Up-and-coming musical powerhouse, Michael Tuahine, and a special guest panel of 'change makers' will headline the annual Bond University Indigenous Gala on Friday, November 16, which is expected to attract more than 500 leading business identities and locals.
Now in its ninth year, the Gala celebrates Indigenous culture and student achievements, while shining a light on - and raising funds for - the education of the next generation of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.
To date, the Bond University Indigenous Gala has raised more than $1.7 million towards Indigenous scholarships, while becoming a key date on the Gold Coast social calendar.
This year's special guest panel of 'change makers' will include Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher, Torres Strait Island Councillor Fraser Nai, Bond University Indigenous Cultural support officer and celebrated artist Narelle Urquhart and Walking with Wisdom managing director Jeremy Donovan, who will discuss the importance of educating young Indigenous Australians to create social change.
Bond University student Rekisha Satour will emcee the night with Jeremy Donovan and share her story of moving from her community in Darwin to Western Australia for her secondary education, before shifting across the country to the Gold Coast to study a Bachelor of Psychological Science as a Bond University Indigenous scholar.
Acclaimed musical theatre performer and actor, Michael Tuahine and his band will cap off the night with covers of Australian classics. The NIDA graduate, who has starred in numerous TV series and movies, has been honoured by the Deadly Awards, Rolling Stone Magazine and NAIDOC Awards for Most Promising New Talent.
Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Tim Brailsford said the Gold Coast community had warmly embraced the annual Gala.
"It is great to see so many locals and members of our business community come together to help raise funds for Indigenous students and to celebrate their achievements," he said.
"Four years ago we had to move the Gala to a bigger venue to accommodate more guests and with only a handful of tickets remaining, this year is looking set to be another sell-out.
"We are privileged to have an Indigenous role model like Michael Tuahine perform on the night, and I'm sure those who have not had the pleasure of hearing his music before will be extremely impressed."
The inaugural Gala event was first held in 2010, under the patronage of Dr Patrick Corrigan AM, as an art auction, with the intention of raising money for Indigenous student scholarships, grants and support. It has evolved into today's celebration of Indigenous culture featuring high-profile Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and entertainers, as well as past and present Indigenous students and Gold Coast business and cultural identities.
The cocktail style event will be held in the Bond University Sports Hall on Friday, November 16, with pre-dinner drinks served from 6pm for a 7pm start. Visit Indigenous Gala for further information and to purchase tickets.