Long lunch shines light on Brightwater
I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest to Perth’s inaugural Longest Lunch and it’s fair to say that the event was an amazing success and will become even bigger next year!
Showcasing the best of Western Australia – from its outstanding local produce, hospitality and generosity – the inaugural Perth’s Longest Lunch in support of Brightwater on Friday 22 May 2015 was an electrifying success.
With an impressive line-up of entertainment – including a powerful opening act by Toro and the Bad Piper, complete with a show-stopping pyro-technique display – the six-hour event took its 800 attendees on a gastronomic tour of the state, while also giving Brightwater a platform to share its work in the community.
Brightwater CEO Dr Penny Flett AO encouraged guests to think of the organisation as a “community benefit organisation” and described the idea of hosting Perth’s Longest Lunch as a huge “leap of faith” but one that had delivered incredible results.
Having promised to redefine the networking experience, Perth’s Longest Lunch did just that – with more than 40 organisations hosting their own guests and non-stop conversation all day. It also served as a major fundraiser for Brightwater, which in addition to running 13 aged care facilities between Mandurah and Joondalup, also has eight centres providing rehabilitation and residential accommodation for younger people with neurological disabilities, and support for hundreds of people living at home.
Guests pledged almost $300,000 to support the organisation’s ability to innovate the care sector.
The remainder of this total came from a unique range of auction items, which included a new $50,000 Adrian Zorzi kitchen renovation, a once in a lifetime SASR experience for up to six people and a pair of business class airfares to anywhere in the world, as well as a raffle which saw one Perth’s Longest Lunch attendee return home as the owner of a brand new A-180 Mercedes Benz.
Dr Flett confirmed that the event had exceeded the organisation’s expectations in every way:
“The food was outstanding – Crown’s executive sous chef Sean Marco really helped to raise the bar with his innovative take on the regions’ finest produce; the wines were some of the best WA has to offer and the entertainment gave everyone in the room a series of shared experiences – that continued to fuel conversation throughout the day, and beyond,” Dr Flett said.
“Brightwater has been fortunate to benefit from the invaluable support of all of our sponsors who made the day what it was – and, of course, the absolutely incredible generosity of those who attended. It was a success beyond our greatest expectations,” she added.
Dr Flett also said that the organisation was “excited by what the future holds and how this additional funding will enable us to deliver ongoing innovations in the model of care we provide, offering improvements that will make a real difference to thousands of Western Australians for years to come.”
In an especially moving moment, the event’s MC Andrew Daddo also paid tribute to the non-profit’s work, saying that there was “nowhere else in the world like Oats Street” when comparing it to his own experiences after his twin brother Jamie acquired a brain injury after being hit by a car at the age of 18.
Also performing at the inaugural Perth’s Longest Lunch were the dynamic all-female string trio Elektra, WAAPA graduate Sophie Foster, The Voice’s Paula Parore and house band Proof.
Brightwater has confirmed that Perth’s Longest Lunch will take place again next year on Friday 20 May 2016.