Musical powerhouse and ARIA award-winning artist, Dan Sultan, will rock the stage to raise money and awareness for the education of Indigenous students, at the Bond University Indigenous Gala on Friday, 3 November.
The event, which has raised more than $1.35 million towards Indigenous scholarships since its inception in 2010, has become a keenly-anticipated staple on the Gold Coast social calendar.
Bond University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Pathways and Partnerships, Catherine O'Sullivan said this year's Gala was fast nearing sell-out, with more than 500 tickets sold and musician Dan Sultan proving to be a strong drawcard.
"Along with performing his music, Dan will be sharing his inspiring journey and discussing what being an Indigenous Australian means to him," she said.
"Those who attend will also have the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of young Indigenous students by bidding on a number of unique art items, while enjoying a stunning gourmet meal and beverages.
"In recent years, we have had a strong crowd including some of the Gold Coast's business elite, so the event is also a fantastic networking opportunity and chance to have a great night out in support of an important cause."
As part of the celebrations, Bond University is bringing together community leaders from across Australia to attend a 'think tank' on improving Indigenous pathways to higher education.
Ms O'Sullivan said the roundtable discussion, to be held on the day of the Gala, would help build on strategies to support the best and brightest from rural and remote Indigenous communities to achieve a university degree.
She said providing pathways to higher education, along with the right support networks, could be transformative for Indigenous students.
"The discussion will have a particular focus on how best to transition students from school to university and into the workforce," she said.
"The leaders involved - who cross the spectrum of regional government, schools and communities - will travel from as far as Torres Strait Islands and Lockhart River to join the discussion and share their experiences and insights on how the current support systems can be improved."
Ms O'Sullivan said higher education was the key to empowering Indigenous communities.
"The Bond University Indigenous Scholarship program has already helped to change the course of many young Indigenous students' lives," she said.
"While these students have the drive and ambition to succeed, they often come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so achieving a scholarship helps to level the playing field by giving them access to a whole range of new opportunities.
"At Bond, we believe all young Australians deserve access to higher education and we are proud to help provide the best and brightest students with the chance to forge a successful future."
In 2010, under the patronage of Dr Patrick Corrigan AM, the Bond University Indigenous Gala was introduced as an art auction, with the intention of raising money for Indigenous student scholarships, grants and support. Since then, the event has continued to grow year-on-year to become a much grander, and broader celebration.
This year's Gala will be held at the Bond University Sports Hall on Friday, 3 November, with pre-dinner drinks kicking off at 6pm.
Tickets are $230 per person on $2,300 for a table of 10, with event sponsorship, which includes a branded table, available for $4,700.