It was wonderful to see so many friends and new faces at our annual Brisbane lunch on Friday last at Hillstone St. Lucia. We had the pleasure of hearing from St. Peters Lutheran graduate Jemmason Power who also performed the Acknowledgement of Country to start off proceedings.
Chairman Yvonne Le Bas welcomed the opportunity to thank you all for what you do for the Fund and the projects we support, including our Major sponsors included, Australian Radio Network, Emirates, Charles Curran AC, Coolmore Stud and the Magnier Family, and Star Entertainment Group. Our Board Members, Governors, Associates, Benefactors and Young Leaders help us to continue the important work of the Fund as we look to the next 10 – 20 years and the next generation of Philanthropists.
Yvonne explained that we were very proud to have celebrated our 30th anniversary last year, no mean feat for any organisation – some of the highlights included:
• Hosting the President of Ireland to dinner
• Having The Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove launch our scholarship education partnership with Trinity Business School, in Dublin in September 2017
• Partnering with Science Gallery Melbourne
• Continuation of our partnership with the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation which will see us having supported 80 scholarship places to the tune of $800,000 by 2020. Two of those schools include Marist College Ashgrove and St. Peters Lutheran in Brisbane.
We are so delighted to have made a grant round of over $1.8 million for this year commencing June 2018 and we are very proud that 93.5% of tax deductible donations received by us over the last 5 years have been directed to our charities.
As Yvonne mentioned we have just attended the annual worldwide conference where the guest of honour was Senator George Mitchell who was so vital to the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the Peace Agreement of 1998. 20 years later he provided insights into his time there and commended the Ireland Funds on our work in Ireland North and South.
It was terrific to have Ben Davis, Australian Sports reporter and presenter, keep us on track as our MC, he also did a wonderful job interviewing Stephen Moore, former Captain of the Wallabies. It was an entertaining and insightful segment.
Jack and the boys and girls from Munsterbucks were delightful entertainers giving a very Irish traditional musical and dance performance.
Huge thank you also to our Auctioneer Chris McKearney of EBM Insurance and Risk Cover for travelling up from Melbourne for the day to help us.
I want to thank you all for all your support, you helped us to raise $50,000 on the day for our very worthy projects; without you we could not do what we do.
A few very practical ways you can continue to help us include:
Introduce us to your friends and networks to help us create more awareness to directly help more people.
You can sign up to one of our giving programmes or make a one off donation here.
We want to work with every Irish and other relevant organisation, we all have our unique purpose but together we can form the largest network of Friends of Ireland in Australia and ultimately be more effective.
On behalf of myself, Chairman Yvonne Le Bas, the rest of the Board and of course our grant recipients, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do!
Photos: Amy from About Time Co.