The 2023 Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball was held on Saturday 7 October at RACV Royal Pines Resort.

The glamorous black-tie event welcomed over 400 guests who enjoyed a delicious three course meal, four-hour beverage package, exciting raffle and auction prizes, live entertainment all night, and an exclusive afterparty.

Thanks to the support of event partners, sponsors, prize donors, and all those who attended the event, over $200,000 was raised in support of the Institute’s research into finding new cures and preventions for diseases of global impact.

As part of her speech during the event, Griffith University’s Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Carolyn Evans, also announced a significant donation of $2 million from Mr Ray James to the Institute for Glycomics. As a long-standing supporter of Griffith University and the Institute’s research, Mr James was recently inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Glycomics – a highly prestigious recognition.

This year’s Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball was a memorable affair, where guests were treated to an array of special feature performances by Opera Queensland, that included talented alumni of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Opera Queensland talent included Meg Washington, Katie Stenzel, Alex Raineri, Jason Barry-Smith and Meg Washington. As well as performing multiple solos and duets, Jason Barry-Smith also assumed the role of this year’s Master of Ceremonies.

Other entertainment included a spectacular fireworks display, pre-dinner entertainment from Griffith University’s Young Conservatorium musicians, and ballroom entertainment from Magic Carpet Ride, one of Australia’s favourite cover bands.

The Institute for Glycomics welcomes the community’s support of this annual black-tie affair and attracted high profile event partners including Meriton Group (Platinum Partner), SAMTAY (Gold Partner), Grand Medical (Silver Partner), FB Rice (Bronze Partner), Opera Queensland (Feature Entertainment Partner), Destination Gold Coast (Lounge Sponsor), GET it Magazine and Luke Marsden Photo (Media and Support Partners).

The focus of this year’s Institute for Glycomics Grand Ball was two-fold; to raise vital funds for the Institute’s current and future biomedical research, and to acknowledge and formally farewell the Institute’s Founder and Director, Professor Mark von Itzstein AO.

At the end of the year, Professor von Itzstein steps down from his role as Director after 23 years of outstanding leadership and commitment.

Under his stewardship, the Institute has become a globally recognised centre for innovation, attracting top-tier talent, securing substantial funding, and producing ground-breaking discoveries that have transformative implications for human health.

Professor von Itzstein leaves behind a truly remarkable legacy but plans to continue his important research in the role of Distinguished Professor at Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics.