On Friday 3 August, 370 guests came together to support the 2018 Annual Brainwave Fundraising Gala event held at Peninsula A, Atlantic, Melbourne. Guests arrived to a sparkling room—despite dreary Melbourne weather—the room was filled with warmth and excitement.
On arrival, guests made their way to the Louis Roederer Champagne Bar where a spectacular balloon bubble install shimmered over the bar. A magnificent three course menu awaited guests, a tailored entrée and main was created exclusively for the Brainwave Gala by talented chef and restaurateur, Shane Delia.
In order to get things started, The Tim Campbell Band took to the stage to open the show. The atmosphere was electric, as guests settled in to their seats knowing their attendance was the first-step in helping to make a difference to the many children and families that Brainwave Australia supports.
Master of Ceremonies, Mark Beretta from Network Seven, fondly known as ‘Beretts’, did a superb job from start to finish. Beretts, through his work with Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific was familiar with Brainwave, as such he was able to speak with authenticity and credibility about Brainwave’s work which set a beautiful tone for the evening. Beretts was his usual warm and engaging self and in true professional style, did a magnificent job keeping guests engaged and informed.
Beretts went on to welcome Principal Partner Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific and Major Supporting Partner, The QBE Foundation, highlighting the significant contribution that has been made to Brainwave through these supportive long-term partnerships.
As the introductions were handled and housekeeping taken care of, our wonderful Brainwave volunteer hosts were standing by and more than willing to assist guests. The event attracted over 30 individuals from Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific, QBE, OMD and community volunteers who had donated their Friday night to Brainwave, to facilitate fundraising activities at the event.
Associate Professor Michael Fahey, Head of the Paediatric Neurology Unit at Monash Medical Centre and Director of Neurogenetics was introduced and gave a heartfelt recount of the challenges families face when they have a child diagnosed with a neurological condition. Michael’s address referenced the twelve boys who recently became trapped in the flooded cave—highlighting the strength of community and power of positivity.
We then met Neo, a young and active soon to be five-year old who through Brainwave’s equipment and therapy funding program has received a specialised trike. Attendees were introduced to Neo’s parents Charlotte and Barend who used their own words to describe their family life and the important role an organisation like Brainwave plays in their lives.
Before we knew it, it was time to launch Part 1 of the Brainwave Live Auction. Brainwave Patron and auctioneer extraordinaire Shawn Cosgrove was called to the stage and did a magnificent job keeping track of the soaring arms and paddles before knocking down all 15 auction items.
After the main meal, the lights dimmed and guests were treated to a spectacular performance by Taryn Fiebig, Helpmann award-winning soprano and cellist of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, accompanied by Pheobe Briggs, Head of Music at Victorian Opera.
Suddenly it was time for Part 2 of the Brainwave Live Auction, where Trent Brooks, Chairman of Brainwave and Shawn Cosgrove were called to stage to highlight the “supply and demand” issues that exist for Brainwave. Six high demand items were put forward and Brainwave sought sponsorship of these life changing pieces of equipment and therapies.
As formalities drew to a close, Tim Campbell, one of Australia’s most loved entertainers, a star of both stage and screen (and part of the Brainwave Family), and his incredible band had the dance floor jam-packed as guests came together and danced the night away. A true celebration to end an incredible night of fundraising.
We are delighted to announce the 2018 Melbourne Brainwave Gala raised a net total of $214,844. The night would not have been possible without the support we receive from our Principal Partner Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific and the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network and Major Supporting Partner, The QBE Foundation and our loyal event supporter Ferrero Australia. Our sincere thanks to our sponsors and each and every one of you who attended—you played a role in making the event such a great success. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Brainwave is Australia’s only paediatric charity supporting children living with debilitating neurological conditions. Brainwave relies solely on fundraising efforts to continue their work. Brainwave provides rehabilitation and mobility equipment for children to improve their quality of life as well as providing emotional support by connecting families with others via a calendar of family events.