After being cancelled for the last two years due to COVID, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science Foundation recently hosted the Gala Emerald Dinner at the Sergeants Mess.

This year’s event attracted many new faces together with our usual local loyal Mosman supporters. It was a great success with capacity attendance and a very well received presentation by Stan Grant. Ready to give generously, guests snapped up the auction prizes and donations flowed toward the Foundation’s Impact Fund that supports the essential research at SIMS.

The highlight of the night was the spirited bidding for long term and generous supporter Aurora Expeditions’ prize of a life-changing voyage for two on their soon to be launched new vessel, the Sylvia Earle. After selling for a record price to Jill (Presdient, Headland Preservation Group) and Tim L’Estrange, Aurora donated a second voyage on the spot and it sold straight away to another eager buyer – none other than Professor Peter Steinberg, our former Director & CEO!

A special thank you to Taylors Wines who donated a major auction prize and all the superb wines served at the dinner. Other prizes included a private viewing of ‘Titanic’ footage at the Australian National Maritime Museum, a painting by the legendary shark expert Valerie Taylor and a sleepover for two at Taronga’s Wildlife Retreat.

100% of the money raised goes to help enable SIMS’ world-class research to continue and to conserve our marine environment for future generations. We have long been committed to Ocean Health through innovative solutions focussed on restoring and rehabilitating our marine ecosystems, and in this, the UN Decade of Ocean Science, we’re intensifying that commitment to secure the future health of our oceans and the wellbeing of the people that work in and depend on them. By connecting ocean health to human health our research enables us to also build understanding, curiosity, and connection with our ocean through our education programs with the young, or our engagement with community.

Early estimates put the total raised at over $150,000 – an outstanding result which thrilled the SIMS Foundation board, SIMS researchers and the organisers. A huge thank you to all of our amazing prize donors – the success this event and of our organisation would not be possible without you. We are so deeply grateful to our generous community of supporters who make our work possible and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event!