The results are in for the halfway point of the Leukaemia Foundation’s U.G.L.Y Bartender of the Year competition, with Queensland comfortably in first place. The state’s fundraising efforts are over $100,000, a huge lead compared to the rest of the country.

All money raised goes to The Leukaemia Foundation to provide a home-away-from-home for Australians with blood cancer. These homes are especially vital for regional and rural Australians, as most of them will have to relocate to major cities for treatment if diagnosed.

The current state fundraising tallies are:

  1. Queensland – $108,599
  2. Victoria – $19,565
  3. New South Wales – $17,532
  4. Western Australia – $14,421
  5. South Australia – $13,627
  6. Tasmania – $8,686
  7. Northern Territory – $3,182

The results so far are encouraging and have been praised by Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch.

“Pubs and clubs are often the heart of local communities and we thank all of those Australians who are digging deep to help their local bartenders support the Leukaemia Foundation,” Petch said.

The 2019 competition is also the first time that bartenders have been competing for the one national title. The highest individual fundraiser at the end of the competition will take home the title and trophy for the National U.G.L.Y Bartender of the Year, whereas in previous years it has been a state award.

Although Queensland is leading on a state level, two of the top three individual fundraisers are from other states. The individual leader board is:

  1. Debbie Weaver from Lawrence Tavern in Lawrence, NSW, with $7821
  2. Jenny Lagozzino from Lagozzino’s Top Pub in Tatura, VIC, with $6200
  3. Isabella Wyman from Glenmore Tavern in Rockhampton, QLD, with $5844

Bartenders and venues raise money through a variety of events. Some events of this year include a hypnotist night, trivia nights, family fun days and guessing competitions.

This is the 11th year the U.G.L.Y Bartender competition has been of fundraising for Australians living with blood cancer. Throughout this time, bartenders and venues have raised more than $13 million dollars, amounting to more than 162,500 nights of accommodation.

Currently there are around 100,000 Australians living with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Recent analysis shows that the number of Australians diagnosed every year will soon increase to 17,000 people – almost 2 people every hour, every day.

Mr Petch said it’s thanks to the participating bartenders and venues that the Leukaemia Foundation can support communities across the country and provide safe homes for those living with blood cancer.

“U.G.L.Y stands for Understanding, Generous, Likeable, You and this label really reflects the kind-hearted and giving nature of bartenders in our clubs, pubs and hotels, which are often the heartbeat of Australian communities.”

“This vital support takes away the financial and emotional burden of finding and paying for accommodation, allowing them to focus on the most important thing – getting well. It also means families can stay together, close to their loved one during treatment, for as long as they need,” Mr Petch said.

Bartenders can still register to get involved before this year’s competition ends on September 23. Head to to find out more and get involved.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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