Rich Aussies chip in for sick kids


Now in its 22nd year, the glamorous Gold Dinner is regarded as the most exclusive charity gala in Australia, having raised over $26 million for paediatric healthcare.

Guests have paid $1500 per head to attend the event, where there are absolutely no “freebies”, celebrity chefs Guillaume Brahimi and Nobu Matsuhisa will create a sumptuous menu, and longstanding partners Bollinger will keep drinks flowing while guest enjoy a moving acoustic performance by pop royalty Amy Shark.

Led by Committee Chair, the low-profile billionairess Monica Saunders-Weinberg, this year’s Gold Dinner on Thursday night will transform Fox Studios into a golden night of reflections thanks to the impressive styling by Team Event.

So what is it all for?

Throughout the evening, guests will generously pledge their support for this year’s beneficiary — Critical Care across The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network — hoping to raise over $3 million in aid of the State’s most critically ill or injured children.

media_cameraAlina Barlow, Phil Schofield, Monica Saunders-Weinberg, Michael Filler, Emma van Haandel, Richard Weinberg, Kathryn Carter, Emma Cooper, Karl Stefanovic, Wallis Graham, Roslyn Hakim, Julie Bishop. Picture: Supplied

Before the GFC the committee, then under the chair of Skye Leckie, raised $3.5 million.

Thursday night’s guests think that figure may just be smashed tonight. What’s a few million between rich friends?

Members of the committee certainly have their fair share of pulling power.

“I have been involved with the philanthropic side of SCHF for the past 10 years, and have served as a Gold Dinner committee member for the last seven,”

said Alina Barlow, whose husband Scott Barlow owns football team Sydney FC.

“As a mother of two, I feel very passionate about the SCHF and the difference they make to children’s lives.”

Fellow committee member and event producer, Mikey Filler, said “It’s such an honour and a privilege to sit on the Gold Dinner Committee with family and friends working together to raise funds and awareness for such an important cause.

“We’re mixing things up a bit this year to take guests on an emotional and sensory journey through the evening allowing everyone to both reflect on and celebrate their achievements in fundraising for the Foundation.

“We’ve been so fortunate to have many of our suppliers, caterers & performers generously contribute to the event — we have Guillaume and Nobu collaborating on a delicious menu, we have a unique performance in the dining room & a surprise reveal later in the night.”

One of the auction prizes is a date with Julie Bishop coined Confessions of a Former Foreign Minister — a prize which organisers say is priceless.

It’s a private lunch or dinner for 10 people with Ms Bishop, who will, no doubt spill a little secret or two about her time in politics.

media_cameraThe Gold Dinner is invitation-only and not open to the public. Picture: Supplied

Tagged as Sydney’s most glamorous and influentially-attended (no, there won’t be a fashion ‘influencer’ in sight!) event, the Gold Dinner is invitation-only and not open to the public.

All of the members of Gold committee including Ms Bishop, Karl Stefanovic and Monica Saunders have gone to their contacts and coaxed them into forking out the big bucks before they head to the dinner at Fox Studios in Moore Park.

While the guest list is usually a big secret, it will feature the who’s who of the Emerald City’s rich, influential and powerful who are expected to dig deep when it comes to auction prizes that include overseas trips, superyacht excursions and a raffle.

The major prize is a private tour of the Paspaley pearl room and a $20,000 gift voucher for some ‘Kool-mint’ pearls. can reveal that Gold guest highlights will include Simon Baker, Karl & Jasmine Stefanovic, Rebecca Rigg, Tim Minchin, Julie Bishop, Monica Saunders-Weinberg & Richard Weinberg, Skye Leckie, Steven Lowy, Graham Richardson, John & Amber Symond, Mike Cannon-Brookes from Atlassian, David Sharma, Marc Freeman and Dan Rosen.

Any food leftovers will be placed straight onto OzHarvest trucks which make sure nothing goes to waste.

Karl Stefanovic will make a return on to the Sydney social scene, not just as a guest but also as a member of the new look Gold committee.

“I’m really looking forward to going head-to-head with Julie Bishop in the room to raise more funds,” he said. “We’ve always been quietly competitive.”

Monica Saunders-Weinberg says the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation is a deeply personal cause. The businesswoman is also the joint deputy chairwoman of The Terrace Tower Group.

Monica is The daughter of Westfield shopping centre empire co-founder, the late John Saunders and her sister Betty Klimenko, both having been major donors to the Sydney Children’s Hospital for 20 years.

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Originally published as Rich Aussies chip in for sick kids


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