The Illawarra Connection (TIC) has secured the Governor of NSW to give the 22nd Annual Hargrave Lecture at its June meeting.
Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir's address coincides with a visit to Wollongong as a lead-up to her retirement.
President Roger Summerill thanked all the members and Novotel Wollongong Northbeach general manager Walter Immoos for being flexible with the date of the next meeting to make her presentation possible.
Mr Summerill said previous presenters of the Hargrave Lecture had included ANSTO chief executive Dr Adrian Paterson, former NSW premier and president of the World Anti-Doping Agency John Fahey, and World Vision Australia chief executive officer Tim Costello.
Meanwhile, the April dinner also saw a call for the business community to get behind the establishment of two perpetual scholarships as a permanent reminder of the early Anzacs.
National Anzac Centenary Advisory Board member Major General B.W. (Hori) Howard said a regional flagship of the centenary of ANZAC celebrations starting in 2014 would hopefully be the two three-year perpetual scholarships at the University of Wollongong.
Major-General Howard said the Illawarra Centenary of Anzac committee had organised a Gallipolli race meeting at Kembla Grange on Easter Saturday as the first fund-raising event.
"We have volunteered Warwick Hansen and Terry Wetherall to be our main fund-raisers," he said.
"They will be approaching businesses and institutions throughout the Illawarra seeking donations which are of course tax deductible. The donors will be acknowledged personally on a commemorative program which we will produce for Anzac Day next year and during other events.
"I can assure you we don't underestimate the task of raising this money but we have got four years to do so and we think the community will get behind us, particularly when they hear the details of what we are trying to do," he said.
Each scholarship would be valued at $5000 a year.
"To achieve our goal of perpetual scholarships we will need to raise $250,000," Major-General Howard said.
He said councils had donated, and NSW Ports had helped.
"We are looking for something that is a permanent reminder of the Centenary of ANZAC, which focuses on the future, is Illawarra-centric and is something for the young people of this area," he said.