After an evening of downpours, the clouds parted as the who’s who of Sydney’s philanthropic community descended on Justin Hemmes’ Vaucluse mansion, The Hermitage, to dig deep for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.
Celebrities, rich-listers, socialites and corporate high-flyers were dressed in 1970s glamour for the haute Boheme-themed Silver Party.
The well-heeled crowd that dropped $800 to attend the social and charity event of the season weren’t shy about daring to bare.
Guests including ‘Aussie John’ and wife Amber Symond, Camilla Freeman-Topper, Scott and Alina Barlow and Pip Edwards flashed skin, donned turbans, rocked layers of gold jewellery and had no qualms socialising barefoot (there was a ‘no high heel’ policy).
No expense was spared by the host with most – Justin Hemmes, whose hospitality group Merivale – led by chef Jordan Toft – treated guests to an unforgettable menu of roving canapés and caviar ‘bump’ station.
A naked tee-pee created for the event staged performances by Phat brass band, Hot Dub Time Machine and DJ Paul Mac.
Radio funnyman Michael “Wippa” Wipfli hosted the evening’s proceedings as guests enjoyed free-flowing champagne and martini twists.
Eastern suburbs auctioneer Damien Cooley ran a live auction with pledges starting at $150,000 – and Australia’s richest person, billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart, kicked off proceedings. Liberal MP Teena McQueen quickly doubled the pledge to $300,000 for the children’s cancer centre.