On January 23, Kontinent Media spent a great evening attending a remarkable international event in Chicago — ANZACC Midwest Australia Day Soirée produced by Event Travel Management. The annual event brings many expats as well as locals with business interests, friends and families, and it all had happened in the spacious Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room, situated at The Art Institute of Chicago. The evening started with an elegant VIP Cocktail Reception on the balcony. Among the many notable attendees there was Australian Consul-General Michael Wood, and members of the host committee — The Board of the Australian New Zealand American Chamber of Commerce — Shannon Roy, ANZACC Midwest President, and Judy Fitzgerald, ANZACC Midwest Vice President. As more guests arrived, Australian and American National Anthems were sung, and the party has moved to the main floor. Emily Berman, Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships and Global Affairs at the Mayor’s Office, attended and read a greeting from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Australia-US Midwest Awards for Outstanding Achievement were presented by the Consul-General to Richard McCoy, Public Works Director and City Engineer for the City of Robbinsdale in Minnesota, and to Randy Toss, Executive Vice President and Director for SmartVet Holdings. After the presentations, guests socialized, enjoyed Australian-themed food, and later concluded the evening by dancing to the beats of DJ RJ Pickens. Also, the raffle was drawn, with many prizes, among which there were two roundtrip airfares to Australia. Organizers note that altogether 180 sponsors, partners and guests from the Australian community in Chicagoland and the Midwest raised $4,000 to benefit UNICEF’s work with children of the world.
Australian Consul-General Michael Wood remarked that Chicago Consulate serves eleven states in the Midwest; Australian business is attracted here for its innovation as well as versatility and investment. We were reminded that the Australian economy has a significant agricultural sector, and also exports fuel and mining products. As with other modern countries, the services sector is the largest part of the Australian economy, accounting for around three-quarters of gross domestic product and four out of five jobs. Also remarkable, Australia has around ten percent of the world’s biodiversity, with many animals and plants that are unique to the fifth continent.
We congratulate our friends on Australia Day and wish them health and prosperity in the coming year.
S Telis, L Mogul for Kontinent Media
Photos by Larisa Pevtsova