The Gala Dinner 2018

The Australia Day Foundation 2018 Gala Dinner took place at Australia House on 20 January. With an extraordinary menu from Nobu's Kurt Zdesar and entertainment from talented sibling duo Belle Roscoe, the leading lights of the UK's Australian community gathered to celebrate one of sporting history's longest running rivalries, the Ashes.

The Theme

The Ashes

In celebration of one of the world’s greatest and sporting rivalries. A rivalry that has run since 1882 and Australia's first Test win on English soil in at The Oval after which English cricket was reported to have had died, and "the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia". The next tour was dubbed the quest to regain the Ashes.

The Chef

Sydney born restauranteur Kurt Zdesar took inspiration from three of his iconic London restaurants, Black Roe, Chotto Matte and Fucina, to deliver you a signature menu. Once again, the meal was accompanied by Yalumba wines from Australia’s oldest family-owned winery in South Australia’s Barossa region.

The Entertainment

We were delighted to welcome talented brother-sister duo Belle Roscoe to our stage this year. Originally from Melbourne, Matty and Jules moved to London in 2016 and have successfully extended their fan base from Australia to Europe. Their latest release, the EP Sidestepping, came out last year.

The Award Winners

Professor Germaine Greer

Australian of the Year in the UK

Melbourne born writer and intellectual, Germaine Greer is one of the world’s most well-known living feminists. She was awarded Australian of the Year 2018 in recognition of her pivotal role in the history of social change and women’s liberation around the world as well as her work in the arts and conservation.

Greer has been a household name since the publication in 1970 of her first groundbreaking book, The Female Eunuch, and has taught at The University of Warwick, and Newnham College, Cambridge. She first moved to the UK in 1964 and now divides her time between England and Australia. A unique Australian character, she has always been a pioneer and continues to be an outspoken champion for liberty, especially for women.

Mike Gooley CBE

Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

Mike Gooley, founder and Chairman of British travel company Trialfinders, was awarded Australian of the Year 2018 in recognition of his 47-year career in the travel industry, as a business leader and role model.

A former SAS officer, he founded his company in 1970 and has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian Tourism Industry, by attracting millions of high-value travellers to discover our magnificent country. Mike is also recognised for his continued charitable work through The Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity which has over the years donated tens of millions of pounds toward great causes such as cancer and other medical research, military veterans and local community projects.

Dr Geordan Shannon

Young Australian Achiever of the year in the UK

Dr Geordan Shannon is an Australian medical doctor and researcher at the Institute for Global Health, University College London. She studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Geneva and Newcastle, Australia, and is currently completing her doctoral research in gender and health metrics.

An advocate for remote and rural health, she was awarded Young Australian of the Year in the UK 2018 in recognition of the admirable contribution that she has made, so early in her career, to the health of those in the developing world. Geordan has a genuine passion to improve the lives of those less fortunate and is the Co-Founder of Global Health Disrupted, an organisation that enhances global health communication through research, technology, and the arts.