical works and recorded eleven albums and has picked up many awards along the way. Robyn wished to dedicate her performance to the memory of Maurice de Rohan.  

Paul Grabowsky is a pianist, composer and conductor, whose work is well-known both at home and overseas. He has covered territory from film and television to jazz and beyond. The Paul Grabowsky Trio has won two ARIA awards, and is one of Australia’s most influential bands of its type.




Cate Barr, Mezzo-Soprano, commenced her professional career at the State Opera of South Australia on their Young Artists Programme. London based for the past 9 years, Cate has sung for English National Opera, Garsington Festival, Aix-en-Provence, and the title role in ‘‘Der Rosenkavalier’’ at Scottish Opera.


Leslie Flanagan, baritone, has sung for the Bratislava International Music Festival, English Touring Opera, Longborough Opera Festival, and recently at the BBC Proms with conductor Paul Daniel.




Sophie Serafino was classically trained at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, her unique solo violin performances have been described as ‘cutting edge virtuoso – pop violinist’. She is also a singer and songwriter.



JANUARY 26, 2007

The Australia Day Foundation in association with Australian Business celebrated Australia’s National Day with a party for young Australians living and working in London.


Once again ABN AMRO sponsored the event at their Bishopsgate HQ. The evening was hosted by Stephen Thompson, who told party guests that 100 years of surf lifesaving was being celebrated in Australia in 2007 and that we would celebrate it too. 


The dinner followed a reception and SLSA red and yellow caps were on many Aussie heads as they enjoyed a superb 3-course dinner that included Australian beef. Dinner wouldn’t be complete without Australian wine – from Lindemans


The fabulous and electrifying Chelsea Plumley entertained guests. Chelsea is the recipient of the Australian GLUG Award for ‘Most Versatile Performer’ and her 2006 London cabaret season was a sell out. She is a singer, actress, comedian and pianist and she brought all of her natural talent to the Party.



2007 AWARD



In recognition of his dedication to Australian Rugby and his outstanding achievement, the Australia Day Foundation considered Joe Roff a worthy recipient of the 2007 Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK Award. Unfortunately Joe was unable to attend the dinner and he was subsequently presented with his award an another event. 




‘Superfly’ had guests on their feet as they rocked to midnight.



For the past 3 years the Australia Day Foundation has showcased Australian talent at the annual Gala Dinner and the Australia Day Party. We asked Chelsea Plumley to dip into the enormous pool of talented young Australian artists who are making an impact on the London stage and Chelsea gathered together a star-studded cast from the worlds of Jazz, Dance, Pop, West End Musicals, Comedy, Cabaret, Classical and Theatre. Tim Minchin hosted the concert.





Chelsea Plumley has appeared in concert and cabaret all over the world with performances in America, the UK, India, Australia and Asia. She is the recipient of the Australian GLUG Award for “Most Versatile Performer”, and her 2006 London cabaret season was a sell out. Chelsea is a singer, actress, comedian and pianist, and is hosting and performing at the Cabaret Kit Kat Klub @ Too2Much in Soho every first Thursday of the month until April.  Chelsea is the star entertainer at the Foundation’s 2007 Australia Day Party.





Tim Minchin was host of the Australia Day Party in 2006 and he will be hosting and performing at the concert.  Tim is a West Australian born and bred musician, comedian and actor now based in London. Tim won the Perrier Comedy Award for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2005, and has since established himself as an international act, touring in Australia and the UK, appearing in his own show on the West End, and performing on radio and television.





Imogen Roose  - a classical artist who performs extensively in operas and concerts around the world.





Adam-Jon Fiorentino –  Leading man in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and most recently appeared in the TV series ‘Hollyoaks in the City’


Deone Zanotto – starred in the West End production of ‘We Will Rock You’, and has appeared in numerous musicals in Australia and Asia including ‘Chicago’ and ‘Footloose’.





Nina Ferro – Gifted singer who has performed throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Most recently supported international artists at legendry jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s.





Kiki Courtidis – a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist (piano, guitar, trumpet & drums). Kiki made it into the top 10 finalists of Popstart in 2003 and subsequently launched her solo career. James Roche accompanied Kiki at the concert.





Tim Rogers – Most recently in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End production of ‘Whistle Down the Wind’. Tim is the creative director of ‘Tenors & Divas Incognito’ and regularly tours the world with concerts and corporate work.


Yvette Robinson – Starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Woman in White’ and most recently in ‘Chess’ in Norway. Yvette is also a singer/songwriter on the contemporary music scene in London.



Andy Smith on piano, Rob Levy on double bass, and Julian Pool on drums/percussion.




Robert Walters





BHP Billiton

Cobham Plc

National Australia Group Europe


Rio Tinto




CPA Europe

Deutsche Bank

Hardy Wines

International Power Plc

Macquarie Bank


New International

Proudfoot Consulting

Robert Walters Plc

Tourism Australia

UBS Global Asset Management

The Weir Group

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© Australia Day Foundation / 2019