On May 6th we held the 2014 Scholarship Dinner and were honoured to have special guests Mrs Margie Abbott who needs no introduction, and Dr May Chidiac - an inspirational and much loved Lebanese media figure. This very memorable evening started with drinks being served in the Main Quadrangle cloisters where guests had the opportunity to mingle before moving into MacLaurin Hall.


A.Harb, F.Ghossayn, A.Harb, M.Abbott, J.Chidiac


Diane Ranck, Fadia Ghossayn, Margie Abbott

MAbbott cocktail mingling

Cocktails, Margie Abbott and guests

Mrs Margie Abbott graciously took time out to casually chat with the excited scholarship recipients before being seated in the hall. She was joined by HE Bishop Tarabay and Adrian Piccoli MP, Minister for Education.


Students with Margie Abbott, HE Bishop Tarabay, Adrian Piccoli MP


ALF Dinner Menu

MC, Mr Phillip Salem (Senior Vice President ALF) skilfully orchestrated the evening, introducing guest speakers Mr Nickolas Varvaris MP, Federal Member for Barton (representing the Prime Minister); Mr Adrian Piccoli MP, NSW Minister of Education (representing the NSW Premier); Mrs Mariam Hallak (Section Head, BankMed Non Resident Banking, ALF Major Sponsor 2014; and special guest speaker Dr May Chidiac (Media Professor, Founder MCF)

N.Varvaris and guests

Mr Nickolas Varvaris MP at podium

A.Piccoli and guests

Mr Adrian Piccoli MP at podium

M.Hallak at podium

Ms Mariam Hallak at podium

This year ALF Scholarships were presented to 8 first year students by Margie Abbott; Dr May Chidiac and Prof Fadia Ghossayn.


2014 ALF Scholarship recipients

Sami Azzi studying B.Engineering (Civil) / B.Science sponsored by Akar Halal Meats
Zac Brown
studying B.Medical Science / Biomedical Engineering sponsored by Arab Bank Australia
Rima Dabliz
studying B.Political Economic & Social Studies sponsored by Australian World Trading
Charbel El Azzi
studying B.Medical Science sponsored by Bank of Sydney
John El Khoury
studying B.Applied Science (Exercise & Sports Science) sponsored by Caltex M4
Andrew Fayad
studying B.Applied Science (Physiotherapy) sponsored by Ghossayn Group
Juliana Hasham
studying B.Commerce sponsored by Mr John Symond
Nathalie Rafeh
studying B.Commerce sponsored by BankMed Non Resident Banking


Recipients, Sponsors, VIPs, ALF Council

You could hear a pin drop during Dr May Chidiac's speech as she impressed everyone with her brave attitude and stimulating thoughts. Margie Abbott looked thrilled when May presented her with a memento of the occasion.

MAbbott gift

May Chidiac presenting Margie Abbott with carving

During the evening guests were entertained by dancers and singers not only on stage but amongst the tables.


Dancers skillfully maneouvering between tables

A special plaque was presented to Pierre ElAlam, ALF 2nd Vice-President, in gratitude for 10 years of his invaluable expertise and energy volunteered to the Foundation.

PEA awarded plaque

Pierre ElAlam receiving 10 year award

As you can see, it was once again a memorable evening.

MAbbott and guests

Margie Abbott and guests

Bishop Tarabay, Dr Chidiac and guests
GG, BishopT, FNasser, MChidiac

George Ghossayn,Bishop Tarabay,Dr Fred Nasser,Dr May Chidiac

On May 7th the following evening, Dr May Chidiac presented a public lecture in Sydney University's magnificent Great Hall on the subject of "The Role of Women in the Media during National Conflict" as part of the university's Sydney Ideas series.

Guests were treated to excellent Lebanese food prior to the lecture.


Delicious Lebanese buffet

The MC, Dr Walid Kesserweni, introduced Dr Megan Mackenzie (Department of Government and International Relations) who proceeded to chair the lecture. Dr Chidiac presented her lecture with an impressive professionalism and demonstrated her profound knowledge and dedication to issues of media, democracy, human rights and social welfare.

chidiac and mackenzie

Dr Chidiac and Megan Mackenzie

overhead 1

Lecture Overhead

overhead 2

Lecture Overhead

audience front row


The audience was quiet with awe until Q&A began, and then a queue formed, all waiting their turn. One question brought the house down with cheers when May was asked when she would stand for Presidency!