The 30th Anniversary Gala

The year 2018 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Australian American Chamber of Commerce in Houston and “One Hundred Years of Mateship” between Australia and the United States.  The AACC, together with the Australian Government, is excited to honor both of these milestones, and we look forward to the next one hundred years of Mateship, and to celebrating the connections of these two great countries in business, culture and education!

Why “The Grand Galah”?

As we celebrate thirty years of the Chamber in Houston, and “One Hundred Years of Mateship” between Australia and the United States, it seems fitting to choose “The Grand Galah” as our theme for 2018. The galah is one of the most abundant native Australian birds – highly recognizable by their vivid colors and treasured for their personality – one that reflects the Australian mantra of high levels of sophistication, yet not taking themselves too seriously. The night will be “grand” – as one should expect from a celebration of everything Australia and Texas – and will showcase the very best that both countries have to offer.

Gala Information

Click the tabs below to find out more about this great event!



  • Presenting Partner

    The Australian Government

    Award Underwriter


    Alice Springs Table Underwriter

    Alice Springs Table Underwriter


    Coober Pedy Table Underwriters






    Product Underwriters
  • Gala Highlights

    Our 30th Anniversary black tie event will provide an opportunity to network and enjoy an evening of Australian hospitality and culture. Invitees include international and local dignitaries, cross-sector C-suite and senior executives, small business owners, entrepreneurs and community members. The event will be an immersive evening where guests will be transported to the ‘Great Southern Land’. The gala dinner will feature a custom chef-driven menu and paired wines designed to delight and to celebrate Australian cuisine.

    The Gala will provide an opportunity to recognize our fantastic supporters – past and present, reflect on the Chamber’s achievements and highlight future directions, as well as provide us with the perfect forum to honor those who have exemplified the Chamber’s mission in their chosen fields of endeavor.

    Highlights of the evening:

    • A VIP Reception for event underwriters and special guests.
    • A contemporary boutique Australian cultural immersive experience!
    • Live entertainment capturing the essence of both great countries!
    • Under the direction of three chefs, guests will be treated to a delicious four-course menu featuring Australian flavors and flare, with paired wines from some of our world-renowned wine producing regions.
    • An opportunity to honor carefully selected awardees who’ve made exemplary contributions to their fields, the Chamber and, or the wider Houston community.
    • A curated live auction with exciting items for guests to bid on – proceeds will support ongoing Chamber programming and community outreach.
    • A DJ to close out the evening, giving everyone the chance to dance and celebrate.

    Gala Emcee – Bernard Uechtritz

  • Chef Jason Gould
    Executive Research and Development Chef, Cyclone Anaya’s Tex Mex Cantina

    A native of Australia and very well-traveled, Jason has 28 years of dedicated, specialty restaurant experience  ranging from the acclaimed Michelin-rated Mirabelle restaurant in London and subsequently as chef de partie at a five-star French restaurant in Tyrol, Austria’s Vital Dorint Royal Hotel.  A brief stint in New York City followed.  Starting just before September 11, there were limited opportunities in the wake of that terrible tragedy and so Jason moved to Houston for the next challenge.  ‘Aries’ in Montrose snapped him up and he served as chef de cuisine for over two years before becoming the chef and co-owner of Gravitas. Then a modern bistro in Houston’s historic Fourth Ward/Midtown area, the restaurant was very popular and was selected as New Restaurant of the Year in 2005 by Texas Monthly.  With a gift for producing honest and flavorsome dishes from first principles using the very highest quality produce; Jason was named Up-and-Coming Chef of the Year in 2006 by My Table, and cemented his position as ‘one to watch’ when he received its top honor in 2007, as Chef of the Year.  2010 offered an unexpected opportunity when he was approached to join the Cyclone Anaya’s family as their Executive Research and Development Chef.  Having fine-tuned and invigorated this Houston -based Tex-Mex staples’ menu’s, he has wowed diners with fantastic novel Tex-Mex-esque dishes and opened the instantly popular Rico’s Morning + Noon + Night in Midtown.

    In addition to producing highly anticipated, premium Australian product-driven menus, for the Houston chamber’s annual Australia Day Black Tie Gala’s (in conjunction with G’Day) over the last 10 years; Jason has also produced numerous exclusive Australia Day Wine (and product) showcase Dinner’s, that formed an integral part of the Nation-wide Australia Week celebrations, run by the AACC Houston and supported by the Australian Consulate.

    Jason’s skills have also been highly sought in San Francisco, and he has produced the San Francisco’s AACC Australia Day Black Tie dinners, at the prestigious Fairmont Hotel, for the past three years.

    Jason is a fantastic supporter of the Chamber for over 10 years and beloved and active member of the Australian community here in Houston, for the last 17 years.


    Rafael Gonzalez
    Executive Chef, Four Seasons Hotel

    Chef Rafael was born Coral Gables, Florida and earned his Culinary Degree from Johnson & Wales University, Miami.  He began his tenure at the Four Seasons in 2003 as Restaurant Chef at The Pierre (formerly a Four Seasons hotel), and proceeded to work at various locations including, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla; Viceroy Anguilla (now a Four Seasons); Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia; Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver; Jean Georges Restaurant, New York; Le Bernadin Restaurant, New York; Bouley Bakery, New York; The Heights Restaurant, Miami; Intercontinental Miami.

    As Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Houston, he oversees and leads the culinary operations of Quattro, catering and banquets, and partners with Richard Sandoval in spearheading Bayou & Bottle. With more than a decade of experience with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Chef Gonzalez continues his tenure infusing the culinary operations with innovative creations and new spins on traditional offerings.

    “It’s very exciting to be a part of the culinary renaissance happening here, which I don’t think many people outside of Houston yet understand. The quality and creativity coming out of this city is simply phenomenal. I’m thrilled to be here in ‘Houston’s Living Room’ – right in the middle of it all,” says Chef Rafael Gonzalez.

  • AACC Gala Awards

    Congratulations to our award winners!

    The AACC Grand Award – William F. McKeon
    In recognition of an outstanding individual who has worked toward a significant contribution to the Australia-Texas relationship, or has positively raised the profile of Australia in Texas (or visa versa).

    The Mateship Rising Star Award – Tamara Mills
    In recognition of the contribution of young professionals to the Australia-United States relationship and building linkages toward the next 100 years of Mateship.

    The BHP Community Spirit Award – David Bryant & Sonia Lovel
    In recognition of an outstanding individual who has shown support of the community and/or not-for-profit organizations, that provides a positive impact for fellow Texans and embodies the Australian spirit.


  • Scroll through our fabulous auction items.