The ABC Friends’ NSW & ACT Winter Dinner was held on 20 July in the heritage-listed building at 238 Castlereagh Street Sydney which was an excellent choice, given its radical and literary connections
Yvonne Weldon AM gave the Welcome to Country. Aunty Yvonne is a City of Sydney Councillor and a proud Wiradjuri woman, born and raised in Sydney while keeping strong ties to her homelands in Cowra and the Riverina. She is also a published author; her novel Sixty-Seven Days was published in 2022. Aunty Yvonne is a much-admired leader and educator among the community and the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the City of Sydney Council.
The Hon Michelle Rowland MP, Minister for Communications, was our Guest Speaker. I argued, in my reply to the Minister, that although the establishment of FiveYear Funding is very welcome, it does not address the fact that the ABC has been forced to endure $526m in cuts since 2014 presided over by successive Coalition governments, with significant consequences that are well-known to us all. I applied the Aristotle rhetoric framework of logos, pathos and ethos in my response, appropriate in this venue as it was formerly the Hellenic Club.
I assured the Minister that ABC Friends intend to maintain a productive dialogue with her, and the Minister for Arts, supported by ABC Alumni, to help chart a more positive way forward for the ABC.
Special guests at the event included Cassandra Parkinson, President of ABC Friends National; Dr Michael Henry, President of ABC Friends, Victoria; Jonathan Holmes, Chair, ABC Alumni; Helen Grasswill, Deputy Chair and co-founder of ABC Alumni as well as one of our muchloved ABC journalists; and Geraldine Doogue. Members of the ABC Executive were invited but tendered their apologies.
The raffle was a resounding success. This year it was organised by Jenny Trowse to celebrate the ABCF NSW & ACT 2023 theme ‘connecting the branches’, and offered 20 fabulous gifts generously donated by the branches and individual members of the NSW & ACT Committee. The raffle was drawn by Jenny Trowse and Paul Reid.
Many thanks to all the raffle contributors, the NSW & ACT Events Committee and the events team at Beta for helping to successfully organise and deliver our major event of 2023.