Zoofari Gala 2019: Sydney’s elite gather for glittering VIP event. Find out who’s who in the Zoo!
IT’S THE ELITE SYDNEY FUND RAISER, WITH AN ALL-STAR GUEST LIST BOASTING NAMES LIKE ROS PACKER, JUSTIN HEMMES AND ALAN JONES. NOW IN ITS 19th YEAR, TARONGA’S ANNUAL ZOOFARI GALA HAS BECOME SO EXCLUSIVE YOU NEED TO BE PERSONALLY INVITED - AND PREPARED TO DIG DEEP!
Australia’s rich and famous are heading to Mosman this Friday, for a dinner so exclusive you can only attend if personally summonsed.
Now recognised as one of Sydney’s most glamorous events, the annual Zoofari gala is a spectacular, invitation-only party that’s not open to the public.
A top-secret guest list is carefully chosen over many months, by members of a hand picked organising committee. Led by chair Priscilla Schonell, the group open their little black books and work the phones, to assemble a ‘who’s who’ of Sydney’s elite.
“Zoofari is a fund-raising event like no other and it’s become one of the hottest – and hardest - tickets in town,” Ms. Schonell said.
“This year our target is $500,000, which goes direct to the Taronga Conservation Society and their renewed focus on saving the Koala.
“Our committee spends months choosing a list of prominent Sydney people, who are willing to open their wallets on the night.”
Nine Network Presenter Cameron Williams will take up MC duties at the Friday October 25 event, telling Mosman Collective he’s passionate about Zoofari’s 2019 theme, “Back from the Brink”.
“I’m a boy from the bush, and it’s been very sad to witness the retreat of the Koala from its natural habitat.
“It’s unfathomable to think that we could lose a national icon, and so I’m absolutely thrilled to do my bit as Master of Ceremonies, in an effort to help save our unique and native species.
“We’ll have some fun at Sydney’s best venue and hopefully raise enough money to make a difference.”
Over the course of the evening, 250 guests will pledge their support by bidding at a special live auction for extravagant prizes, including a holiday at Fiji’s ultra-exclusive Tokoriki Island Resort - and a private MasterChef lunch for 10 people.
But for those not in the room, a silent auction is accessible online, with more than $100,000 in prizes up for grabs, thanks to Zoofari’s well-connected committee with some serious pulling-power.
WHO’S WHO IN THE ZOO?
Entrepreneur Tash Sefton, ad exec Dominique Hind, former Vogue Editor Deb Coffey, Sydney journalist Anna Usher and stylist Prue Hawley make up part of the 15 strong Zoofari team, who have secured a treasure trove of donations from prominent Australians, like iconic artist Ken Done and Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe.
“Some of the prizes in the 2019 silent auction are things that money almost can’t buy,” Ms. Schonell says.
“We have holidays, original art, homewares and experiences in all price points and its a great way for the wider community to participate in wildlife conservation.”
Ms. Schonell says glamorous partygoers attending this year’s gala can expect to be immersed in an “enchanting world of unforgettable nature”, which kicks off in Taronga’s elegant new Wildlife Retreat at 6pm on Friday.
“Pre-dinner drinks will be held inside the stunning new Wildlife Retreat, with the added option of staying in one of the deluxe suites, overnight,” Ms. Schonell said.
“It promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”