Celebrating 100 summers of Australian surf lifesaving


Swimming Down Under in Australia House
20th January


In 2007 Australia celebrated 100 summers of surf lifesaving. Today there are 303 surf lifesaving clubs in Australia patrolling over 400 beaches and the SLSA (Surf Life Saving Association) is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the world. It was an Australian working in the High Commission London who introduced Australian surf life saving methods on English beaches way back in 1952. Bude received a reel, line, belt and surf ski from Australia in 1955 and the Bude SLSC became a reality.  


Phil Aiken, Lloyd Dorfman, Sir Charles Mackerras, HE Richard Alson
Sir Charles Mackerras, CH, AC, CBE
Australian of the Year in the UK

Sir Charles Mackerras is undoubtedly the most distinguished Australia musician in Britain and with his international achievements and lifelong service to music, the Australia Day Foundation is proud to present him with the 2007 Australian of the Year in the UK award.

In 2005 at the age of 80, Sir Charles Mackerras was the first recipient of the Queen’s Medal for Music. At the ceremony the Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, said: “Sir Charles Mackerras is one of the most highly respected and greatly loved musicians of our time . . . and has become a central figure in our musical life…bringing us superb performances with a continual spirit of adventure”.

Sir Charles began is musical career at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music studying piano, oboe and composition. After moving to the UK in 1946 he won a British Council Scholarship, enabling him to study conducting at the Prague Academy of Music. He is a specialist in Czech repertory and following his life-long association with Czech music is Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Charles was awarded the Medal of Merit from the Czech Republic in 1966.

Returning to England in 1948, Sir Charles began his life-long association with Sadler’s Wells Opera, now the English National Opera, remaining on the company’s conducting staff until 1954. After a two year engagement as principal conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the mid fifties, he guest conducted orchestras in Britain and across Europe, including his first of many appearances at Covent Garden in 1963.

Ten years later Sir Charles Mackerras returned to Australia to conduct the inaugural concert of the new Sydney Opera House. Throughout his musical career he has conducted at the Welsh National Opera, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera.

Sir Charles Mackerras received a CBE in 1974, was knighted in 1979 and made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1977.


Lloyd Dorfman
Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK

With his vigour and determination, his business involvement in Australia and his support for the Australian Cricket Team, the Australia Day Foundation considers Lloyd Dorfman a worthy recipient of the 2007 Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award.

Lloyd Dorfman is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Travelex, the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist with 93 shops in airports around the world. After reading for the bar, he joined a merchant bank and in 1976 at the age of 24 opened his first foreign exchange shop in central London.

Lloyd Dorfman’s association with Australia began in 1989 when his idea of putting foreign exchange units in domestic terminals resulted in a deal with Ansett – Australia is now Travelex’s third biggest international market. Lloyd Dorfman credits his use of sponsorship as a factor in his success and in 2001 he signed a five year, multi-million pound sponsorship of the Australian cricket team. He appointed Adam Gilchrist, the Australian cricket vice-captain, as a non-executive director to Travelex Australia’s board.

When Cricket Australia wanted an event partner who would donate millions of dollars to sponsor the Tsunami aid world cricket match of the MCG, Lloyd Dorfman agreed to be that partner. In 2001 Lloyd Dorfman became the UK ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and in 2002 won the British American Chamber of Commerce’s UK Entrepreneural Award. He is a patron and Deputy Chairman of the Prince’s Trust Development Board and an Honorary Fellow of St. Peter’s College, Oxford.


Joe Roff
Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK

In recognition of his dedication to Australian Rugby and his outstanding achievements, the Australia Day Foundation presented Joe Roff with the 2007 Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK award.

Joe Roff is currently studying at the University of Oxford where he is reading a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having swapped caps for a more traditional mortar board. Joe Roff’s career as an outstanding, world class Australian Rugby Union footballer began in Canberra with the ACT Brumbies. Joe developed his rugby skills at school and he continued to hone these skills to the point where he became one of Australia’s most outstanding rugby legends and one of the world’s best attacking wingers.

Joe’s record includes 86 Super 12 Caps, 95 State Caps and 84 test Caps for Australia. He became Super 12’s all-time leading try scorer and, with 27 test tries, is currently third on the Wallabies’ greatest test try scorers count.

He scored an impressive 221 test points in Australia.

Joe Roff retired at the end of the 2004 Wallabies test series - his farewell from Super 12 rugby was memorable because the Brumbies won the Super 12 competition that season. In 2006 Joe moved to the UK to begin his studies at Oxford where he played amateur rugby, representing the Oxford Rugby Football Club, affectionately known as the Dark Blues, in their traditional fixture against Cambridge University Rugby Club at Twickenham Stadium on 12 December 2006.



Joyce O'Hagan and Shane Osborn
Shane Osborn


The superb four course dinner was created by London’s leading Australian chef Shane Osborn of Pied- a-Terre. Shane aged just 29 became the very first Australian chef to attain Michelin status. A passion for what he does has resulted in Shane being awarded two coveted Michelin stars. Shane said his menu was inspired by flavours that reminded him of his early days cooking in Perth and included one of Shane’s signature dishes Chilled Pumpkin & Ginger Soup, and the main course was Australian beef, generously donated by Meat & Livestock Australia. Hardys premium Australian wines accompanied Shane’s menu.


Robyn Archer and Paul Grabowsky
Robyn Archer and Paul Grabowsky

Australia’s internationally famous cabaret legend, Robyn Archer AO gave a stunning performance. The brilliant pianist and composer Paul Grabowsky accompanied Robyn on piano. Robyn began singing at four years and professionally from 12 years old, everything from folk and pop to blues, rock, jazz and cabaret. Robyn has performed all over the world and has written over 100 songs, a dozen theatrical works and recorded eleven albums and has picked up many awards along the way. Robyn wished to dedicate her performance to the memory of Maurice de Rohan.  

Paul Grabowsky is a pianist, composer and conductor, whose work is well-known both at home and overseas. He has covered territory from film and television to jazz and beyond. The Paul Grabowsky Trio has won two ARIA awards, and is one of Australia’s most influential bands of its type.




Cate Barr, Mezzo-Soprano, commenced her professional career at the State Opera of South Australia on their Young Artists Programme. London based for the past 9 years, Cate has sung for English National Opera, Garsington Festival, Aix-en-Provence, and the title role in ‘‘Der Rosenkavalier’’ at Scottish Opera.


Leslie Flanagan, baritone, has sung for the Bratislava International Music Festival, English Touring Opera, Longborough Opera Festival, and recently at the BBC Proms with conductor Paul Daniel.




Sophie Serafino was classically trained at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, her unique solo violin performances have been described as ‘cutting edge virtuoso – pop violinist’. She is also a singer and songwriter.






BHP Billiton

Cobham Plc

National Australia Group Europe


Rio Tinto




CPA Europe

Deutsche Bank

Hardy Wines

International Power Plc

Macquarie Bank


New International

Proudfoot Consulting

Robert Walters Plc

Tourism Australia

UBS Global Asset Management

The Weir Group

Designed and built by D.T. Practice
© Australia Day Foundation / 2020