Was it the best Midwinter Ball? It all depends on perspective really but it was a ripper as far as the entertainment was concerned with our very own Divine Ms M. (Jessica Mauboy ) and her band of talent  helping to get the whole shebang started by opening her performance at 8 pm. The dinner for the 600 plus began after much difficulty getting bums on seats because this bunch love a chat while a private gathering with BDW Events Team and the Mauboy team was a relaxed affair where this delightful young lady happily obliged for iPhone videos to thrill some fans the next day .

But there's another little pre-ball happening that says thank you to the sponsors. A very big thank you because without them this extravaganza couldn't happen and this private cocktail party in the Great Hall gathers them and some of our media stars to mix and mingle. Its the best chance to have a chat about desserts with Annabelle Crabb, admire the elegant and personable Leigh Sales and find out just why she's favouring a longer hairstyle and meet the new guy at SBS who was chatting to Jim Spigelman. Tony Jones where were you? It was time for another TJ photo for your mum. 

For Ms M after her dinner it was time for a costume change befitting a divine diva as she slipped into a sparkly ice princess little dress, fabulous enough to compete with the slinky bejeweled dress from the best princess wardrobe in Australia, Julie Bishop’s endless supply of glam frocks from here and overseas. She gets my gong for most glam with Chloe Bryce a close second showing her genetically inherited elegance – as the daughter of Dame Quentin Bryce - with a cerise pink fake fur stole over her black silk assymetrical one shoulder dress. A comparison with Margy Abbott’s silk jersey one sleeved ruched dress unnecessary, but she is a lady happy to stay in safe black territory 

And it is about the frocks for the photos, nothing like the footy presentation frenzys fortunately and with less flesh thankfully as photographers scarper together from one arrival to the next seeking the stylish and perfectly poised posing and preening in the foyer at Parliament House as it slowly fills with the unique troika of corporate sponsers, parliamentarians with selected staffers and the Canberra Press Gallery. Ostensibly it is to raise money for charities and this year a couple of newer ones will be well funded, but it’s also like a big steam valve on the pressure cooker of this sheltered workshop, as unlikely companions endure each other’s company as convivially as decorum dictates, dance hoping that no one is watching and work the room. And that’s the most interesting part.