Anyone who has switched on Channel Nine recently will know about its adoption of Donald Trump’s television brainchild, The Apprentice. For those who haven’t seen an episode or dodged the ads: Australia’s Celebrity Apprentice is a TV series in which a number of famous Australians – such as Warwick Capper, Lisa Curry-Kenny and Jesinta Campbell – strive under the tutelage of Mark Bouris, founder of financial planning group Yellow Brick Road, to develop business acumen. For one of the show’s episodes, the apprentices held a charity art auction at Harrison Galleries in Paddington, inner-city Sydney, last month. Divided into male and female teams, they competed to summon the most cash from the crowd. Because Investment Magazine went to press a week before the show first screened, Unbalanced isn’t allowed to reveal how much money was raised. But we can tell you the outcome of another auction on the night. To benefit Oasis Africa Australia (OAA), the non-profit for which she is an ambassador, singer Deni Hines dangled a private concert featuring herself, trumpeter James Morrison and a 10-piece band in front of the crowd.
Mark Thomas, CEO of van Eyk, emerged triumphant among the bidders. He aims to use the concert as the entertainment centrepiece of a business event; OAA will commit the money to its community- run primary schools in the Kiberi slum of Nairobi. Stephen O’Brien, head of Deutsche Asset Management in Australia and an OAA director, says it costs about $150,000 each year to school about 1000 student with 23 teachers. Thomas’ plans to use the big ticket haven’t firmed. “I was thinking a barbeque at my place on a Sunday,” he jokes. The jazz and soul music fans out there might want to catch up with him to suggest a set list for the occasion, and perhaps secure a spot on his eventual guest list.