3rd March, 2011

Annual ‘Fairwater’ Reception

On 3 March 2011, Lady Mary Fairfax opened up her magnificent home ‘Fairwater’ once again to The Australian Ireland Fund, with its picturesque Sydney harbour views and beautiful Sydney weather, ‘Fairwater’ was the perfect venue for the Ambassador, His Excellency Máirtín Ó Fainín to host The Australian Ireland Fund annual supporters reception.

Executive Director, Teresa Keating, introduce the Ambassador who took the opportunity to thank our supporters and to provide them with an update on the activities of The Australian Ireland Fund and on the current economic and social situation in Ireland. 

The Ambassador also welcomed new Australian Ireland Fund Directors Ciaran Davis, CEO of Australian Radio Network and Professor Rónán McDonald, Australian Ireland Fund Chair of Modern Irish Studies at the University of Sydney.  We are delighted that both Ciaran and Rónán have joined the Board. 

The Ambassador also expressed deep gratitude of the Irish Government and our supporters to outgoing Chairman Charles Curran AC and long time Director Peter Cosgrove for their invaluable contribution, service and support of the Australian Ireland Fund for many years. Both Charles and Peter retired from the Australian Ireland Fund in December 2010.

Also acknowledged were other Directors were present; Treasurer Yvonne le Bas, Anne Brennan, Jane Cosgrove, Ted Johnson, Dr Tom Moore, Ron Porter, Peter Ryan, Briege Tuite & Mary Waldron.  He also acknowledged Aimee Garsuta, the Event Manager for the Australian Ireland Fund.

The Ambassador welcomed Governors Kim Maloney, Julia Ross, and Ron & Helen Porter.  Life Governors present included Peter Cosgrove, Charles Curran AC, Mary Lee, Peter Ryan, Toni Ryan and Briege Tuite.  In doing so the Chairman told guests that our Governors and Life Governors’ contributions have provided very significant funds for the various works supported by The Australian Ireland Fund.

Our Corporate Governors, APN News and Media, Blake Dawson represented by Philip Maxwell, Mercedes Benz and Etihad Airways represented by Lindsay White were thanked by the Ambassador.  These Corporate Sponsors provide absolutely essential support for our fundraising events and we are honoured and grateful to have the support of those leading corporations.

Benefactors present included Raymond & Anita Cowan, Bernard Curran, Ciaran Davis, Maura Dempsey-Englman, Teresa Keating, Yvonne le Bas, Dermot McCann, Dr Tom Moore, Damien Murphy, Brendan Sheehan, Jim & Fran Sweeny and Fiona Tuite.

The Ambassador extended a particular welcome to special guests Consul General Caitriona Ingoldsby, Andrew Penfold CEO of Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, and Minister Tony Kelly MP. Also present were a number of other generous providers of services and items for our events, without whom we could not continue our very important work.

Some of The Australian Ireland Fund Young Leaders were also in attendance, Dermot McCann, Kerry Morrison, Brendan Sheehan and Fiona Tuite.

The Ambassador also took the opportunity to thank Lady Mary Fairfax AC, OBE with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, presented to Lee Thomas of ‘Fairwater’ by Director Jane Cosgrove, as a token of thanks for hosting such a wonderful event.