Welcome to the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery Midwinter Ball.
Traditionally held in the third week of June each year, it brings together the journalistic, political and corporate chiefs of Australia. It is always a memorable night full of entertainment and networking opportunities with the big winner being charity.
The ball is the premier social event on the political calendar. It uniquely includes the senior ranks of all parliamentary parties, including the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, as well as the heads of corporate Australia and of course the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery.
It is a night of glamour and irreverence, networking and entertainment, but the good fun is also for a good cause. With the help of generous corporate support and an online auction with eBay, the ball has raised almost $3.5 million for charity to date, with 2017 promising to add handsomely to that figure.
In 2016, the Midwinter Ball raised a record $345,000 for charity. Over the years, the Foundation has raised money for a variety of organisations including the Luke Batty Foundation, Rare Cancers Australia, Soldier On, The Indigenous Reading Project, Lifeline Australia,
Spinal Cure Australia, Open Family Australia, The Newborn Intensive Care Foundation, the Smith Family’s Learning for Life Program and The Fred Hollows Foundation.
Just like the White House Correspondents annual gala dinner in Washington DC, on which it is loosely modelled, the Midwinter Ball has become a firm fixture in the parliamentary calendar. Numbers are restricted to 640 guests in the Great Hall of Parliament House and although the limited capacity can be a source of frustration for both organisers and those who can’t get in, it ensures the tickets are highly prized.
Entertainment is always first class. Those who have performed at the ball include: Jessica Mauboy, The Tap Dogs, David Campbell, Grace Knight, Paulini, Christine Anu, Bjorn Again, Mental as Anything and Marcia Hines. The legendary Roy and HG have filled the pivotal MC’s role three times, likewise Gerry Connolly and Jean Kittson. We have also showcased the talents of the irrepressible “Effie” [Mary Coustas], as well as Julian Morrow, Shaun Micallef, Peter Berner, Bob Downe and Julia Morris.
See you at the Ball.
President, Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery