Legal eagle flies high for charity

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It’s been a bigger seven days than most for barrister and former Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses, who was outed on Friday as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s main squeeze.

Arthur Moses and Vedran Drakulic

Arthur Moses and Vedran DrakulicCredit:John Shakespeare

The celebrated silk and devoted NRL fan featured in a social media post uploaded by Berejiklian’s younger sister Mary on Friday in an image with the Premier captioned “Glad and her Boo”. Earlier on in the week, Moses made headlines in his role representing Ben Roberts-Smith in the former soldier’s high-stakes defamation trial against this masthead and others.

So it’s surprising he found spare time on Thursday night to squeeze in another high-profile do, freezing his chops off as part of the annual Vinnies’ CEO Sleepout, where he raised almost $27,000 for the St Vincent de Paul charity on an initial target of $20,000. His donor list reads like a who’s who of Sydney’s legal fraternity.

But he was far from the only one to brave the cold on Thursday.

Even under COVID restrictions, Melbourne CEOs raised more than $1.3 million for the charity, which fights homelessness and disadvantage. They also smashed the national tally for individual donations, with the indomitable Gandel family lieutenant Vedran Drakulic – who is Gandel Philanthropy’s chief executive – topping the national tally board by generating $167,389 from a list of donors that read like it had been nabbed right off the National Gallery of Victoria’s patrons’ wall.

Cormack Foundation director Charles Goode’s Charles and Cornelia Goode Foundation chipped in $5000, while Rio Tinto director Simon McKeon handed over $2500. Paul Ramsay Foundation boss Glyn Davis and his wife, Monash University vice-chancellor Margaret Gardner, gave $2000. Others to support Drakulic’s night in the cold included philanthropist Jane Hansen, the Loti and Victor Smorgon Foundation, Minderoo chief executive Andrew Hagger, lawyer Mark Leibler and Melbourne’s lord mayor, Sally Capp.

And the biggest donor? John Gandel and wife Pauline Gandel, whose foundation donated a generous $110,000.

CROWDED HOUSE

How do you solve a problem like Jaclyn Symes? It’s a busy period for Victoria’s Attorney-General judging by those leaked media planning notes CBD reported on last week, which detail announcements on the appointment of a Lawyer X royal commission special investigator, a new coroner and four new judges.

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