Barwon Health Foundation Gala Day Statement

27 Sep 2023

Gala Day has long been a feature in the Geelong calendar, dating back to the First World War, when it was run to raise funds for the Red Cross before the hospital became the focus of the fundraising effort in 1927.

Initially run by a team of volunteers, known as the Gala Board, more recently this Board and the event was run under the auspice of the Barwon Health Foundation from when the Foundation was formed in September 2002.

The past 21 years have seen Gala evolve and change, adapting to the demands of the day, including the COVID-19 pandemic, with changes that included the day it was run on and the format.

As a not-for-profit fundraising charity, the Barwon Health Foundation’s goal is to raise funds to invest in the life-saving and life-changing care of Barwon Health.

Our involvement in running Gala Day on behalf of Barwon Health in the past has always been made possible thanks to generous sponsorship, volunteers and financial support from a number of different organisations.

Unfortunately, in recent years, this level of support and funding has diminished, been removed or has been difficult to secure and we have now reached the point where the cost of the event exceeds the funds raised.

Whilst we have made every attempt over many years to revitalise Gala Day, including changes in format to keep the event running during COVID, we have made the difficult decision to advise Barwon Health of the need to cease our involvement.

Gala Day was made possible thanks to our enthusiastic community, generous sponsorship, volunteers and financial support from a large number of different organisations over many years.

Our decision to end our support of Gala Day on behalf of Barwon Health has been made after much consideration and with respect to its significance in the community.

We hope you will continue to support the work of Barwon Health through our many other community events and annual fund-raisers.