The former prime minister, who lost his Warringah seat to independent Zali Steggall at the May federal election, was farewelled at the dinner in Sydney’s north on Thursday night with Alan Jones as MC.
Guests included current and former prime ministers Scott Morrison and John Howard, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and federal frontbenchers Josh Frydenberg, Peter Dutton and Angus Taylor.
Mr Abbott’s wife, Margie, couldn’t be there as she was recovering in hospital from a lumpectomy, the crowd heard.
His sister Christine Forster said Mr Abbott had been “an amazing asset to our country, to our nation”.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic that so many people, and so many remarkable people too, have come together tonight to pay tribute to him and to acknowledge the massively significant contribution he’s made to this country,” she told reporters.