The Melbourne Unicorns President’s Lunch last week saw an esteemed gathering treated to some wonderful tales from one of Australian sports’ finest.
The tri-annual event, which included motivational speeches from RaboDirect Rebels’ Telusa Veainu and Luke Burgess, was MC’d by former Australian Cricketer and AFL player Max Walker, also a former commentator on the Nine Network.
Walker donated his time to MC the event, offering his experience as both an iconic sportsman and media expert.
Unicorns Presidents Tyrone Landsman said that for each event, speakers are invited from various areas and industries.
“We’ve had Christine Nixon, Ted Ballieu, Robert Doyle, Matt Preston and Peter FitzSimons”, Landsman said. “It’s an event which we’ve been running now for the past ten years for our Gold and Silver members, who’ve all offered a donation to the Club as part of their membership.
“As an amateur organisation we don’t pay for our guest speakers, they donate their time to us, and we were fortunate enough to get Max Walker to speak at the lunch this year.”
Landsman was also quick to acknowledge the Rebels players’ involvement in the event.
“Both guys [Veainu and Burgess] have been around the Club for a couple of years, and to hear their view on playing Club Rugby was great for our members,” he said. “They enjoy coming back and playing where it started, and where they got their professional careers from.”
Following the event, Wallaby scrumhalf Luke Burgess debuted for the Unicorns with a strong performance in the side’s narrow loss to Box Hill.
“The standard of Rugby in Victoria has certainly improved over the last five years, in the last two years it’s jumped again,” Landsman said. “Having the Rebels players out there, the guys all lift.”
The Unicorns have managed just a draw and a loss from their opening games, against undefeated Footscray and Box Hill, despite two largely positive and highly competitive performances.
Landsman reflected on the results and declared “it’s fair to say our results on the field have been mixed so far, however the morale around the Club is fantastic and at an all-time high; I’m sure that will translate into results in the future.”