The Gala Dinner 2013

The Australia Day Foundation invited guests to celebrate a decade of Gala Dinners at Australia House and to discover the history of Australia’s ‘Hidden Treasures'. The date fell auspiciously on 26 January, Australia Day itself, and guests were delighted by performances from Tania Doko and Michael Falzon, and the creative culinary combinations of Michelin star chef Greg Malouf.

The Theme

Australia’s ‘Hidden Treasures’

For over 200 years mining has been a significant contributor to the Australian economy, but our mining history stretches back 40,000 years and is an important part of Australia’s Aboriginal heritage. This year we celebrate our ‘hidden treasures’ including the those of Broome, the ‘pearl capital’ of Australia.

The Chef

Internationally acclaimed Australian Michelin star chef Greg Malouf has transformed the way we in the west understand and enjoy Middle Eastern food. Malouf’s stunning four-course menu incorporated the very best of British seasonal produce interpreted in his own inimitable modern Middle-Eastern style.

The Entertainment

Guests were treated to a fabulous solo performance by Melbourne born Tania Doko who enjoyed critical acclaim as one half of Australian Duo, Bachelor Girl. Doko, who is currently writing and co-producing her next solo release was joined on stage by Australian actor Michael Falzon to sing ‘I Still Call Australia Home’.

The Award Winners

Frederick Fox, LVO

Australian of the Year in the UK

Frederick Fox, LVO was named 2013 Australian of the Year in the UK in recognition of his outstanding achievements and distinguished career.

Milliner to Her Majesty The Queen for 34 years, Fox is considered one of Britain’s greatest milliners and a master craftsman. Born in 1931 in the outback, NSW, Fox discovered his natural talent in his early teens when he remade one of his mother’s hats for his sister to wear to church. At 17 he moved to Sydney to train with top French milliner Henriette La Motte. A decade later in London Fox quickly established himself as a brilliant designer working at Otto Lucas and then Langee, which he took over in 1964. Such was his success that he moved the atelier to Bond Street and in 1968 Hardy Amies asked him to create hats for the Queen’s tour of Chile and Argentina. Fox went on to craft more than 350 hats for the Queen as well as designing for a number of other royals and a large international clientele. He has also collaborated with filmmakers and leading fashion designers over the years. Awarded an LVO in 1999, Fox’s vintage and contemporary designs are considered heirloom pieces and The V&A collection includes the prototype for the hat worn by the Queen for her 1977 Silver Jubilee.

Guy Griffiths, CBE

Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

Guy Griffiths CBE has been recognised with this award for services to the global defence sector and in particular for his involvement in some of Australia’s largest and most complex defence industry projects.

Born and educated in Wales, Griffiths graduated from University College Cardiff in 1978 with a Degree in Economics. After 12 years at British Aerospace, drafting and negotiating sales contracts for communication and scientific satellites, Griffiths became IT Director for BAE Systems. He began travelling to Australia with MBDA, a joint venture missile company, formed by BAE Systems with a number of European partners. As COO he was responsible for the supply of precision weaponry to the Australian military including the delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force of its first ASRAAM Missile. It was in connection with this order that Griffiths received the Queen’s Award for Export. In 2008 he was honoured with a CBE for his services to the defence industry. As Group Managing Director, International for BAE Systems, Guy has led the effort to build up BAE Systems’ operations in Australia, and the company is now the largest Australian defence company with 5,900 Australians employed in urban, regional and remote locations across the country.

Rebecca Richards

Young Australian Achiever of the year in the UK

Anthropologist Rebecca Richards was named 2013 Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK in recognition of her commitment to preserving and promoting Aboriginal culture and her passionate interest in Indigenous health, human rights and education.

Her interest in anthropology was first sparked at age 14 when Dr Philip Jones, Head of Anthropology at the Australian Museum, asked her father, a stockman from the Flinders Ranges, to assist in an exploration of her native Adnyamathanha lands. Richards graduated from the University of Adelaide with first-class honours in Anthropology and went on to be the first Aboriginal scholar to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. She volunteered as a mentor at a teen challenge drug rehabilitation bush survival camp; was National Indigenous Youth Mobility Program spokesperson; mentor in the University of Adelaide Indigenous head-start program for rural students; youth ambassador for the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence and attended the United National Forum on Indigenous Issues and named Young Australian of the Year for South Australia in 2012. She has custodial responsibilities for women’s sites in the Flinders Ranges and her family site, Pakatu. Richards is currently pursuing further studies in Anthropology at Oxford.