The Gala Dinner 2020

On the 25th January we welcomed the UK Australian business community to this country’s leading Australia Day event to celebrate Australian's unique wildlife and nature. Freak Scene’s Scott Hallswort will created a stunning menu for our guests and Australian soprano and West End star Amy Manford will take to the stage to entertain us.

The Theme

Unique by Nature

Australia boasts some of the most unique wildlife on the planet. Kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras, echidnas, dingoes, platypus, wombats and wallabies… these are the names of just a few of the awesome wild inhabitants unique to Australia.

The Chef

We were delighted to have Australian chef, restaurateur and author Scott Hallswort to design our menu for the 2020 event. Owner of the West End’s popular Freak Scene restaurant, Hallsworth is known for his forward-thinking contemporary Asian cuisine.

The Entertainment

Australian-born soprano and RCM graduate Amy Manford graced our stage for the 2020 Australia Day celebration. Manford is currently performing as Christine Daaé in Andrew Loyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.

The Award Winners

Prof Lyndon Da Cruz

Australian of the Year in the UK

This award was given to renowned vitreo-retinal surgeon and medical retinal specialist Prof Lyndon da Cruz in recognition of his outstanding career achievements.

After completing his medical studies in Perth, Western Australia Da Cruz began his research interest in retinal disease at the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, in Oxford in 1990. On completion of the English surgical fellowship he returned to Australia to carry out a PhD at Perth’s Lions Eye Institute. He completed his Australian speciality training and carried out a vitreo-retinal surgical fellowship with Ian McAllister in Perth. He was awarded the NH and MRC post-doctoral fellowship in 1999 and named the Menzies Scholar in Science and Medicine for Australia in 2000. He won the Howard Florey Post-doctoral Fellowship from the Royal Society that brought him to London to study with Prof. Alan Bird. He finished his clinical training with further vitreo-retinal surgical fellowships in London, at Moorfields Eye Hospital where he is now Consultant Retinal Surgeon and Medical Retina Specialist. He is Clinical Lead of the The London Project and Head of the Artificial Retina Programme at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Viscount Weymouth, Ceawlin Thynn

Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

Ceawlin Thynn is a successful British businessman involved in a number of companies in the leisure, tourism, real estate and financial services sectors. It was fitting in the year we celebrated the uniqueness of our country’s flora and fauna that we recognised him for his work supporting the conservation of one of Australia’s most iconic inhabitants; the koala. Viscount Ceawlin read economics and philosophy at UCL before embarking on a career in investment banking. He formed the Lion Trust in 2008 and since 2010 has been director at Finmetron AB. From 2010- 2013 Thynn was Executive Chairman of award-winning German-Austrian hostel chain Wombat's Holdings GmbH. Viscount Ceawlin also manages Longleat Safari Park, located on the family estate, which is home to more than 1,000 animals and the only place in England where people can see koalas.

In 2012 the koala was listed as 'vulnerable to extinction' in some parts of Australia. Viscount Ceawlin is patron of the International Koala Centre of Excellence (IKCE), a ground-breaking joint initiative with the Government of South Australia and Adelaide’s Cleland Wildlife Park, to support research and raise funds for koala management and conservation.

Dr Megan Rossi

Young Australian Achiever of the year in the UK

Dr Megan Rossi is a clinical dietitian who is dedicated to bridging the gap between food science and the food industry through collaboration with world-leading companies on gut health initiatives across the globe. It is for her achievements in this field that she has been recognised with this award. Rossi has worked as a clinical dietitian since she qualified from Queensland University of Technology in 2009. During this time she was appointed sports nutritionist for the 2012 Australia Olympic Synchronised Swimming team. In 2015 she received a PhD from Queensland University with the Dean's Award recognising her contribution to science. Now a Research Fellow at King's College London, she leads research into nutrition-based therapies in gastrointestinal health, including pre and probiotics, dietary fibres, the low FODMAP diet and food additives. Rossi set up The Gut Health Doctor in 2017 to bring her findings to a wider audience and in early 2019, she founded The Gut Health Clinic bringing together a team of gut-specialist dietitians to make an evidence-based approach accessible to all. Her first book Eat Yourself Healthy was published in September 2019 and is a lifestyle guide for a happy gut to promote general health and wellbeing.