29 September,2014

Grand Final Comedy Debate


On Thursday 25th September, during the final week of footy fever for the season, a number of mostly female Colonial Leisure Group employees had a fabulous day out at the Grand Final Comedy Debate. Organised by Essendon Football Club’s Womens Network, the Comedy Debate is the annual premier AFL endorsed event for women during Grand Final week, held in the opulent Crown Palladium within Melbourne’s Crown Casino. This year, CLG’s Orpheus was one of the major sponsors of the event, and so representation on behalf of the island resort was an important task!

Guests in some glorious get-ups entered via a bright pink carpet – forget the Brownlows – among the fashions spotted were pink bow ties, a multitude of coral hues (a Spring favourite), a few outfits that made called into question the dresscode of ‘business attire’ and one woman in an outrageously cool magenta trouser suit – head to toe pink!

Over 80% of the attendants were women, and together they applauded an emotional performance from the stars of Les Miserables to kick off the lunch, before going straight into the nominees for the day’s award categories. The Emerging Leader Award was bestowed upon the inspiring Nadine Rabah, and the coveted Football Woman of the Year Award was awarded to Peta Searle, the first female to coach in the VFL. The crowd just loved Barbara ‘Barb’ Datson, winner of the ‘Heart and Soul’ award and President of the Angels of St Kilda Football Club – of which she has been a volunteer for almost two decades. Barb told the crowd that washing the players’ uniforms after practise was ‘a bit pongy, but it’s good!’ Now that’s dedication.

Orpheus’ Head Chef Ari Prabowo designed the lunch menu for the event, which was a great highlight. There were a few phones out snapping pics of the incredible dessert – a ravioli of mango puree held together with wafer thin pieces of pineapple, accompanied by a superb fermented rice sorbet and a heavenly coconut crumble.

The event featured a charity auction with proceeds going to the Bully Zero Australia Foundation, and one of the main auction items was an Orpheus Island Getaway. There was no shortage of photo ops for guests either, with Miss Universe Australia and the Grand Final Cup itself in attendance!

A few WolfBlass wines later and the room enjoyed a few chuckles (and some belly laughs) during the main event – the Comedy Debate – featuring outstanding Australian comedians Dave Hughes, Justin Hamilton, Michael Chamberlain, Kate McLennan, Anne Edmonds and Sam Pang, moderated by Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann. The point being argued was ‘that technology killed the footy star, we can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far’ and according to the clap-o-meter, the negative team won. Some credit for the win might go to Anne Edmonds for being the only Essendon supporter on stage – but that’s just speculation, of course!