Bert Newton is an iconic Melbourne personality who has been a favourite on the screen and stage for more than 60 years. Bert was also the first-ever ‘Melburnian’ King of Moomba in 1978.
Lucy Durack has graced Melbourne’s theatre stages in Private Lives, Legally Blonde and Wicked. An award-winning entertainer, Lucy represents Melbourne’s ever-growing population of artists, actors and creative professionals.
An entertainment spectacular 60 years in the making, the Moomba Festival has become an iconic annual landmark for Melbourne. From art shows to world-class performances including ABBA, AC/DC and Paul Kelly, Moomba has always tried to respond to the times and engage a diverse audience.
The Moomba monarchy has long been one of the most celebrated and controversial components of the festival. The first Queen of Moomba, Beverley Steward, was crowned in 1955. The title was chosen by beauty contest, and in these early years the crowned Queen would lead the parade riding a swan-shaped float.
Over the years, Barry Crocker, Daryl Somers, Graham Kennedy, Lano and Woodley, Denise Drysdale, Marina Prior, and Olympic Champion Cathy Freeman have all had the honour bestowed on them.
In 1999, a shocking revelation regarding the ruling Monarchs, Zig and Zag, resulted in their titles being renounced, and the Moomba Monarchy was disbanded entirely from 2000 to 2009. In recent times, Harry Kewel, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Mick Malthouse, Ruby Rose, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum and Kate Ceberano have all been crowned.
The 2014 Moomba Festival funs from 7 – 10 March. For more information, visit: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/moomba for details.
Image: Bert Newton and Lucy Durack – courtesy of the City of Melbourne