The Gala Dinner 2004

On 24 January 2004 the Australia Day Foundation hosted the inaugural Australia Day Gala Dinner to celebrate the most important day in our calendar. His Excellency Michael L’Estrange, High Commissioner for Australia, welcomed 300 guests for an evening of outstanding Australian food, wine and entertainment in the splendour of Australia House.

The Theme

The Inaugural Australia Day Gala Dinner

It was with great pleasure that the newly-formed Australia Day Foundation brought together the leading figures of the Australian community to celebrate our country's National Day and firmly establish this event as the premier Australia Day celebration in the UK.

The Chef

We were delighted to have Australian guest chef Scott Webster, of London's Osia restaurant to create a stunning four-course menu for our inaugural dinner. Showcasing the very best of Australian flavours and produce, the menu included eucalyptus wildfire Australian beef fillet. The beef was courtesy of Meat & Livestock Australia.

The Entertainment

Cabaret singer Kaye Tuckerman gave a dazzling performance, accompanied by jazz pianist Uli Geissendoefer on piano. Baritone Grant Doyle and mezzo-soprano Catriona Barr then performed a sensational a rendition of ‘Come What May’ from Moulin Rouge! Nicole Panizza accompanied on piano.

The Award Winners

Clive James AM

Australian of the Year in the UK

Clive James is an Australian who has made his mark in the UK as a journalist, poet, novelist, lyricist, writer, reviewer and TV presenter. It was in recognition of his distinguished career and his support for the families and victims of the Bali Bombing in 2002 that The Australia Day Foundation awarded him 2004 Australian of the Year in the UK.

Clive James was born in Sydney and educated at the Universities of Sydney and Cambridge, where he was President of the famous Cambridge Footlights Dramatic Club. He has lived in the UK since 1962, and initially came to prominence in the 1970s as the discerning and witty television critic for The Observer. As a writer, his most famous works form a three-part autobiography Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England and May Week was in June. James is a household name in the UK principally through his television programmes and series, which include The Late Clive James, Saturday Night Clive, the 'Postcard From' series and Clive James Talking. He has written literary criticism extensively for newspapers, magazines and periodicals in Britain, Australia and the United States, but for James poetry is the “centre of everything” and last year he published The Book of my Enemy, collected verse from 1958 – 2003. Following the Bali Bomb tragedy in 2002, Clive James wrote a number of articles about the outrage and participated in the moving service at St Paul’s Cathedral for the victims and their families. He also organised a fund-raising event at Australia House for the victims.

Hazel Murphy AM

Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

Hazel Murphy was the recipient of the inaugural 2005 Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Australia’s wine industry in the UK over the last two decades. In this time she has demonstrated all the characteristics that Australians admire; foresight, determination, application, and persistence.

Murphy was born in Manchester and in the early 1980’s she joined the Australian Trade Commission in London where she focused on developing the UK market for Australian wines. In 1986 Hazel was appointed to establish the Australian Wine Bureau in London. In this role, over a seventeen-year period, she was responsible for the generic marketing of our wines in Europe and it was a period of spectacular growth. When Hazel started the Bureau, Australia’s wine exports to the UK were less than 1 million litres. When she left the position last year, Australia’s wine exports to the UK was more than 160 million litres, and Australia and Australia was rivalling France as the leading supplier of wines to the UK. In 1996 Australia recognized Hazel’s contribution to our wine industry by awarding her Member of the Order of Australia. In the same year, the wine industry presented Hazel with the prestigious Maurice O’Shea award.