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Inside the Tiffany and Co. carbon-neutral dinner that raised over $1 million for ocean conservation

Photography By The Sapphire Project
Published 21.06.22

What does raising over a million dollars for ocean conservation take? Ask The Sapphire Project – they just did it in a night.

On UN World Oceans Day earlier this month, social impact initiative The Sapphire Project, alongside presenting partner Tiffany & Co., threw a very special event. They invited 300 of Australia’s top philanthropists, VIPs and leading conservationists to come dine with them at the Overseas Passenger Terminal on Sydney Harbour and dig deep for ocean conservation.

If the $1.2 million-dollar metaphorical cheque they now have to cash in is anything to go by, The Sapphire Project’s mission to “protect what is precious” is closer than ever following this year’s inaugural Sapphire Dinner. A lot of that comes down to the generosity of the sponsors who covered all event costs, allowing 100 per cent of every dollar raised (including ticket sales) to go directly to organisations involved in research, rehabilitation and education to support the Great Barrier Reef.

The Sapphire Project

Once again proving the difference a well-planned dinner can make, the success of the Sapphire Dinner also comes down to who showed up for the meal. Guests in attendance included Tiffany & Co. Friends of the House, Victoria Lee and Maddison Brown, Sapphire ambassadors Ian Thorpe and Jarrod Scott, Sapphire committee members Ryan Gollan, Sophia Forrest, Giaan Rooney and Michael Klim and Sapphire’s Ocean Ambassadors Julia Wheeler, Ace Bichan, Matt Draper and Billy Bain. And since we’re not ones to pass up an invite to an event raising crucial funds to protect the world’s most important ecosystem (let alone one with a carbon-zero, organic and sustainable menu) we also went along.

Speaking after the event, the chair of The Sapphire Project, Ryan Gollan, said: “What we are creating here is a legacy project, a next-gen philanthropy platform in which anyone and everyone can take part. United, we can make a difference, not just for ourselves, but for our future generations.” And seriously, the ability to raise over a million dollars in one night? These guys are doing something right.  

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