I said it last time and I’ll say it again – the best thing about Animal Works’ Imagine Africa dinners isn’t making loads of money for Zimbabwean anti-poaching, nor is it hanging out with some of Australia’s biggest names in African publishing, or even the chance to win a luxury safari in Africa, although these things ARE absolutely brilliant, and alone are worth coming for. For me, the best thing about last night was the crowd. Talking to people about Africa and sharing stories with people who begin as strangers and by the end of the night become friends, united in a common passion for Africa and its wildlife.
When I first came back from Zimbabwe at the age of 15 I was besotted with Africa, but it was a passion I found hard to communicate because where I lived in regional North Queensland no one really seemed to understand why it had so gotten under my skin. Almost twenty years on, nights like last night remind me that there are more and more Australians who share my love of Africa and who are generous and giving when it comes to doing something to help its wildlife survive. It’s great to have you in my world and supporting Animal Works! Almost $10,000 was raised (again!) through your generous support, all of which will help the anti-poaching teams in Save Valley Conservancy keep fighting for rhinos.
As for what went down on the night, the pictures say it all! Special thanks to our fabulous authors Tony Park, Frank Coates and Ace Bourke for their inspiring words, to Epic Private Journeys for offering us a superb safari to Zimbabwe to raffle, to Nafisa for providing an exquisite elephant artwork for the art competition, to Ripples for fabulous food and service, and finally to our amazing volunteers, Andy Ridley, Shirley Minassian, Tessa Ferguson, Meli Souter and (last minute) Mirinda Thorpe. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did, now I’ll let the pictures do the talking….
But before I go, the very lucky winner of Animal Works’ and Epic Private Journey’s 4 night safari at Little Makololo Camp was a very excited lady by the name of Claire! The surname on the ticket was ‘Winner’ which had us all a bit stumped…. but when she accepted her prize certificate Claire confirmed that she had just put that name down in the hope of actually winning, but it wasn’t her real name! We are pretty sure that Claire’s real surname is Hamblin, so Claire if you’re reading this drop us an email! Thanks to everyone who entered and supported this very important cause and better luck next time!