JDRF’s Australian Galas have had a record-breaking year, surpassing a goal of $1.5m for type 1 diabetes research. The three La Habana events in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth raised a combined total of $1.66m for more promising scientific breakthroughs!

Perth and Melbourne events selling out prior to event night added to the pre-event excitement. On the evenings, the vintage Cuban La Habana theme came alive in each city through Cuban music, food, dance and wonderful venue theming. Many of our guests also incorporated a Havanan flair into their evening finery.

Enjoy some special La Habana highlights from each event:

La Habana Perth
The curtains were pulled back to welcome 658 guests into the dancehalls of Cuba… complete with three dance floors! Fast forward – these quickly overflowed. MC Tim Gossage was on hand to welcome guests and Latin dance champions, Tristan and Ruby, entertained as the opening act. A second wave of Cuban dancers got the guests on their feet and learning to salsa.

JDRF Australia CEO Mike Wilson’s speech wowed, and Fund A Cure guest speaker Desi Augustson had the room hanging on her every word as she shared her story.

La Habana Perth alone raised more than $1 million for life-changing type 1 diabetes research. A record-breaking result for JDRF Galas in Australia.

La Habana Melbourne
More than 360 guests converged on the most beautiful venue – Plaza Ballroom – to enjoy La Habana Melbourne. A sell-out event for the first time in the past five years.

A Caribbean DJ led our amazing volunteers in a conga line through the tables, to encourage guests to take their seats. MC Tom Browne, shared his lived experience of T1D – his sister was diagnosed at just nine months old, and he was diagnosed himself in his early thirties. Enthusiastic auctioneer, Will Fowles, excited the audience and JDRF Australia COO Angela McKay gave a rousing main address.

La Habana Sydney
Beautiful views over Sydney Harbour Bridge on entry set the scene for a glamourous evening at La Habana. Sydney guests were led through the evening by TV’s ever-fabulous MC Rob Palmer, who lives with type 1 diabetes himself, and auctioneer Ed Riley. Moving speeches from Adam Crouch MP, and our own CEO Mike Wilson prompted the generous crowd, while Anvij and Jasmine Saxena tugged on the heartstrings with their moving account of family life with T1D.

JDRF Galas in 2018 received support from the Prime Minister and attendance from MPs and T1D researchers. More than 12,000 guests since 2011 have joined us for Galas, hearing passionate stories about JDRF and type 1 diabetes. These past eight years of Gala events brings us to $10.3m raised for T1D research – an amazing result!

Thank you to all our guests, event partners and supporters, volunteers and speakers. Your wonderful contribution is helping us change lives by driving research progress forward.

A special mention to our event partners and supporters:

Cicero Group, Kmart Australia, Target Australia, Wesfarmers, Australian Capital Equity, Bankwest, EY Australia, Telstra, Woodside, Benz Insulation Services, Deloitte Australia, The Grosvenor Hotel, Hawaiian, Doug & Clare Kerr, McDonalds Melville, Cloudy Bay, Inline Engineering, Macquarie, Wrays, The Event Mill, Grandscene Wedding & Event Hire, AV Partners, Channel 9 Cares, Gage Roads Brewing Co, Posh Designs – Wedding & Event Supplies and Vasse Felix donated by Janet Holmes à Court.

Media Partners, Sound Insurance, Pitliangas Group, The George on Collins, Frankston and Mornington Motor Groups and Technik Construction  

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, The Daily Drop, Genworth, Novo Nordisk, Ottomin Foundation, Savills and Thrifty Bathrooms

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