The revelation of Malcolm Turnbull’s daring foray into political satire at the Midwinter Ball brought to mind some of the other memorable moments that have stunned and delighted the crowd at the Canberra glitterati’s night of nights over the years. Kept from the public at the time thanks to the pact of silence between pollies and press, Crikey satirist Ben Pobjie (who swears he has actually been to a Midwinter Ball, and we believe him) reveals* them now in the new spirit of openness.

2001: Bronnie’s Big Night Out

Former minister and speaker Bronwyn Bishop was generally noted for her decorous nature, but there was one occasion on which she let her hair down (not literally, of course; that bun has never been seen in its natural state). At the 2001 Midwinter Ball, government and opposition MPs alike were treated to a display the likes of which most can only dream of witnessing, as the Hon. Mrs Bishop, to roars of approval, danced for a full 10 minutes atop her table. The routine grew more and more energetic, before Bronnie ended up simultaneously doing the splits and casting her underwear with gay abandon into the crowd (it earned over $10,000 for charity).