2011 GALA DINNER
There is no place on earth like the Australian Outback!
Australia’s agricultural heritage is found in the Outback shearing sheds, sheep and cattle stations and huge wheat belts of inland Australia – it’s where some cattle stations are bigger than small countries.
Our stockmen, drovers, shearers, pastoralists, farmers and minders are the original and authentic heroes, the embodiment of everything it means to be Australian – tough, resilient, reliable, honest, straightforward down-to-earth ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ kind of people and as they say in the bush ‘there’s no flies on us’.
In 2011 guests were invited to celebrate the ‘Spirit of the Outback’ at Australia House and were welcomed by our Aussie Jackaroos and Jillaroo.
Stuart Devlin has been acclaimed by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths as the designer with 'the Midas touch' and the Australia Day Foundation considers Stuart Devlin a worthy recipient of the 2011 Australian of the Year in the UK award.
Devlin was born in Geelong in 1931and completed art school at the Gordon Institute of Technology with gold and silversmithing as his special field. He taught art in Wangaratta for 5 years before obtaining a post in Melbourne where he studied for a Diploma of Art in gold and silversmithing at RMIT, completing the 3 year course in one year, part-time - he achieved the highest marks ever awarded. As a result, he received three travelling scholarships which enabled him to study at the Royal College of Art. In 2 short years he graduated from the three-year courses of both Schools of Silversmithing & Jewellery and Industrial Design Engineering.
The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, aware of his extraordinary talent took the unprecedented step of purchasing most of the pieces he made at the RCA for their permanent collection and whilst still at college gave him a major commission to commemorate the Tercentenary of the Royal Society. This tall coffee service, now in the Goldsmiths’ company collection is work which Devlin considers amongst his finest.
Such was his talent he was awarded a two year Harkness Fellowship at Columbia University in New York which he won without going through the normal selection process.
In 1962 he returned to Melbourne and became an inspector of art schools and 2 years later was commissioned by the Australian Government to design the first decimal coinage for Australia. Devlin returned to England to supervise work on the Australian coins at the Royal Mint and decided to stay and open a small workshop.
This marked the beginning of Devlin's true style. He changed his design direction away from the austerity of the Bauhaus/Scandinavian Schools to a romantic use of precious metal, creating pieces to delight, surprise, intrigue and amuse and opened his showroom in 1973.
In 1980 he was awarded the Order of St Michael & St George for his services to design and two years later he was granted the Royal Warrant as Goldsmith & Jeweller to the Queen. Commissioned by Argyle Diamonds in 1987 to design a diamond collection, Devlin was the first to recognise the potential of brown diamonds and promptly changed the name to champagne diamonds. In 1988 he was made an officer of the Order of Australia in the Bicentennial Australia Day Honours List.
Devlin has designed hundreds of commemorative medallions and is internationally acknowledged as the world’s foremost coin designer. He designed 8 gold and 16 silver coins for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and has recently designed the new set of four £1 UK coins.
Stuart Devlin designs furniture, houses, jewellery, and silver commission pieces and having closed his London shop and workshop now designs from his studio in Chichester.
In 2009 Devlin was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council. He was Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, a supreme accolade and is now developing a post-graduate institute here in London.
Chairman of the Australia Day Foundation said “Stuart Devlin is recognised as the greatest living goldsmith of his generation and this is his personal philosophy -
‘I hope that my work reflects four maxims:
That future is much more important than the past
That creativity is paramount
That skill is fundamental
And that the justification for being a goldsmith is to enrich the way people live and work’
“Lord Goodlad was an exceptional British High Commissioner to Australia, a country he grew to love and since his return to the UK he has remained involved in Australia and with Australians. The Australia Day Foundation considered Lord Goodlad a worthy recipient of the 2011 Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award, said Philip Aiken, Chairman of the Australia Day Foundation.
The award recognises the close ties Lord Goodlad has maintained since returning from his post in Australia to the UK.
Alastair Goodlad was born in Lincoln in 1943, and was educated at St Faith’s School, Cambridge, Marlborough College and King’s College, Cambridge where he studied law.
Goodlad served as a Conservative MP representing the Northwich Parliamentary
Division from 1974 to 1983, and the Eddisbury Parliamentary Division from 1983 to 1999 during which time he held many senior parliamentary posts including Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution in the last Parliament.
From 1992 to 1995 he held the post of Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and it was during this time he first visited Australia with his wife Cecilia.
Goodlad was invested as a Privy Counsellor in 1992 and in 1997 knighted as Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George. In 2000 he returned to Australia as the British High Commissioner. His role was a busy one representing the British Government in its relations with the Australian Government. He was considered such an outstanding representative that his term was extended.
During his 5 ½ years as High Commissioner he travelled extensively because British interests are scattered throughout Australia. When interviewed by the ABC just before departing his post he commented .... ‘I’ve had fantastic access to everybody in the Government here and I have to say in the State governments throughout Australia. So it’s been a fantastic experience ....... any excuse and I’ll be back. We’ve made a lot of friends here. We love the country, my wife and I and we’ll come back as much as possible – if we can get ourselves a visa!’
One of the most successful navigators and cartographers to travel to Australia was Matthew Flinders and Alastair Goodlad as British High Commissioner to Australia was asked to write the preface to the book “‘Matthew Flinders: personal letters from an extraordinary life” for the Mitchell Heritage Series.
On his return from Australia he became a life peer and in July of 2005 was created Baron Goodlad, of Lincoln in the County of Lincolnshire.
Keen to maintain his Australian links in the UK he served as Chairman of the Britain Australia Society from 2006 to 2007 during which time he spoke at a number of the Society’s branches and according to Sir Roger Carrick ‘he made some excellent and memorable speeches.’
Since 2007 he has been a Trustee of the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Trust – the Trust supports post graduate Australian students who come to the UK to study for a higher degree in law and Engineering at a British University.
Lord Goodlad is also Chairman of the Australian Opera Capital Fund in the UK. The Fund was established to build capital reserves which will ensure the ongoing financial viability of Opera Australia.
“To have achieved so much in his career at a young age is perhaps not surprising given Tim Minchin’s many talents and his focus. The Foundation awards great talent and in recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments to date the Australia Day Foundation consider Tim Minchin a worthy recipient of the 2011 Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK award, said Philip Aiken, Chairman of the Australia Day Foundation.
Tim Minchin And His Orchestra have been touring the UK since December to critical acclaim. Tim and his 55-piece orchestra have performed to capacity crowds at London's O2 Arena and in venues throughout the UK in December with Scottish dates in April.
As well as performing to sell-out crowds, Tim has written music and lyrics for the Royal Shakespeare Company's new musical version of Roald Dahl's Matilda. It has received fantastic reviews across the board.
Tim Minchin is an Australian musician, actor, comedian and writer. After completing his BA in English & Theatre at the University of Western Australia and an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Music at the Conservatorium of WA, he moved to Melbourne where he developed his solo comedy shows to critical acclaim. Minchin developed his unique style during an 18-month stint at the famous cabaret room of The Butterfly Club in South Melbourne before producing his break out show, ‘Dark Side’ in 2005 at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The show won him the inaugural Festival Directors’ Award.
Tim was invited to perform his show at the Edinburgh Festival and instantly became one of the most successful ever debut acts, winning the coveted Perrier Award for Best Newcomer. The West End beckoned and Tim took his show to the Soho Theatre and the Lyric Theatre. He also appeared on the bill with Mariah Carey and Westlife at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2006 Minchin crossed the Atlantic, appearing at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival and the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen where he won the award for Best Alternative Comedian. He also performed at the HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, Ars Nova in New York and the ACME Comedy Theatre in LA. In 2008 he performed for 6 weeks at the New World Stages in New York.
All of this in the space of 10 short years!
In Australia Minchin has performed sell out shows at the Sydney Opera House, the Brisbane Powerhouse and in his home city of Perth. He’s performed at the Adelaide Fringe, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney’s Big Laugh Festival.
Minchin is no stranger to television and radio in both Britain and Australia and TV credits include the BBC’s ‘Comedy Shuffle’, ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’, the ABC’s ‘Spicks & Specks and ‘The Sideshow’. He has recorded two specials for BBC Radio 2.
Tim has released three live comedy albums and his debut DVD ‘So Live’ was recorded at the Sydney Opera House.
Acting credits include title roles in Hamlet and Amadeus for Perth Theatre Co, Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar and the writer in Reg Cribb’s ‘The Return’.
Tim’s feature debut in Two Fists, One Heart, was a drama filmed and set in Perth, WA and he also contributed to the script and soundtrack of the film.
"Rock n Roll Nerd", a documentary about Tim's life between 2005 and 2006, also by Skirving, premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Tim's celebrated 9-minute beat poem, 'Storm' was turned into an animated movie and premiered at TAM London in October last year and his radio sitcom 'Strings' was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in May last year.
Tim is an Ambassador for The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts.
PRAISE FOR TIM MINCHIN:
"Guaranteed to bring the house down." (The Metro)
"Cleverly stupid musical comedy" (Evening Standard)
"The best musical comedian since Bill Bailey" (The Times).
"One of our all time favourite comics. This remarkable Aussie is a musical genius and quite unlike anyone else out there. Just go and see him" (Time Out)
2010 Chortle Award - Best Music or Variety Act
2009 Helpmann Award - Best Comedy Performer for show Ready For This?
2007 US Comedy Arts Festival - Best Alternative Comedian
2006 Greenroom Awards (Cabaret) - Best Artiste, Best Show, Best Original Songs
2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival - Perrier Award for Best Newcomer
2005 Melbourne International Comedy Festival - Directors' Award
Australia’s most famous and influential TV chef in the UK is John Torode. John is a down to earth, straight talking Aussie who is passionate about what he does. When we asked Johnto be our guest chef and to create a menu using Australian meat his response was….’beef, beef and more beef – growing up in Australia has fond memories, my Nanna was an amazing cook who inspired my food career, her roast beef and cauliflower cheese still sits firmly in memory and I would like the guests to enjoy my ‘Ode to Beef’ in a modern and Torode style’. And they did!
Tim Minchin is an Australian musician, actor, comedian and writer and the funniest Aussie we know. Tim has just finished a UK tour with his 55-piece orchestra to critical acclaim and performed to capacity crowds at London’s O2 Arena. Tim has won many awards and wrote the music and lyrics for the 2010 Royal Shakespeare Company’s new musical version of Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ – it received fantastic reviews across the board.
Tim had previously performed for the Foundation but this was his first solo performance at the Australia Day Gala Dinner. As expected, Tim’s performance was terrific, but what Tim did not expect was to be awarded the ‘Young Australian Achiever of the Year’ award.
Advance Australia Fair was sung by Australian musical theatre star and producer Michael Flazon. He was accompanied by Sydney born classically trained violinist Jane Cho.
National Australia Group
Treasury Wine Estates
Ramsay Healthcare UK