The Guest House at the Park Hyatt Sydney was bathed in morning sunshine, as guests arrived to our spectacular harbourside venue for the 2022 Mother’s Day Breakfast, supported by The Abouhaidar family and Secure Agility.
A combination of new and very familiar faces began to fill the room, while the beautiful tones of the uber talented Jarrad Sapsford and Marc Chami embraced each guest as they arrived.
Guest host for the morning was to be fabulous Melissa Hoyer, despite her best efforts, was very unwell the night before, and therefore unable to join us. Her co-host Mitchell Rice-Brading went solo and took the event in his stride, delivering a very professional finished result, and delighting our guests once more with his humour, sensitivity and the ability to think on his feet.
Breakfast canapes consisting of a selection of organic yoghurt & granola cereal shots with berries, anti-oxidant smoothie shots, navette bread, tomato & mozzarella di Buffala and fresh basil, smoked salmon and horseradish cream, charcoal and sesame bun, Croque croissant, smoked ham & Emmental cheese, scrambled eggs, sour dough crumble were served.
During the breakfast service our guests were treated to a highlight performance from our young musicians, of Ed Sheeran’s Visiting Hours. Jarrad and Marc have performed from our first breakfast, and have put their hand up each year to continue the tradition. This year Marc, a medical student at UNSW was forced to leave early for hospital rounds which illustrates the level of commitment these young men have to this event each year.
Keynote speaker, Elizabeth Egan then took to the podium and delivered a heartfelt and raw account of Mother’s Day without her precious daughter Anya, taken at nineteen with osteosarcoma. Liz embodies the courage and poise of the remarkable woman she is, and her words at the Mother’s Day event were as impactful as they were heartbreaking. There was silence in the room as Liz eloquently imparted to our guests, the unimaginable tragedy of losing her daughter Anya at age nineteen, and bravely outlining the driving force of what lies ahead for the family in the wake of Anya’s passing.
Liz and her partner Will Winters, and their children Alex, Annie, Alice and Hugh, have founded the 19 for Nineteen challenge to raise funds for osteosarcoma specific research under the auspices of Dr Emmy Fleuren at the CCIA. Details for donations and how to participate can be found at https://www.tourderocks.com.au/19-for-19
Liz’s poignant speech was followed by “A Caring Life” panel hosted by Nine media personality and the most personable man in Australian television, Peter Overton, AM. “A Caring Life” is the title of CRBF Director, Keith Cox’s memoirs which was released two weeks ago. The panellists reflected facets of Keith’s outstanding professional and personal life, where he has devoted himself to serving the community as a cancer nurse practitioner for almost 50 years. The Hon Bronnie Taylor, MLC, Gail O’Brien OA, Fiona Jekki-Kordahi and Juliette O’Brien joined Keith and Peter in the discussion which added further context to the book itself. Each of these people played a significant part in Keith’s professional and private life, and the fireside chat was lively, informative and at times very funny.
The raffle concluded proceedings, which saw the very popular and much loved osteosarcoma survivor 15 year old Molly Croft team with the Hon Bronnie Taylor, MLC to draw the winning ticket(s). Esther Heathcote took out the major prize which was an original piece of art from renowned Aboriginal artist, Kylie Tarleton. The painting depicted a cockatoo, which Esther shared with us are frequently seen on her country property, where the artwork will hang.
We are so deeply grateful to our donors and sponsors for the event, Secure Agility, Park Hyatt Sydney, Taylors Wines, Manning on the Mansfield and the Gibson family, Mr Phillip Fikkers – Macleay St Bistro, Kylie Tarleton, du Moulin Gallery and Fine Frames, Lord and Lion, Lindt Chocolates, Cristina Re, Cellini, L’Occitane, Koala Eco, Victor Churchill, The Woollahra Bookshop, Parterre, Luxury Getaways and Tilley Soaps Australia. Without your profound generosity, this event would not be possible.
As always, this event is possible because of the team behind it. Robin Todd, Kate Longden, Dr Mariana Sousa, Gloria Gapes, Esther Heathcote, Martin Rossleigh and Colin Brading all worked so hard during and prior to the event, to ensure its success.
Special thanks to the team at the Park Hyatt Sydney, and in particular Aoife Burns, Brandon Colby, Christine Haddad, and Tara Lau for their ongoing assistance and professionalism over past months.
Finally, these events are reliant on the generosity and attendance of our wonderful, and very loyal supporters. We will look forward to seeing you all again next year.