The Connect-Up Gala


Sponsored by Her Canberra, Pura Holistic Hair Studio, Science SkincareEntire Physio Clinical Therapies, POWER YOUR LIFE COACHING, DFK Everalls, Smile With Mel Media, Capital Lashes, Quik-Pay, and Luxe Tanning and Lash Studio, and in partnership with Contentious Character, The CBR Gals Network presents:


  1. the first big night out for Canberrans in 2020.
  2. a one of a kind, black-tie gala on matchmaking, upskilling, and finding business & social partners to help you grow. This gala will pair you with a table like-minded folks who have similar personal and professional interests, thus Connecting you Up in the Canberra community.
  3. a gathering that upgrades the typical conference model of being “talked at” to a wholly interactive experience that evens the playing field between presenters and attendees, creating a more inclusive atmosphere geared toward practical learning and connection-making.
  • VIRGINIA HAUSSEGGER AM |  Journalist, ACT Australian of the Year ’19 
  • GAI BRODTMANN | Former member of the House of Representatives
  • DARYL KARP AM | Director of the Museum of Australian Democracy
  • ZOE LYNAM | Olympian, former lawyer, COO of Proximity
  • JAMIE TRAVERS | Political Producer SBS
  • ASHLEIGH STREETER-JONES | WOI 2019, Forbes 30 under 30
  • BEN ALEXANDER | Owner of the Dock Kingston, Sportsman Brumbies and Australian Rugby Union
  • KEMISO MATLHO | Student Associate at Mill House Social Ventures and Equity Advocate
  • RASI GUPTA | Doctor, Public Servant, and Lifestyle Blogger

From 4 PM to 9 PM on Saturday, 25 July at Hotel Realm



The Connect-Up Gala will commence with a cocktail hour and Canberra-based small-business sampling with canapes and bevies, before moving into Realm’s ballroom for a sit-down dinner with live entertainment, panels, and activities. The formal proceedings will conclude after dessert with live music continuing.

*Disclaimer: In the event that social distancing requirements tighten, we have a virtual contingency plan with curated meals and from local businesses delivered to your door, but will offer refunds for those who request one.

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Who is this event for?

This event was curated for Canberrans of every age, profession, and in every season of life. Yes, the guys are welcome too! Must be 18+ to consume alcoholic beverages.

What can I expect?

The Connect-Up Gala combines the traditional gala experience with the quirky and fun charm of a typical Canberra Gals Network event. Our vision for the Connect-Up Gala is simple: to connect Canberrans by matching them based on shared interests.

Upon arrival, you’ll enter a small-business soiree of local brands presenting a happy hour, including wine provided by our partner Contentious Character, along with locally-sourced canapes. At 5 PM, we’ll move into the ballroom for an evening of networking, panels, and live entertainment over a sit-down dinner.

What about social distancing?

We’ve been assured that Doma Group is doing everything in accordance with ACT regulations on COVID-19. Additionally, we have ensured every precaution to make sure our event complies with social distancing regulations. If these regulations tighten weeks before the event, we have a virtual contingency plan with curated meals and from local businesses delivered to your door, but will offer refunds for those who request one.

If you’re feeling unwell, we will provide a full refund up until the day of the event. In all other circumstances, issues will not be refunded unless we have to cancel the live event.

How does the matchmaking work?

After you book in the weeks leading up to the event, we’ll send you a short personality quiz to learn more about your dreams, goals, interests, and aspirations. We’ll then pair you with 5-7 individuals who have similar goals. Depending on a number of factors, you’ll be matched with either a mentor or a mentee, as well as a larger group who will make up your dinner table.

Can I bring a friend or my partner?

Yes. While this event is for meeting and connecting with new people, you will have the option to bring your partner or a pal to sit with. We’ll include the option to “sit with a friend” in the personality quiz.

Is there a dress code?

Formal attire (time to dust off the pretty frocks and tuxedos!).

I have dietary restrictions/ I don’t drink. Can I still come?

Of course — we’ve got you covered. Just tell us about your needs in the comments at checkout.

I am a Canberra-based business and I want to support you. Do you offer sponsorship packages/accept swag? 

Absolutely. Please email and we’ll get the conversation started.

Is parking included?

We recommend rideshare, but there is plenty of parking at Hotel Realm available for the event.