As gentle rain fell, the historic 44-stand Romani Pastoral Company owned “Windy Station” woolshed played host to more than 350 black tie guests recently. The gala event was hosted as both a fundraiser for the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) and a celebration of 50 years for the Quirindi Committee of the CMRI.
Coordinated by a team of dedicated volunteers, the glamorous event raised tens of thousands of dollars and included a three-course meal, drinks, auction, formal presentations and live entertainment by the John Field Band – who got the party jumping.
“The response was absolutely overwhelming and far exceeded our expectations. Donations are still coming in. The generosity of sponsors, businesses and individuals has been amazing and we would like to thank everyone who contributed to making the night such a great community event,” said Quirindi commitee president Amanda Murray.
Dedicated to advancing the treatment and prevention of childhood diseases, the Children’s Medical Research Institute has so far pioneered microsurgery, immunisations, care for premature babies and lobbied for awareness of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
With one in 20 children worldwide born with a birth defect or genetic disease, the CMRI is working to reduce this frightening statistic.
The CMRI has also established a “genetic bank” making cancer diagnosis faster, ensuring quicker treatment times for cancer sufferers.
CMRI director, Professor Roger Riddel, presented at the dinner, outlining the potentially lifesaving work the institute is currently undertaking in the field of cancer research.
“A top international scientist is soon relocating to Australia to undertake cancer research alongside the CMRI, because we are offering a world-first in that area. Imagine if we are able to assist in cures for cancer, it will not only assist children, but all people across the globe.”
The fundraiser anniversary ball, was held in the vast and significant Windy Woolshed – a 44-stand shearing shed, constructed entirely of timber (except the corrugated iron roof) from trees sourced on the property – with the location proving a voluminous, gracious and utterly Australian space for the fundraiser anniversary ball. Masters of ceremonies Richard Burns and Dennis Lee led the evening, with award-winning auctioneer, and Liverpool Plains agent, Tom Tanner commentating the successful auction.
To the delight of the large crowd, Tom also took to the stage at the end of the night to perform some classic Garth Brooks covers.
Pilot and author, Richard de Crespigny and his wife Coral were just two of the special guests to attend .
Hero pilot and author, Richard de Crespigny and his wife Coral were just two of the special guests to attend the gala event at “Windy Station”.
The captain, a veteran of 35 years with Qantas and the Royal Australian Air Force, was in command of an A380 superjumbo in 2010, when one of its engines exploded four minutes into Qantas flight QF32 out of Singapore.
He flew the giant plane in a loop while the crew worked through a terrifying cascade of failure messages from the on-board computers. Two hours later he landed it safely back at Singapore, blowing four tires.
Local songstress, Kate Figueira wowed the crowd when she took to the stage for a sponsored sing-along with the band.
“Kate’s a great friend and you don’t often get the opportunity to perform in front of such a large crowd,” said Tamworth’s Sarah Winston-Smith, who sponsored her.
Children’s Medical Research Institute Quirindi committee president Amanda Murray said the event also represented the committee’s golden anniversary and 50 years of support from the Liverpool Plains community.