Celebrating our benefactors at FESTUM

Robert Taylor plays the didgeridoo

At the bi-annual FESTUM on 11th September 2021, we celebrated the phenomenal impact made by Board of Benefactors members; philanthropists who have each pledged $25,000 or more to the University of Adelaide to support research, scholarships, and other priority areas of the University.

The Board of Benefactors and their guests came together in Bonython Hall for a night of celebration, in recognition of those who are generously investing in critical research and teaching, and transformative student support programs.

The evening began with a traditional smoking ceremony at the entrance of Bonython Hall, followed by the welcome to country. Both were performed by
Robert Taylor from Kuma Kaaru, a local group that educates and shares Aboriginal culture through song and dance. 

Isobel Marshall, 2021 Young Australian of the Year, presided over the event as Master of Ceremonies. Isobel is the Co-Founder and Director of Health and Education at TABOO Sanitary Products, and is studying Medicine at the University of Adelaide.

Guests enjoyed alumni wines and spirits throughout the evening as well as a bespoke cocktail, ‘The 1874,’ crafted in honour of the FESTUM by Australian Distilling Co. Tim Aldridge, Sommelier at the National Wine Centre, gave an overview of the wine pairing selection, matched carefully to a curated menu from the National Wine Centre.

Australian String Quartet

Guests were treated to a special performance by the Australian String Quartet, featuring new violist Christopher Cartlidge in one of his first performances with the quartet, following his debut at Illuminate Adelaide in July.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC addressed the guests and expressed his gratitude to the Board of Benefactor members for their support, which underpins research, scholarships, and the sustained success of the University. The Vice-Chancellor was also proud to announce the creation of a new Indigenous Support Fund, a fund he personally supports.  

Guests heard from Rachael Azzopardi, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Illuminate Adelaide. This year, Rachael was instrumental in conceptualising and delivering Illuminate Adelaide, which included the Adelaide Festival of Ideas in partnership with the University of Adelaide. Illuminate Adelaide achieved a citywide winter celebration of art, light, music and future technology, and Rachael spoke about the great success of the partnership.

FESTUM speakers in Bonython Hall

Rachael Azzopardi; Angelina Zucco, CEO, Australian String Quartet; Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President; Lee-Ann Hunt; Isobel Marshall

To conclude the evening, Lee-Ann Hunt of McMillan Constructions Pty Ltd raised a toast to all Board of Benefactors members. Lee-Ann is the daughter of alumnus Raymond McMillan (Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), 1949). In memory of Raymond, McMillan Constructions have established two annual high-value engineering scholarship schemes in perpetuity, and a teacher in residence program to promote STEM skills and careers to high school students.

As the evening drew to a close, many guests remarked how wonderful it was to come together to mark the occasion after a almost two years of limited gatherings. Many thanks to all those who braved the rainy weather to celebrate the enormous impact of philanthropy at the FESTUM.

Our Board of Benefactors is a remarkable group of supporters, who are helping the University of Adelaide make history through transformational gifts. For more information about joining our Board of Benefactors
, please contact Yvonne Martin-Clark at yvonne.martin-clark@adelaide.edu.au

Tagged in FESTUM, philanthropy, Board of Benefactors