Set amongst Sydney Harbour with the famous Opera House sails as a backdrop, guests savoured panoramic views whilst enjoying the spectacular light shows of Sydney’s Vivid festival. Television royalty and five-time Gold Logie winner Ray Martin kick started a night of entertainment featuring Cosima De Vito, a familiar name to Australian Idol fans, sharing the stage with Guy Sebastian. The event also had an international flavour with the winner of The Voice Italy, Fabio Curto, flying in to Sydney exclusively for the event. Guests were treated to a sumptuous menu designed by renowned Chef and Restaurateur, Armando Percuoco. Notable guest also included Nicoletta Manni and Timofej Andrijashenko, Principal Dancer of La Scala Ballet.
“As this is our 50th anniversary we wanted to go big. We were delighted to have more than 650 people join us for the 2018 Italian National Ball at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, an iconic venue in the history of Italian migration to Sydney.
“The Italian National Ball is an annual event to launch celebrations for Italian National Day in Sydney and Co.As.It. is honoured to host the event under the auspices of the Embassy of Italy in Canberra, and the Italian Consulate in Sydney,” said Co.As.It. President Lorenzo Fazzini.
The new Italian Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Stefano Gatti, and the Italian Consul General in Sydney, Dott. Arturo Arcano, helped celebrate the evening. The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian Premier of NSW and Mr Luke Foley MP joined the celebrations representing the NSW state government.
Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was present on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcom Turnball MP and the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP represented Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, among distinguished guests that lent their support to this worthy cause.
“The gala ball is a significant fundraiser for Co.As.It. which has been providing services to the Italian community in Sydney for 50 years.
“This year we raised more than $60,000 for the creation of a Dementia Early Intervention Program. Our program will encourage early diagnosis and provide carer support by ensuring that older Italians have the information they need to manage their condition and to access appropriate services.
“We were thrilled that the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian Premier of NSW, pledged $20,000 to this great cause.
“Research shows that early diagnosis can improve the health outcomes of those living with dementia. Our community needs support in understanding dementia, particularly as their first language is often not English. They may view dementia as a normal part of ageing and are less likely to be diagnosed in the early stages.
“Thanks to the generosity of our supporters at this year’s Italian National Ball the program will provide information, assist families with an early diagnosis, and provide support activities for people living with dementia and their carers.
“We thank those who supported this event especially our Gold Sponsors Alfa Romeo, Optus Business Centre Macquarie Park and Doltone House, as well as Silver Sponsor Moretti Ristorante, and Bronze Sponsors Club Italia and LAF.
“We look forward to yearlong celebrations for our 50th anniversary and the continued service to the community as the leading Italian community organisation,” Mr Fazzini said.