The Gala Dinner 2022

After two long years, we welcomed the UK-Australian community back into Australia House following a global pandemic. The 2022 Gala Dinner was postponed until April 23rd following Government Covid-19 advice. This year we celebrated Australian storytellers with the theme Stage and Screen. The menu was created by the incredibly talented Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya, and we were delighted to call Natalie Imbruglia to the stage.

The Theme

Stage and Screen

Celebrating an industry that celebrates us. Australians are some of the world’s greatest storytellers, brining the stories of Australia to the global stage and helping the world to connect with their land through laughter, tears and joy. The talented actors, actresses and directors that bring these stories to life are truly one of the country's finest exports.

The Chef

The incredibly talented Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya was born in the Philippines and raised in Sydney. He developed his experience here in London working at restaurants including Story, Dean Street Townhouse and Foley’s, before starting his own ventures from 2017. Budgie presented a menu filled with Filipino flavours with an Australian twist

The Entertainment

Natalie Imbruglia is one of Australia’s most successful exports, having sold more than ten million albums worldwide while winning eight ARIA Awards, two Brit Awards, one Billboard Music Award, and three Grammy nominations. She also won the third series of The Masked Singer UK in 2022, we were delighted to welcome her to the stage at Australia House.

The Award Winners

Professor Merryn Voysey

Australian of the Year in the UK

Merryn Voysey is Associate Professor of Statistics in Vaccinology and Lead Statistician at the Oxford Vaccine Group. She moved from Australia to Oxford in 2011, after working on clinical trials for cardiovascular disease at Sydney University. She completed a PhD at the University of Oxford with Professor Andrew Pollard investigating the optimal timing of maternal and infant vaccine schedules. Multiple high-impact publications resulted from this work and led to subsequent research into pneumococcal and measles vaccines funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research. Through 2020 and 2021 she led the design and analysis of trials for the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The Oxford COVID-19 vaccine team managed to condense a typical ten-year process of vaccine development into just ten months of intense activity. Her analysis of trials from the UK, Brazil and South Africa showed that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine worked and it was rapidly rolled out in the UK, in Australia, and around the world. To date, 2 billion doses of the vaccine have been supplied to more than 170 countries across every continent, with a focus on low and middle income countries. An estimated 50 million COVID-19 hospitalisations have been prevented, and a staggering 1 million lives saved. For her work spearheading the astonishing success and speed of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine process, we are delighted to award Professor Merryn Voysey with the Australian of the Year in the UK 2022

Tom Hooper

Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

Tom Hooper is an Oscar-winning film director. He was born in London to a British father and an Australian mother - the former Australian of the Year in the UK award-winner, writer Meredith Hooper. Tom started directing films at the age of 13 on a clockwork Bolex film camera. He wrote and directed the short film Painted Faces aged 18 which was shown on Channel 4 and released in cinemas. After studying English at University College, Oxford, he began his directing career in advertising and television. He directed episodes of Eastenders, Cold Feet, the miniseries Love in a Cold Climate and Daniel Deronda and then Prime Suspect - for which Tom was nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy. He made his feature film debut with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission drama Red Dust - for which he was BAFTA nominated. Tom won the Emmy for directing Helen Mirren in Elizabeth I and the Golden Globe for his film Longford. Tom’s 9 hour HBO miniseries John Adams - telling the story of the American Revolution - won 13 Emmys, the most Emmys ever awarded to a program in a single year. He followed this with The Damned United, the story of Brian Clough’s spell as manager at Leeds United, before starting work on The King’s Speech following a recommendation from his mother.  Tom explained. “My mother was invited by Australian friends to a table reading at a fringe theatre of an unproduced play called The King’s Speech - because she's part of the Australian community here. The play is about the relationship between King George the Sixth and his Australian speech therapist. She came back and said ‘I think I’ve found your next film’. Tom cast Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth and Helena Bonham-Carter in the lead roles. The film went on to win four Academy Awards - including Best Picture and Best Director.  Tom directed Les Miserables starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway which won 3 Oscars. He directed The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander - who won an Oscar for her performance. He directed Cats, based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical and the poems of T S Eliot and starring Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Idris Elba and Taylor Swift - and was the lead director and executive producer of His Dark Materials for HBO and the BBC. In total Tom Hooper’s films and television have won 8 Oscars, 20 BAFTAs, 22 Emmys and 14 Golden Globes - and his work has brought pleasure to millions of people worldwide. He is proud of his dual Australian and British heritage. In a year celebrating the international success of Australians on stage and screen he is a most appropriate recipient of the Honorary Australian of the Year Award. 

Jamie Dornan

Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

Jamie Dornan is an internationally-renowned actor, winning awards and plaudits for his television and film work. His breakthrough role came in the drama series The Fall and he has been nominated for a BAFTA Television Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award Recently he starred not only in Kenneth Branagh’s film Belfast, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, but also The Tourist, a six-part BBC thriller set in the Australian outback. In order to film in Australia in 2021, Jamie underwent hotel quarantine for Covid protocols and he still had three days of isolation remaining when his father passed away suddenly from Covid-19. Filming started in the outback ten days after his father’s passing. The Tourist has been shown around the world on streaming services, including the United Kingdom, USA and Australia. It has just been renewed for a second series. Jamie himself described the series as “a fish out of water story where I play a guy who finds himself in the Australian outback in quite bizarre circumstances.” In order to film the show, Jamie spent 85 days shooting in the outback. For his dedication to his craft and his commitment to bringing Australia to life on the screen, he is a worthy winner of the 2022 Honorary Australian of the Year.

Doone Roisin Hansen

Young Australian Achiever of the year in the UK

Doone Roisin Hansen is the host (and Hype Girl) of the celebrated Female Startup Club podcast, She has inspired thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs from around the world through her relatable girlfriend-to-girlfriend-style chats with inspirational founders, who happen to be women. An entrepreneur and digital marketing expert, Doone has worked with many of the world’s leading brands including Snapchat and IMG. Since 2020, she has interviewed more than 300 successful entrepreneurs and women in business, in a mission to educate and elevate female entrepreneurs around the world. Her first book, Your Hype Girl, launched this year on international women’s day and is designed to be a powerful resource of inspirational examples and a blueprint for business prowess. Doone’s own background is a remarkable story - growing up in Mount Colliery in a settlement of 90 people and being the only child in her grade at school for two years. After attending Imbil State School and Somerville All Girls school, Doone initially attended the University of Queensland before dropping out to attend Design College Australia. This led her to a job at a funded startup “The Iconic” and kindled her interest in entrepreneurship. Doone’s impact extends beyond her globally successful podcasting phenomenon and publishing launch. She is also a mentor to women in the New Wave programme at the University of New South Wales and donates a percentage of course profits to the Malala fund. For her embodiment of the Aussie spirit of trailblazing and pioneering, combining a positive attitude with the burning desire to help others achieve their dreams and goals, we are delighted to award Young Australian of the Year in the UK 2022