The annual Good Friday Appeal telethon is moving to a new home at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2014.
After 11 successful years at Etihad Stadium in Docklands, the MCEC at South Wharf provides the space required to continue to grow Victoria’s iconic fundraising event, which is telecast on Channel 7.
Starting on Good Friday next year – April 18, 2014 – the telethon will be staged at MCEC’s Plenary, the fabulous 2,500-seat auditorium at MCEC. The public will be able to purchase tickets to join the live studio audience, with proceeds donated to the Appeal.
The state-of-the-art MCEC complex, which is entirely undercover, also features a vast foyer area and support rooms which will allow the Appeal to expand activities such as the popular Kids Day Out program and host community groups which fundraise for the hospital.
The decision to relocate the telethon was made by the Good Friday Appeal in conjunction with major stakeholders Channel 7 and The Herald & Weekly Times. Victorians have generously supported the Appeal since its inception in 1931, with a record $16.4 million raised for the benefit of The Royal Children’s Hospital in 2013. The grand total since 1931 is a remarkable $258million.
“The MCEC is a great opportunity for the Appeal to continue to grow while providing an even better opportunity for Victorians to come along and be part of a terrific family fun day,” said Deborah Hallmark, Executive Director of the Good Friday Appeal. Ms Hallmark thanked Etihad Stadium for supporting the Appeal for the past 11 years, helping to raise over $140 million for the benefit of The Royal Children’s Hospital.
Prior to Etihad Stadium (formerly known as Telstra Dome), the GFA telethon was held at Seven’s Dorcas Street studios in South Melbourne, with money collected and other activities taking place at the HWT building in Flinders Street.
Penny Fowler, chairman of the Herald & Weekly Times, which founded the Appeal in 1931, said: “Activities for the Good Friday Appeal had humble beginnings in the loading dock of the former Herald & Weekly Times building in Flinders St – it’s amazing how far the Appeal has come since then; we are proud of our 83- year association with the Appeal and we hope as many Victorians as possible will embrace the new venue at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.”
The Managing Director of Seven Melbourne, Lewis Martin, said: “With this move, the Good Friday Appeal will be taken to a whole new level in 2014 – as TV entertainment, as a family day out, and most importantly as a way to raise money for the sick children of Victoria.”
Peter King, CEO of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, said: “We are delighted to be the new location for the Good Friday Appeal and our team is excited to have the opportunity to bring together people from all aspects of our community for this special event. MCEC is a unique Melbourne space that will help the Appeal reach even greater heights in 2014.”