Highlights from the MGA’s Enchanted Forest Ball

On a cold winter’s evening in August 2022, the MGA hosted the Enchanted Forest Ball for the graduate students of Monash. Find out how the evening unfolded…

You could feel the excitement in the air as ball goers, glamorously transformed by beautiful suits, dresses and costumes, trickled in for pre-drinks under the vast marbled dome of the Park Hyatt in Melbourne. 

“This is the first time I’ve been to a ball in my life!” said one Chemistry PhD student in a stylish suit. “It’s an opportunity to dress up nicely, meet nice people and enjoy myself.”

Indeed, everyone was checking out each other’s outfits as they waited for friends to arrive and milled around tables in the foyer. Becky the Cherry Blossom Fairy fluttered around in a glowing crown, visiting tables and allowing punters the rare opportunity to capture her on camera.

The large golden brass doors of the ballroom opened to reveal a magical night ahead. Everyone entered, found their tables set around a circular dance floor under a beautiful dome and settled in for their first course.

Soon after, MGA’s Queer Officer Phil Kairns came to the podium in his official capacity as Fairy Godperson and MC. With an acknowledgment of country, a bippity boppety boom and a flick of his wand, he declared the Enchanted Forest Ball officially open!

During a delicious second course, MGA elves were busy circulating the tables to scout out the most creative outfits of the ball. Three winners were announced and were asked by Phil the Fairy Godperson to catwalk through the ballroom to show off their lewks. 

  • First place: Tina Wu danced across the floor as Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, winning a high tea for two at the Park Hyatt. Congratulations Tina on your incredibly creative win! 
  • Second place: Shon Kolomoisky as a Woodland Nymph, with glittery makeup and the most beautiful vest.
  • Third place: Brandon Johns for his appearance as a prince who had just walked out of an enchanted forest, complete with puffy sleeves and sword.

Finally, it was time to activate the dance floor as DJ Kyle came onstage and busted out the beats. The floor filled up quickly with students ready to dance the night away.

Out in the foyer, ball goers chatted and took snaps in the toadstool patch or under the enchanted arch. 

A group of cheerful Biology PhD students told us that they came to the ball together. “Next year we’ll all be going in different directions and we always talked about one day getting dressed up and going somewhere fancy. We are of Sri Lankan origin and we don’t really have something like this at home, so that’s why we’re really excited to go to a ball – like the proms we see on TV!”

The Enchanted Forest Ball was a great success and we are so pleased that the graduate students who attended had such a wonderful time. We hope to see many more of you at our MGA Ball in 2023! 


Click here to view all the pics from the 2022 MGA Annual Graduate Ball – Enchanted Forest


Did you attend the Enchanted Forest Ball this year? Let us know if you enjoyed the night, how we can improve the experience or any future themes you’d like to see – we’d love to hear your feedback. Email us at mga-events@monash.edu.