This year’s Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend Gala Dinner saw Crown’s Palladium transform into an exotic wonderland that welcomed more than 1,600 of Melbourne’s finest senoritas. Inspired by the bold and vibrant colours of traditional, Mexican folk art, Diamonds 2019 was indeed a fiesta for the ages.

A majestic display of handcrafted floral centrepieces ornated every table and set the tone for the night. Oranges, pinks, reds, purples, and yellows – a vast array of shades lit up the room and shone with their conviction. The fiesta may have been our theme, but the flower was our message.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”  – The Emperor, Mulan

Diamonds is about celebrating all our flowers that have triumphantly bloomed in the face of adversity – the women who weaved thorns into roses and found light in their darkness. These are our Challenge women and not just our mums living with a child with cancer, but also the women who help these mums along their journey.

Indeed, the night was a celebration and a big one at that. The charismatic Kris Smith and talented Georgia Love hosted the event with grand success, keeping us entertained and engaged all night; Chef Kelly tantalised our taste buds with dishes of pure indulgence; and Transit Dance and Velvet Corporation set the stage alight and kept people dancing on their feet all night long.

The Diamonds stage was also graced by one of Australia’s most dynamic, irresistibly catchy and hottest live bands – The Chantoozies! A household name thanks to a string of hits such as ‘Witch Queen’ and ‘Wanna Be Up’, the female pop group had us singing, dancing and partying from the outset of their performance.

However, amidst all the fun and excitement, a diamond appeared in the velvet night –Wendy Nankervis, our 2019 Diamond of the Year.

Wendy first became a part of the Challenge family in the early 1990s as a volunteer. From assisting on camps to organising details around event administration, Wendy has always been willing to lend a helping hand when needed. Over this time, Wendy has taken on a major role within our events team and is in fact, an integral member of the Diamonds Committee. She organises the bookings, donates auction items, and provides her valuable advice and wisdom – all which go a long way in not only reducing the financial costs associated with event management, but also in ensuring these events run as smoothly as possible.

Wendy, congratulations and thank you for everything you for Challenge. Your heart and diligence make you a most worthy recipient of this huge honour and we are so grateful for your endless generosity and support.

Secondary congratulations are also due to our raffle winner, Rebecca Lenarcic, who went home with an 18ct white gold diamond tennis bracelet thanks to Sol’s Diamonds. Well done and enjoy your sparkling gift!

Overall, the event was an enormous success, but would not have been possible without the help of many individuals and organisations – most especially our amazing WFC Committee, who are the masterminds behind this fiesta with a cause.

Thank you to our incredible guest speakers Lauren and Kate Krelshem and to all our guests in general, who managed to dig deep and support our live and silent auctions. The aim of the night is to help our Challenge mums continue blossoming through their adversity, and without your support, we would not be able to do this.

To our presenting sponsor, Bed, Bath N’ Table, event partners Crown and Encore Event Technology, along with all our supporting sponsors – Sol’s Diamonds, Seppelt, Jayco, APT, Heritage Fine Chocolates, Green Event, ShowFX, and Active Draping – we thank you very much. We would also like to acknowledge and thank our print and design sponsors MKTG and Impact Digital; our Diamonds Beauty Bar sponsors Masci Hair and Spa and Elly Lukas; and our wonderful entertainment provided by Velvet Corporation, the Chantoozies and Transit Dance. And also a big thank you to Andrew Hobbs Photography, who helped capture the magic of the night! Without the support and input of all these incredible sponsors, Diamonds would not be considered the prestigious event it is today, and we are so grateful for their support.

Finally, a hearty thanks to our AMAZING volunteers! The time, heart, and energy you invest into ensuring this event is as wonderful as it can be is unparalleled and we are so appreciative of all that you do.

We hope you all had an amazing night and look forward to seeing what Diamonds 2020 brings.