On Thursday night I was fortunate enough to attend a gala dinner celebrating the Qantas – Emirates partnership thanks to the kind folk at Qantas’ Digital Communication Team. I’ve never been to a black tie dinner before, so this was a very new experience for me and only the second time in my life that I’ve hired a suit.
The event was held in a Qantas hanger adjacent to Domestic Terminal 3. A huge Qantas A380 occupied half the hanger and was illuminated by patterns of light throughout the night. We were treated to a wonderfully delicious Neil Perry dinner of mezze entree and a succulent lamb and ginger yam mash for dinner. I passed on the tiramisu, not being a lover of coffee, but there were carts serving smooth gelato. While guests were milling around prior to being seated various canapes were served, including “Chicken with Strange Sauce”, which caused a few smiles.
Karl Stefanovic MC’d the event and it was very funny hearing some of the other interviewed guests teasing him about how early in the night he was getting sloshed. Funny in the context of the morning after a certain Logies award night!
There were a number of other celebrities in the audience. John Travolta, Miranda Kerr, a pack of Channel Niners including Richard Wilkins, Peter Overton and Jessica Rowe, an ex-Niner in Kerri-Anne Kennerly, politicians include Gladys Berejiklian and others whose faces I recognised but not the name. I record this for others – I was not really tempted to seek photos and autographs!
Entertainment throughout the night consisted of crimson headed Sarah De Bono and a wonderful telling of the Qantas story, of how they had sought partnerships of equals outside of Australia right from the beginning. There was an amazing act of two people suspended from ropes and performing against a big screen. Then a early childhood Young Talent Time crush of mine, Tina Arena, sang a trio of songs starting with my favourite “Sorrento Moon” and ending with “I still call Australia home,” which had a very audible impact on the Qantas guests.
That was probably what I got most out of the night. A real sense of the love and pride that Qantas staff have for their airline. These people are passionate about aviation and I think that really comes through when you fly with them. I genuinely enjoy my flights with Qantas more than other airlines and it was lovely to share that tonight.