Australian of the Year - Morning Tea @ The Lodge

25 January 2018

Morning Tea at The Lodge has become a must on the whirlwind of social events for the caravanserai of finalists, partners and organisers of the Australian of the Year Awards. It’s the meet and greet with the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy before a cuppa, the best lamingtons ever and the speeches from the PM and the Chair of the National Australia Day Council, Danielle Roche.

But to get to the marquee ladies must run the gauntlet of the driveway’s rocks. Yes, a teeter totter in the stilettos is de rigueur because someone, probably a bloke, thought the rocks provided a lovely crunch for the cars sweeping up to the entrance but gave no thought to the ridiculous shoes we ladies love. I’ve learnt. You can’t take pictures while walking backwards in stilettos nor walk on rocks.

But the buses came as close as possible to the entrance and most managed the walk with no catastrophes as the PM and Lucy welcomed all the guests and the phalanx of photographers captured the occasion.

They were a distinguished group of worthy Australians whose names may not all be familiar but would now become notable for an eclectic mix of achievements. Among them my hero in the world of craniofacial surgery Professor David David who founded the world renowned Australian Craniofacial Unit at Royal Adelaide Hospital in 1975. From Big hART, Scott Rankin, who as a theatre director and playwright established this company to use the arts to bring about social justice, while talking with Dr Bo Remenyi you can’t help but be distressed by the state of indigenous health in Australia as she endeavours to stop children’s deaths from Rheumatic Heart Disease in the NT. Then for making maths fun for kids the personable and enthusiastic Eddie Woo is the kind of maths teacher we all wish we’d had.  

All were delighted to be there for this opportunity. To enjoy the hospitality that takes a veritable posse of professionals, where they get to mix and mingle with the notables and previous winners, do a quick circuit of the gardens, pose for endless photographs before it was back on the bus and off to lunch.