ACE (Act, Change, Educate) | Past Events & Campaigns

Past Events & Campaigns


We’re back for our fourth super funked out sea safari. Maritime shenanigans await when we set sail into the sunset to shake our golden booties and bask in the warm afterglow of summer. This year’s theme is GOLD. Think…Gold shoes, grillz, fat chains, gold lamé, glitter, glo-mesh and of course Solid Gold dancers. Get your bling on and shine for a good cause people, the kids of Cambodia need you to have a funkin’ good time! We’re mixing up the music a little this year with old school tunes upstairs and new school sounds downstairs for the folks who like to get their disco on.


“Three, it’s the magic number”. Funkin’ the Bay is back for its third annual funk soul adventure and we’re bringing some heat to the high seas! We know you’ve got soul, so get up offa that thing and dance to the music people… Our boat is bootylicious! Those who’ve “Funked the Bay” already know and those who haven’t better get ready, ‘cos the funkiest boat in town is about to set sail. Who would’ve thought a charity event could be this much fun!

Decade – The Happy School is 10!  October 2012

The Happy School is 10 and in true ACE style we’re celebrating with an epic party! Expect an all-out ACE extravaganza featuring; a 6-piece Afro-Funk band, a future soul diva, the über glamorous ‘Dancing Girls’, a vinyl spinning saxophonist, 10 DJs and acoustic comedy gold. Did someone say party? The vibe is ‘Vintage Glam’ and we’ll start the party with a complimentary ACE signature cocktail on arrival. Then we’ll nourish your body with delectable canapés and nourish your beautiful soul with great company.

Cat Empire – February 2012

On the 5th of February The Cat Empire joined us for a Sundae Session at the Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema on Bondi Beach, raising both the roof and money for charity.

Funkin The Bay – February 2012

On the 17th of February ACE successfully Funked the Bay yet again with a packed boat of crazy funksters. 8 of Melbourne’s finest DJs span funk, soul. Chris Gill (RRR, Northside Records), Vince Peach (PBS), P King (PBS), Blair Stafford (ex-PBS), Dappa Jam DJs and the Soul City Sound System all played the absolute finest deep, dirty funk and Soul for our dancing pleasure.

ACE Amore Gala Ball – June 2011

On 28 June the ACE held our first Gala Ball. The evening was a resounding success with $20,000 profit from the most generous and warming show of support yet. Just shy of 400 people attended the event at the San Remo Ballroom and were entertained by the internationally lauded Mikelangelo, whose devilish antics and audaciously entertaining style will keep you in raptures from the moment you arrive.
Star performances throughout the night included the one and only Tripod, Elana Stone and Brian Campeau with their new project ‘The Rescue Ships’. The honey drenched lyrics of FLAP, will have you laughing, dancing and wanting more. Special guests for the evening include the statuesque cabaret diva Jane Badler and the melodious Saint Clare.

Funkin The Bay – February 2011

On February 11 2011 we asked Melbourne’s finest to comb their afro’s, polish their platforms and get their boogie on ‘cos the funkiest boat on the in the bay was about to set sail. Chris Gill from Northside Records and Soul-A-Go-Go’s Vince Peach, Pierre Baroni, DJ Manchild and Miss Goldie all cruised the high seas and helped ACE and HSF raise $6,000. Thanks once again to everyone who helped out our joined us on the night.

The Cambodian Long Lunch – June 2010

On 20 June the inaugural Cambodian Long Lunch was held and, because of the passing away of our beloved Men Sovann, was dedicated to his memory. It involved a seven course banquet of Cambodian delights, a Cambodian art exhibition, as well as cultural music and performances. The lunch was held at Melbourne’s best Cambodian restaurant, Bopha Devi , in the Melbourne Docklands on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Beer for Books – October 2010

It was a very sunny day in the Heritage Gardens at the Abbotsford Convent and a great day for people to experience over
a vast range of local and international boutique beers. JCW from ‘Better Beer’ was on hand to talk the crowds through the
different beers on offer. Delicious gourmet sausages were sizzled away on the BBQ thanks to The Sausologist.

ACE Ahoy – May 2009

On 15 May the ACE pirates looted Melbourne’s shores in the name of charity, education and a better life for the kids at The Happy School in Cambodia. We hit the high seas for an evening of mischief and adventure aboard the good ship Victoria Star, to the soundtrack of the Southern Crumpet Sound System: Clayton, Joel, Alex, Julien, Adam, Brad, Matt and Lana. Performances by the Bottoms-up Burlesque school ensured loose behaviour and dance moves that would make your granny blush. The event raised nearly $10,000. AGAIN! AGAIN please!

ICE Fundraisers 2008

In October 07, ICE supporter Kevin Clarke organised a no uniform day at his office. Kevin works for a stockbroker firm. All of the workers were delighted to leave the shirt and tie at home and raised a total of $AU2000. In February Paraic’s aunt Marian Keenahan organised a bag packing fundraiser at a supermarket in Tullamore in County Offaly. 20 volunteers worked in shifts to pack bags all day and raised just over $AU3000. All the customers loved the pictures of the beautiful Happy School children. Other people made donations of $AU1500 during the year.

ACE Electric – July 2008

Lana and Bex garnered their fund raising and event organising skills into an ACE bread and butter event. ACE Electric was held at FIX in Docklands and succeeded only through the giving of time and beats from Joel E, Clayton, Blossom, Dr Love and Jet More. Special thanks to Zeb Massey for photographing the event and carving up the dancefloor.

ACE Amoré – November 2008

Ace Amoré returned for its second year to dazzle and delight punters on the eve of The Melbourne Cup. This time, with two variety shows so as to be sure there really was something for everyone. We were giggling to Sammy J and Tripod, mesmerised by the gorgeous Elana Stone, dancing like pirates to sea shanties from Symbiosis and Rapskallion AND just general bootyshaking and wee your pants hilarity when the Lipstic inc girls showed us their stuff.
Very special thanks to David Bates, Monique Harvey, and The Famous Spiegeltent. It is such an honour to be able to secure this magical venue year after year. We are truly blessed.

Happy Feet – Winter 2008

One of our more innovative events, Happy Feet was the brain child of Liz Harrington. Set over 10 weeks, punters were put through their paces across a variety of dance style including: Disco, Boogaloo, Afro Funk, Butoh, Belly, Contemporary and of course Michael Jackson. Please check out the Supporter Appendix below for a full list of those instructors who contributed their time and energy free for the kids.

Maria’s Happy School Bags – 2007

From time to time ACE members step up without notice and put on their own fundraising event. This year Maria, who has been a great supporter of the Happy School over the years, produced bags for sale at Rochford Winery. Every little bit helps and the ACE committee truly value outstanding efforts such as these.

Within Blood Reunion Fundraiser – 2007

Special shout out to Charney Marshall from Crazy Bitch Productions whose organizational panache makes us all look like amateurs. She stage managed 6 bands, cooked the bbq and fixed broken stuff without so much as raising a sweat. A huge thank you to the Art house for supplying the venue, Jelena for Bake down the Walls vegan goodies, Clea for sharing BBQ duties, Billy Hyde for supplying backline and of course to all the amazing artists; WITHIN BLOOD, STRAIGHTJACKET NATION, BULLDOG SPIRIT, COUE METHOD, PET MEAT AND THRUSH for generously offering their time and energy to the cause.

ACE Royal – November 2006

Well it had been a while between ACE parties and we all took the opportunity to drink deeply of the good times cup. Possibly our most finely crafted party yet, ACE Royale’s casino themed opulence brought out the best in our creative juices, notably Janice’s ‘Kiss my ACE’ range of merchandise and gaming tables and Craig Board’s enthralling animated horse race offering.

ACE Amoré – November 2006

An inspirational spectacular of live entertainment and Spiegeltent magic saw us raise a record amount of money for the Happy School on Cup Eve 2006. The funds raised will cover the operational costs of the School for almost 6 months. Nice one.Our hats go off in appreciation to the beautiful dancing girls, the talented Tricks Circus kids, trapeze artist Flee of La Clique fame, DJ’s Dr. Love and Blossom and the death defying sword swallowing antics of Michelle. Then ACE’s own Iccy Harrington called the animated horse race of the century to cap off a night of substantial hilarity for us all. Over 400 hundred wonderful party people shook and shimmied and made this one of the most memorable ACE parties ever.
Many many thanks to David Bates and the fabulous Famous Spiegeltent team who helped make the night a resounding success.

ICE Fundraisers 2006

Check out the ICE website for more details at about fundraising ventures in Bag Packing at local Dunnes supermarket in Tullamore, Ireland. A staggering 2200 Euro was raised in loose, change. Special thanks to the Grogan Family in particular – Suzanne Grogan and Aunt Marion. The remaining money raised by our sister organization came in from private fundraisers and The Cork Gig. Our hats go off to City Limits Bar and the generous folk of Cork City.

Tasmanian Variety Freak Show – February 2007

Hats off to the fabulous Emma Dilemma and the Tasmanian Variety Freak Show for putting on an awesome Lane way Festival at the Northern Club in Launceston. A shout out to our special friend Andy Baldwin for indirect support in airfares for our talented treasure maker and merchandise seller Bobilee Shahine who sold buckets of stubby holders on the night.

Zeb’s Marathon – May 2007

Our fine friend Zeb just happened to have a bit of spare energy and thought he’d run a marathon for the Happy School kids. The Great Ocean Road provided a stunning backdrop to his journey and if it wasn’t for those pesky World Champion Kenyans he might just have snared the win.

ACE on the Water – June 2007

Looking out over the lapping waters from the sumptuous Fix nightclub in the Docklands, ACE on the Water took us to a new level of entertainment diversity. From Sword swaying tribal belly dancers to words of Khmer wisdom from the venerable Sam Sambath; through the rockin tunes of SiB and Symbiosis to climax with the white hot Emma Dilemma spectacular. What a ride. And ACE on the Water welcomed a new event force to our team, the blisteringly efficient Bex (Aka Rebecca Reid). Special thanks to Bex and her Fix team for a logistic smoothness previously unknown in our organic ACE ranks.

ACE HIGH – July 2005

Well, what can we say? What an awesome night. Fuelled by 7 DJ’s, dancing girls and a rather progressive people auction, ACE High drew 200 odd people into a night of beautiful energy and glittering performances. Who will ever forget Chantia, the masculine but magnetically attractive Khmer dancing girl?


This event saw 200 odd punters get down to the guitar mastery of Ash Grunwald and Rob Sawyer. The excellent band-room at the Northcote Social Club proved a powerful platform for the happy School message which was delivered to the crowd through film, merchandise, and emotional addresses by Paraic and local councillor Steve Jolly. The event raised $1720+ for the happy School coffers and once again thanks to the artists and NSC staff who donated their time and energy to our shared cause.


The MSF is our local participation within the worldwide Social Forum phenomenon which can be described through it’s Global event as being- “ a global meeting of thinkers, artists, writers, activists, documentarists and organisations, who come together in an ‘open space’ format to discuss the world’s most pressing challenges and inhumanities. (
ACE showed its colours boldly in this eclectic field with a spectacular stall comprising opportunities for postcard communication with Happy School kids, funky Khmer pop tunes, Khmer hacky, ACE merchandise and Billiegh Waahaa’s cooked on site sticky rice!
While not raising money, the stall gathered in a much more precious commodity- 30 new members (and countless new aware folk), who join our ever growing gang of Happy School lovers! That’s you!

Trivia at MOFO – 2004

Name every Harry Potter book published to date?… Proved to be a little difficult for those teams battling it out on the couches of MOFO but the wine did taste delicious! Our second fundraiser of its kind (first one rocked raising $347!), the beginning of generating interest and awareness, you know, committee members and their parents. Yeah! (Grandma couldn’t make it that night)

Happy School 1st Birthday – 2004

The smell of mamma’s meatballs lured a great crowd who jam packed The Duke of Windsor. Tears were shed at the moving words of Seda Douglas (Chairperson of Save the Cambodian Children Fund), which turned into a sparkle after a spectacular show by the fabulous and sexy dancing girls, who got the dance floor rocking to the sounds of Bordello and Jacket. There was almost a gift for everyone in the raffle…Happy First Birthday Happy School! You’ve started touching many more hearts and my how you’ve grown! Big thanks to the guys at The Duke of Windsor who also donated a percentage of the bar as well as the venue.

MINK Fundraiser – 2004

Gotta love those parties where there’s a gorgeous cabaret performer dancing to the live tunes of Josef…such a beautiful voice you would swear it’s on the record! And the gourmet food… yummy. A whole room full of Happy School pictures of which you could view with your own personal masseuse. Special Thanks to Nicky Hanley for putting on such a great show!

Children Helping Children – 2004

Start from the start. Teach our children to acknowledge those a little less fortunate. Bring them together through artistic expression; get our community involved, our children and our schools. Bang! Out comes an explosion of art pieces created by our young. Splashes of color hanging in Ricketts Point Teahouse, the sea as a backdrop, the sweet sounds of Azu, so much beautiful, creative and colorful art… this is a great project that is to be continued… Big thanks to Alex Shahine and Ricketts Point Teahouse!

Me and My Happy School – April 2004

Our precious president took a journey into the creative minds of the Happy School Children in Cambodia. Here they unleashed colorful self portraits which hung on the walls of Gasworks to be viewed and purchased by the many hundreds wandering through, who now hold a piece of great inspiration of those happy little children. A great way to bring those we support onto our walls and into our hearts, an awareness project and connector with our little happy folk.