About

Australia Day Foundation

Proud host of the UK’s leading Australia Day Celebration

Our purpose is to unite the leading figures of the Australian community in the UK and celebrate their remarkable achievements, creativity, and talents.

The Australia Day Foundation was founded in 2004 by a number of long-term Australians who wanted to celebrate our national day. Our Australia Day event reflects the diversity of contemporary Australian culture and society as well as our nature and history.

The Foundation is a non-political, not-for-profit, voluntary organisation with its Directors receiving no compensation. The Foundation receives no funding from Government, but works closely with and consults the Australian High Commission in London.


Sponsorship is the sole source of funding for the annual Gala Dinner. Any surplus funds each year are transferred to the Foundation Trust that was set up in 2013 to support young Australians wishing to further their education in the UK. To date, eleven scholarships have been awarded.

Each year the Foundation calls for nominations for its Awards, with the Awards granted being based on an individual’s contribution made to Anglo-Australian endeavours. The Foundation is proud of its contribution to the celebration of Australia’s national day and its Awardees who represent a cross-section of distinguished Australians and Honourary Australians in the UK.

The Gala Dinner

The Australia Day Gala Dinner is an exclusive event held every January, since 2004, at Australia House in London. With the aim of deepening Australian-UK relations, we invite leaders from government, business, the creative industries and academia.

This spectacular evening draws world-class chefs and entertainment to help celebrate the very best our country has to offer and promote Australia as a confident, creative and outward-looking nation.

The Australia Day Awards

The highlight of the Australia Day Gala Dinner is the awards ceremony when we recognise those in our community who have made a significant contribution to Australian-UK relations. The three Australia Day Awards presented at the Gala dinner are the highest honour given from Australia House.

The Australian of the Year in the UK

Recognises an Australian who has excelled in their own right in the UK.

The Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

Recognises a non-Australian resident of the UK who displays Australian characteristics or has contributed significantly to Australia. ​

The Young Achiever of the Year in the UK

Recognises the achievements of a young Australian in the UK who has excelled in any field of endeavour.

The Australia Day Trust

Thanks to contributions made by our sponsors, we have created a legacy through The Australia Day Foundation UK Trust Since its foundation in 2013, this charitable trust offers support to young Australians wishing to further their education or career in the UK in any field of endeavour.

Board of Directors

Chris Hickey

Chairman

Chris Hickey is the CEO of the UK, Middle East and African business for Robert Walters plc. Having graduated with a BA, and also an LLB (Hons) from Bond University in Australia, Chris qualified as a solicitor and then relocated to the UK in the late 1990s to join Lehman Brothers as a Capital Markets lawyer. He worked for Lehman Brothers in London and Zurich, latterly in the role of Chief Administrative Officer before moving to Robert Walters plc in 2000. He has been on the board of the Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce since 2010 and is a very active member of the Australian business community in the UK.

Bill Muirhead AM

Director

Bill Muirhead is Executive Director of M&C Saatchi, Agent General for the Government of South Australia since 2007, and Director of The Australia Day Foundation since it was formed in 2003. He began his advertising career with Saatchi & Saatchi before moving to New York as Worldwide Chief Executive and President. When he returned to London in 1995, he co-founded M&C Saatchi. In 2011 he founded the South Australia Club, an international community of people connected to South Australia through business, politics, academia, media and the arts. In 2013, Muirhead became a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for significant service to the community of South Australia through the promotion of international trade. He has also been involved in the Mentor Me programme in South Australia, an initiative to help young Britons to develop useful skills and to find employment. 

Dick Porter

Director

Dick Porter has been a Trustee with the Australia Day Foundation and Director of the Australia Day Foundation UK Trust since 2013. He is Chair of The Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce (Director since 2010, Chair since 2013, renamed from “Australian Business” in 2016). He is a Member of the Global Strategy Group at University College London (UCL); President of the British Educational Travel Association; Trustee of the University of Western Australia UK Friends. As a co-founder of STA Travel he spent his career mainly as CEO for 35 years until 2011 when it covered 100 countries as the major global specialist in student and young travel.


Kate Bifield

General Manager

Kate Bifield is General Manager of the Australia Day Foundation and holds an MA in Management from the University of St Andrews. She is an internationally focused marketing and communications professional with experience in the broadcast media and travel industries. Previously she held the role of Head of Campaigns for the London office of the Agent General of South Australia, where she worked to strengthen South Australian-European relations and raise awareness and preference for investment, trade, immigration and education in South Australia. Other roles include UK Market Manager for Tourism Western Australia, and Marketing Manager for NBC Universal Media.