Thursday 2 November 2017 was a milestone day for CERI as we were officially opened by Acting Prime Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Federal Member for Curtin and Foreign Minister.
It was a time of great excitement and a full house as we celebrated our official opening. Guests included politicians from both sides of parliament, Nedlands Mayor, Max Hipkins and CERI’s network of mentors, presenters, supporters and alumni.
Formalities commenced with traditional Welcome to Country delivered by the very personable Phillip Walley-Stack, followed with speeches by CERI Chair and Founder, Charlie Bass, CEO, Dr Carolyn Williams and CERIan, Dr Sofie De Meyer.
The Hon Julie Bishop then took to the stage where she warmly recounted her original conversations with Charlie about his mission to change the innovation landscape in WA. Ms Bishop recognised Charlie as a true philanthropist and detailed how CERI’s role aligns strongly with the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Ms Bishop acknowledged CERI’s achievements before making the game-changing announcement that the Centre had received full charitable status, with the granting of Deductible Gift Recipient Status due to a special Act of Parliament. Ms Bishop let the 120-plus crowd know this was a rare achievement before eagerly encouraging them to put their hands in their pockets to contribute to such a worthwhile cause.
The formalities culminated in the official opening announcement and unveiling of a plaque, before guests were treated to a Reception catered by Frasers of Kings Park. Music was provided by WAAPA students, Mattie Cameron and Cameron Hayes of Aurora Acoustics and photographer Ben O’Dea captured all the memories.
It was a great night and, in the already great tradition of CERI events, went well beyond the promoted finishing time!
Visit the photo gallery to see more images from the night.