The Western Chances Good Business Forum 2017 took place on a sunny Melbourne winter’s day on Friday 16 June.
This was our 7th annual Western Chances Good Business Forum and we were thrilled to welcome a record number of guests for yet another inspiring afternoon at Zinc in Federation Square.
The 2017 Good Business Forum luncheon raised over $86,000 to enable Western Chances to provide merit-based scholarships to talented and motivated young people in Melbourne’s west. The money raised at the luncheon goes a long way towards breaking down financial barriers and helping our recipients to achieve their education dreams.
This year’s event gave attendees an insight into the lives of people from all walks of life. Crime writer and journalist John Silvester regaled us with tales from his days at East Preston High School to helping the notorious Mark “Chopper” Read publish his first novel, reflecting that if many of the criminals he met on his travels had only been given an opportunity things may have turned out very differently.
Our other special guest, and a highlight for many, was Dr Garang Dut, an outstanding Western Chances Alumni. Garang spoke of his journey from attending lessons under a tree in a Kenyan Refugee Camp to his imminent studies at Harvard University. Garang’s achievements are astounding and he was generous in his acknowledgment of the role that Western Chances has played in his life. We were honoured to have him make time for us in his busy schedule as he continues his work as a surgical registrar and prepares for his time in the United States.
We also heard from last year’s speaker Selam, who some attendees would have remembered from our 2016 lunch. At the time, Selam was studying Year 12, and this year she was delighted to inform us that, despite many obstacles, she was the dux of her school and had received a prized place studying a Bachelor Science at the University of Melbourne. She also told us that through her connection with Western Chances she was awarded a Mary Jane Lewis scholarship and is a non-residential member of Ormond College.
The fantastic stories from our recipients – past and present – didn’t stop there; as members of STAR (Scholarship Team for Advice and Review) took the stage to let us know about their many and varied achievements.
The day finished with a thrilling live auction (congratulations to the winners who are off to Noosa and the Flemington Races). Congratulations as well to the winners of our raffle prizes – the raffle alone raised over $20,000 so thank you all for your generous support! Thank you also to our event sponsor Netflow for their support of the event.
This year’s event was packed to the rafters with inspiring stories – not to mention people – and we very much look forward to welcoming you all back to the Good Business Forum 2018.
You can view photos from the event here.
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