Happy Lamb Day… I mean, Happy Australia Day!

I declared myself a vegetarian when I was nine. It all stemmed from a bad case of food poisoning. I was convinced the cause was ‘bad meat’, so went off it for a bit. Then I decided it was ‘cool’ to tell everyone I was a vegetarian. Which led to much scoffing and disbelief – especially from my older brothers. Determined to prove them wrong, I stuck to my guns and didn’t eat the stuff till I moved out of home into a shared house NINE YEARS LATER where it was easier to feast with the tribe.

Australia Day Lamb Dinner at Breezes, Crown

Australia Day Lamb Dinner at Breezes, Crown              (photo by Michael Tan)

Truth be told, I’d been craving red meat all those years I lived at home. BBQs were hell. I secretly salivated over the aroma, wishing I’d never been so loud with my vegetarian boast. These days I don’t need to pretend anymore, so was delighted to be invited to the annual Australia Day Dinner hosted by the nation’s lamb ambassador, the inimitable Sam Kekovich.


Being a balmy evening, the crowd gathered in the courtyard to soak up some Aussie sun, sipping pre-dinner drinks and devouring lamb nibbles before being invited into the marquee. Here are a few of the lucky ones invited along:

The host, Sam Kekovich, caught up with Amber Petty

Of COURSE, the host, Sam Kekovich was there and caught up with one of the guests, Amber Petty

Paige and Stephen Quartermain

Paige and Stephen Quartermain









Donna Demaio and Michael Wooldridge

Donna Demaio and Michael Wooldridge

Alyce PLatt and Ally Fowler

Alyce Platt and Ally Fowler










Luke Dennehy and friend

Luke Dennehy and Kirra Bothwell

Vicki Paulin with Gerard with Kathy Doherty

Vicki Paulin with Gerard with Kathy Doherty (photo by Michael Tan)









Kate Neilson and Michele Phyman

Magali and Brad Nonnenmacher

Magali and Brad Nonnenmacher (photo by Michael Tan)



Guests were then ushered into a beautifully decked out marquee, lined with Aussie flags. Sam’s voice could be heard above all, welcoming his special guests and telling everyone how he’d cut short his holiday in New York to make sure he could be at the dinner. It couldn’t be an official lamb occasion without the man – he’s been the face of Aussie lamb for years – known for his signature rants and politically incorrect sense of humour.

The Australia Day Lamb Dinner

The Australia Day Lamb Dinner

Not long into the function Sam introduced his latest lamb campaign – LAMBNESIA. He’s calling on all Australians to take the test and see how ‘Australian’ you really are. Just click on to the Lamnesia website at http://lambnesia.com.au to take the test – it only takes a minute or two and is a bit of fun.

There were games to be had on the night too – ‘Celebrity Head’ where ‘real’ celebrity guests were invited on to the stage and take part – Stephen Quartermain one of the quickest to spot his alter ego was none other than our Grand-Dame Edna Everage.

Playing 'Celebrity Head'

Playing ‘Celebrity Head’ (photo by Michael Tan)

Guests enjoyed a fabulous feast – the entree of lamb ravioli was particularly scrumptious – washed down with some fine wine, supplied by d’Arenberg.

d'Arenberg Shiraz

d’Arenberg Shiraz


Although normally a chardonnay fan, I found the Shiraz complimented the lamb perfectly. And if you peer closely enough through the glass, you can see the little fella on the other side that I took home as my souvenir from a highly entertaining evening. Happy Australia Day!


(p.s. Yes, I KNOW Australia Day is in 3 days time – just kicking off festivities early!)


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