Our inaugural Fundraising Gala was held in grand splendour in the 17th floor ballroom of the RACV City Club.

Guests arrived in 1920s costume for pre-drinks. The foyer was buzzing with activity with guests finding their tables and having their photographs taken by a professional photographer from Snappy Pics.

At 7.00PM, guests were ushered into the ballroom to be seated. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Mr John Deeks, a fixture of the Melbourne television and radio worlds for almost 40 years. Mr Deeks welcomed guests and invited their ongoing participation over the evening in the silent auction of over thirty exclusive items.

The entrée was served soon after, as guests were entertained by piano accordionist extraordinnaire, John Kalkbrenner.

Our President, Dr Ken V Loughnan AO, and the CEO/ Head of College, Dr Kerry Bennett, made their way
to the podium to welcome everyone and launch the Diamond Jubilee Capital Fundraising Campaign for the redevelopment behind our Gladstone terrace.

‘Select’, Australia’s premier showband, began their first set, performing contemporary and nostalgic songs. Most guests immediately took to the dance floor, a pattern that continued throughout a vibrant night of celebration!

Staff members Daniel Clark and Shirley Ho went around to every table to offer guests the opportunity to win the grand raffle draw. Thank you everyone for your generosity in buying a raffle ticket!

Our biggest thank you goes to Council Member, Mr Vincent Mirabelli, whose indefatigable work and charm made the Gala possible. Cr Mirabelli organised the venue, entertainment, the majority of the auction items and the attendance of many of the guests.

We also thank all who attended, dressed up and participated in an event first for The Graduate Union. This event was the true springboard of our ambitious capital fundraising campaign.

Next year we plan a ‘World Gala’ on a spring afternoon and evening, to celebrate our diverse membership. We look forward to seeing you all again.

Thank you to everyone. Your continued support of our residential college and meeting place is very much appreciated.

Charles Billich donated his original painting entitled Graduate Diamond Jubilee 2017 for auction at the Gala. This beautiful work represents a time fusion of our terraces, purchased 60 years ago in 1957, with the ultra-modern eleven-storey development of quality post-graduate accommodation, the focus of our $50 million capital fundraising campaign.

The painting cleverly melds a bygone era of horses and carts, classic cars with “60” on one number plate and the hustle and bustle of modern life with students in graduation gowns and caps. An angel represents the winged victory logo of our Association taking ight to undertake a much needed expansion of our residential college and graduate meeting place.

Limited edition unframed prints are available for order from Graduate House for $1,200 (inclusive of GST). Charles Billich is generously donating $400 to our fundraising campaign for each print sold.

Browse through some of the photos from the night!