Emerald Ball through the years

From its humble beginnings, The St Patrick’s Day Charity Ball and Auction began in 1999 as a dream of Kids Rehab dedicated parents, patients, staff, parents, friends and volunteers of the hospital. The first event was held on Saturday 11th March 2000 at Sheraton on the Park, in Sydney and raised approximately $50K.

The primary purpose of the event was to raise much needed funds for new treatments for children with Cerebral Palsy. There are three types of treatments that funds are raised for including;

  • Botulinum Toxin (Botox®)
  • Baclofen Pumps
  • Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR)

This began a journey for staff, volunteers, and committee members who have turned this dream into an annual sell-out gala event that has since raised funds in excess of $11 million for Kids Rehab.

In 2009 the organising committee decided to change the name of the event from St Patrick’s Day Charity Ball and Auction to the ‘Emerald Ball’. This name change allowed the committee to be more flexible as to what time of the year to host the event. The chosen month of ‘May’ has been a key element to the success of the event today!

Our founding committee members are:

  • Dr Stephen O’Flaherty (Former Head, Kids Rehab)
  • Michelle DeCeglie
  • Jeannie Auty
  • Susie Stoker
  • Nonie Ayling
  • George Georgas
  • Lynn McCartney

We currently have an active and dedicated organising committee who are working together to secure sponsors, sell tickets and secure some amazing prizes for the live and silent auctions. The committee members include:

  • Dr Simon Paget (Medical Director, Kids Rehab)
  • Tess Assaad (Event Manager)
  • Sami Lukis (Patron)
  • Dr Stephen O’Flaherty (Founder)
  • Nonie Ayling
  • Suzan Griffin
  • Lynn McCartney
  • Dr Mary-Clare Waugh
  • Malcolm Holden
  • Jacqui Wisemantel
  • Phoebe Jackson
  • Daniel Bergan
  • Peter Grayson
  • Toby Llewellyn
  • Melita Misoni

Jimmy Barnes & Family

Jimmy Barnes first performed in 2005 at the Emerald Ball and his presence captured headlines in the media right around the country. The rock legends involvement with the Emerald Ball has unequivocally had a monumental impact to the success of the event which has helped raise over $11 million in revenue and achieve sell-out status for the past 15 years. The Emerald Ball is an event close to Jimmy and Jane’s heart as their youngest daughter Elly-May, was born with mild cerebral palsy in her right leg. Elly-May was a patient of Kids Rehab at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead receiving therapy, treatment and surgery to assist her with management of her CP since the age of 15 years.

Jimmy and Jane have continued to support the event for the past 17 years……..well after Elly-May transitioned from the kids hospital to the adult hospital. In 2013, the Barnes family were awarded ‘Benefactors’ of the hospital for their outstanding contribution to the Emerald Ball, Kids Rehab and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. It is undeniable their participation in every Emerald Ball has helped the event reach new heights and become one of the most successful charity events in Australia.

Australian Events Awards

The Australian Event Awards is the pinnacle awards program for the events industry in Australia.  It is the only opportunity for Australian events and event organisers to be acknowledged on a even level playing field, across the entire national events industry. In 2011, 2015 and 2018, the Emerald Ball was one of four 'National Finalist’s' at the Australian Event Awards for 'Best Charity or Cause Related Event' and was the awarded NSW State Winner for 'Best Charity or Cause Related Event' in 2015 & 2018!

Past 'Special Guests'

The Patron and MC (since inception) of the Emerald Ball is Ms Sami Lukis. Sami has been a strong supporter and advocate for the department over the last 23 years and is one of the key elements to the success of the event on the night. The popularity and success of the event continues to grow each year with appearances from special guests such as:

  • Sami Lukis
  • Jimmy Barnes
  • Ian Moss
  • Kim Watkins
  • Ben Darwin
  • Adam Hills
  • Jeff Fenech
  • Lisa Ho
  • Danny Weidler
  • Jason Hodges
  • George Gregan
  • Charlotte Dawson
  • Nicholas Westaway
  • Suze DeMarchi
  • Luke Ricketson
  • Kate Waterhouse
  • Jane Fleming
  • Chris Joannou
  • Ben Fordham
  • Jodie Spears
  • Andrew O’Keefe
  • Ada Nicademou
  • Justin Melvey
  • Salvatore Coco
  • Lynn McGranger
  • Brett Lee
  • Jon Stevens
  • Jodhi Meares
  • Vince Sorrenti
  • Tom Gleeson
  • Tommy Little
  • Alex Lloyd
  • Diesel
  • David Campbell
  • Mahalia Barnes
  • Reece Mastin


The Emerald Ball prides itself in providing first class entertainment each year. Some of the hottest acts in the country have performed at the Emerald Ball including:

  • Jimmy Barnes
  • Ian Moss
  • David Campbell
  • Diesel
  • Kasey Chambers
  • Damien Leith
  • GangGajang
  • Justice Crew
  • Adam Hills
  • Jon Stevens
  • Tom Gleeson
  • Tommy Little
  • Jimeoin
  • Daryl Braithwaite
  • Claire Hooper
  • Alex Lloyd
  • Vince Sorrenti
  • Matt Hollywood
  • Darren Carr
  • Gary Eck
  • Martini Club
  • Masterpiece
  • Rhythm on Tap
  • Tall Pop Syndrome
  • The John Field Band

Raffle Prizes

All raffles prizes on the night are kindly donated by sponsors of the event. This will include anything from winning a brand new Subaru XV, thanks to our major sponsor McGrath Subaru Liverpool, amazing holidays and dinners at some of Sydney's hottest restaurants. The cost of a ticket is $50 each and is only sold on the night of the event.

Live Auction

The Live Auction plays a vital role in how we raise funds on the night. An Auctioneer is presented on stage and he or she will conduct the Auction. All prizes listed in the program have been kindly donated by our sponsors, hence all moneys raised from the auction is 'pure profit'. The successful bidder will be asked to fill out a form immediately after the hammer falls down on his or her bid and are able to collect their prize once payment has been processed.

Silent Auction

The silent auction items will be displayed in the foyer just outside the ballroom. The Emerald Ball has adopted the 'Givergy' electronic bidding system which has been a proven success in past auctions. All bids are made via a tablet or your smart phone which can be found on all tables in the ballroom. An announcement of the silent auction closure is usually made after the raffle is drawn. This is followed by a 5 minute wind down clock allowing guests an opportunity to place their final bids. Once the silent auction is closed, the winning names and final bids will be listed on the projector screens in the ballroom and will also be notified via SMS on their smart phone. The successful bidders will be able to collect their prizes once payment has been received. If you are a successful bidder but have left the event prior to names being released, a staff member will contact you advising you of your prize.


Whilst there are a significant amount of people that do support the event and its cause who attend the ball, there are also a vast majority of people who are unable to make the event on the night for whatever reason. In this instance, you are still able to help Kids Rehab raise as much money as possible by making a donation either by cheque or credit card. All cheque payments should be made payable to ‘Kids Rehab' and sent to the following address:

Tess Assaad
Event Manager – Kids Rehab
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Locked Bag 4001