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.
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.
Bronwyn Curtis is an economist whose career spans both the financial markets and the media. She is on the Board of the UK Office of Budget Responsibility and her other roles include chair of JPMorgan Asia Growth and Income plc, a non-executive director of Pershing Square Holdings plc, BH Macro plc and the Scottish American Investment Trust plc. Her executive roles included Head of Global Research at HSBC Bank plc, Managing Editor and Head of European Broadcast at Bloomberg LP, Chief Economist of Nomura International, and Global Head of Foreign Exchange and Fixed Income Strategy at Deutsche Bank. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank and UNCTAD. Her other current appointments include trustee of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, the Australian-UK Chamber of Commerce and The Times shadow MPC.
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 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 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.