A Taste of the High Life on the High Seas

It is an idyllic April evening cruising in the Gulf St Vincent and I am enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience “steering” for a nonasecond, the multi-million dollar boat owned by renowned housing developer Gordon Pickard of Fairmont Homes fame.

I am one of 13 women invited aboard for a special fund-raising think-tank for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.  Our host is dynamic Christina Angus, the new events and partnerships manager for the WCH Foundation – the official charity of the hospital.

Our captain of the triple-level cruiser named Triple 888 is retired businessman Colin McLeod, a close friend of Gordon Picard. He has the enviable task of cruising around the gulf for three hours while we 13 women sip wonderful French champagne and nibble on morsels prepared by Chris Jarmer of Air Restaurant.

Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch, nor as it turns out a free cruise and the inimitible Christina picks our brains for ideas to raise funds for “freshening the ward for adolescents” at the hospital. She proudly adds the WCH isthe only hospital in Australia with a ward for teenagers.

“About 250,000 kids and mums come to the hospital each year and 5000 babies are born,” says Christina, who was formerly the fund-raising guru for Guide Dogs forthe Blind for a decade.

She presents a list of needs including maisoneettes for the palliative care section of the hospital and  research for new treatments.

“Children with cystic fibrosis did not live beyond their teens not so long ago, but now they can live into their 30’s,” she adds.

Eminent women, of a wide age range, include accountant Julianne Parkinson, who heads up the philanthropic activities of Ernst and Young, Mary-Anne O’Leary, Adelaide Festival Centre’s marketing and corporate relations manager, Kelly Baker-Jamieson, Edible Blooms managing director and social media whiz, Kelly Noble of GlamDigital.

Many years have passed since I headed up the Mrs South Australia quest, raising funds for the Crippled Children’s Association, but I remember the big successes we had in raising funds for disabled children. Cassandra Young of Foster Hill PR and Marketing has a far more recent success to impart. She spear-headed a big telephone campaign last year to raise $200,000 for the Queensland Flood Appeal in two weeks.

There is a saying if you want something done, ask a busy person which is clearly why self-employed movers and shakers such as Tanya Cole, managing director of NannySA,  Melanie Flintoft, the design director of Australian Fashion Labels Pty Ltd and renowned artist Marie Jonsson-Harrison were aboard.

Christina thoughtfully stops our meeting to allow us to wonder at the brilliant sunset lighting up the horizon in brilliant crimsons and golds, and as the light leached from the sky,  Adelaide’s shoreline shines in lights right along to the Hallett Cove oil refinery.

(Left) Myself, Marie Jonsson-Harrison and Mary-Anne O'Leary.

It is a heavenly evening giving us all a taste of the high life of Monte Carlo, Nice or St Tropez in France, where such craft are cheek-by-jowl in kilometre-long harbours.  However, as we glide into Holdfast Shores marina once more, put on our shoes and  step off we take with us an inspiring perspective of our beautiful city, set on St Vincent’s Gulf with the Mt Lofty Ranges behind, neatly containing its sprawl of suburbs.







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