Enhanced by its attractive harbourside location and striking Philip Cox designed building, the Australian National Maritime Museum is making a name for itself as a venue for events of all sizes and budgets, including those where price and accessibility are key drivers.
The Museum is working hard to dispel the myth that centrally-situated waterside locations are expensive by proving that it is possible to deliver an excellent value-for-money experience in a prime setting that is within the reach of most event organisers’ budgets.
This was illustrated recently when the stars of the Women of Wyvern (WOW) came together for a fun night at the Australian National Maritime Museum. There may well have been a Nicole or a Meryl in the group but these stars were the real-life Mums of Wyvern House Preparatory School at Newington College in Sydney.
Wyvern House Preparatory School seeks to provide an educational experience for its boys that is significant, engaging and challenging. Newington College, as one of Sydney’s most well-known schools, prides itself on its strong commitment to community spirit.
Forging partnerships with parents is a very important component in building this sense of community.
As part of this focus on community engagement, the mothers of the students held a special event to welcome newcomers into the fold. The group decided to host the event at the Australian National Maritime Museum on the shores of Darling Harbour.
In choosing a venue, key criteria under consideration were price, location and the need for an attractive environment where people could come together informally. Set in the heart of the Sydney CBD with the Museum’s magnificent ships HMAS Vampire, HMAS Advance and HMB Endeavour as the stylish but free décor, the Museum was able to satisfy the group’s requirements.
With a choice of eleven different venues available for hire at the Museum, the women settled on the outdoor/indoor option available through using Yots restaurant, which looks straight out over Darling Harbour. Guests were able to mingle and enjoy canapés and drinks in a private terrace setting before heading inside for the sumptuous three-course dinner.
Catering was provided by the Museum’s onsite, exclusive award-winning caterer Laissez-faire catering.
Given this rich maritime backdrop offset by the vivid cityscape lights, the group decided to embrace the maritime theme for the function. Blue tablecloths contrasted with white napkins and white crockery adorned with blue and white ribbons. Centrepieces sourced by one of the parents and sailing-themed decorations from the Museum store complemented the nautical design along with hues of blue lighting.
Planning for the event commenced in October with tickets going on sale in February. Without too much effort, the committee sold 220 seats to the women-only event. True to the rules, the Principal did not attend but his wife was able to join in the spirit of collaboration and engagement.
Feedback from the guests was excellent proving that a great function does not need to break the bank.
“The feedback on the catering is quite simple. Wow, amazing, delicious, divine! Thank you,” said Yamilla.
These comments were echoed by Vanessa, “This was my seventh year and it was one of the best Women of Wyvern dinners I have been to.”
The tantalising menu included generous antipasto platters, pink grapefruit cashew nut coconut salad with spiced caramel appetizer and blue-eye cod with king prawn, tomato and saffron broth with lemon and rouille rounded off by a delectable dessert of buttermilk panna cotta with blueberries and coulis.
The objectives of the event which included enhancing community engagement, providing a networking forum and welcoming newcomers into the school, were clearly met as the group has now booked a second event at the Australian National Maritime Museum in October.