As Australia’s Olympic team prepares for the start of the London Games, the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre is already in a winning spirit after hosting a spectacular farewell fundraising dinner for the Australian Olympic Committee.
Held recently in the Grand Hall, the farewell dinner provided athletes with a final taste of Australia before their departure, with animated Olympic sport pictograms superimposed over images of Australian scenery and projected on giant extra wide format screens around the room.
The dinner, held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre hosted almost 700 guests including past and future Olympians.
Almost 700 people attended the dinner, including 80 future and past Olympians such as 2012 swimming contestant Jadyn Hadler and Sydney 2000 Games swimming medal winner Geoff Huegill.
Guests enjoyed entertainment from a cast of well-known Australian musicians including Christine Anu and Iva Davies while inspirational presentations were delivered by sporting greats including cricketer Steve Waugh and surfer Layne Beachley.
For the Centre, the event continued a successful relationship first established in 1993, when the venue was the backdrop for an AOC dinner the night Sydney was selected as the 2000 Games host city.
Centre Chief Executive Ton van Amerongen said it was enormously satisfying for the Centre to host a series of significant events for a high-profile organisation like the AOC.
“Through our relationship with the AOC, we’ve been welcoming some of the country’s top athletes and sporting organisers through our doors for almost 20 years, so it was wonderful to farewell Australia’s best as they head to London for the 2012 Games,” he said.
The event director for the AOC evening, Andy Webster, said the dinner was “an outstanding night and a great success”.
“Once again we were able to work closely with the Centre’s audio visual team to create a great production – the big screens, the staging and the lighting were all first class. There was a very intimate feel to the night so it was really special,” Webster said.