The final Boardroom lunch of the year was held in Sydney on 18 October. Our generous hosts were Morgan Stanley who kindly opened the doors of their magnificent boardroom for us, providing stunning views over the Botanic Gardens and Farm Cove towards the Eastern Suburbs.
The lunch was attended by over 50 guests who were seated at 8 tables names after the 7 core principles of Red Cross, namely humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. The final table was named Sororum, Latin for sisterhood and also the name of our regular SWL publication.
Mark Burmeister of Morgan Stanley warmly welcomed us all to the lunch and Anita Pahor introduced our guest speaker, Judy Slatyer, CEO of Australian Red Cross, all the way from Melbourne. Judy’s eye opening talk centred on how technology will change how we can support the marginalised members of our society. Think of the homeless, unable to register for social support services because they lack a residential address. With blockchain technology, details of their identity can be available at a press of a smartphone button and a QR code. We learnt from Judy that blockchain technology has the potential to solve the issue of secure data sharing and will be used to benefit the most vulnerable in our community.
Following Judy’s talk, SWL Chair, Anita Pahor, described how SWL operates for the benefit of those present who were not members of SWL. She also spoke about the generosity of our members, many of whom give over and above the annual membership fee through donations, special events or by simply giving their time. Remember we are a volunteer group, run by volunteers.
A raffle was run at $200 a ticket with the prize of a $5,000 Paspaley voucher waiting for the lucky winner. Chair of our Events committee, Kerry-Anne Johnston, told us that a policy had been agreed that if a member wins a prize at an SWL event they she must keep it and not feel obliged to re-gift it back to SWL for it to be used again. Evidently the Paspaley voucher has been doing the rounds for 2 years and it was good to see it finally find a recipient! Almost $14,000 was raised by the raffle.
The absolute high point of the lunch was celebrating brand new member Anne Spencer’s decision - at the lunch itself! - to join our group with Row McGilvray presenting her with her new Red Cross Tiffany bracelet. And immediately following the lunch, Nici McCaroll also confirmed her membership. We are delighted to welcome both these champions of philanthropy to the SWL giving circle.
Very special thanks to our member Row McGilvray for all her hard work in arranging this special event. We are also especially grateful to Morgan Stanley for their support of our group and their willingness to host us so wonderfully.