Friday June 2, 2017

Australia – Melbourne 30th Anniversary Luncheon 2017

Melbourne put on a beautiful day for our first Friday Luncheon celebrating our 30th anniversary on 2 June, back at Zinc at Federation Square. We were delighted to welcome over 210 guests to what is now the most successful Melbourne lunch ever!

MC Catherine Murphy introduced the newly appointed Chairman Yvonne Le Bas, CFO of BT Financial Group, who flew down from Sydney for the Lunch. Yvonne welcomed guests including H.E. Breandán Ó Caollaí Irish Ambassador to Australia, fellow Board Members Ted Johnson and Paul O’Brien, former Board Member Kevin Luscombe AM, Executive Director Teresa Keating and the Melbourne Young Leader Committee. Yvonne also welcomed supporter Fergus Ryan AO, major sponsor Emirates Regional Director Dean Cleaver and Australian Radio Network’s Commercial Director, Peter Whitehead. We were delighted to have many representatives of the wider Irish community attend including the Celtic Club, Trinity College Alumni, the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce, Julien O’Connell AM of Mercy Health and Science Gallery Melbourne.

Yvonne provided an update on the Funds activities over the 12 months which saw the Fund host 12 events. Yvonne very excitedly spoke of the grants we are making for 2017/2018, including continued support for Soar, Solas, Suas, the AIEF and new projects including Integrate My School, an Integrated Education awareness campaign explaining that every school in Northern Ireland has the opportunity to transform into an integrated school, This is the next exciting and important step in the integrated movement as today only 7% of schools are integrated despite polls showing 80% support for integration in Northern Ireland. The Go Foundation in Australia, empowering indigenous children through education, founded by Adam Goodes and Michael O’Loughlin, and Science Gallery Melbourne who have secured the rights to Australia’s only node in the highly successful Science Gallery International Network founded by Trinity College Dublin. We are delighted to partner with Science Gallery Melbourne in their first pop up exhibition strengthening the links between our two countries and helping showcase the wonderful Irish innovation.

The Ambassador then spoke explaining he had experienced the work of the Fund in the USA and Great Britain. The Ambassador endorsed the work of the Fund, telling guests the support of the worldwide Ireland Funds network for projects in Ireland and Irish projects around the globe is vital and is making a huge difference in the lives of many people.

Catherine then invited Tom Harkin to the stage to ask about his experience with the Reach Foundation in Melbourne and particularly Soar in Ireland and the impact of the work of these organisations. On a recent ABC breakfast show interview Tom was dubbed the “Bloke Whisperer” for his work in people development, it was clear why as he spoke to us about Soar and its vital work for the development of young people in Ireland!

We were thrilled to be entertained by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Grammy nominated singer songwriter Ciaran Gribbin, of Rock and Roll Team Building, who performed an arrangement especially written for our 30th anniversary lunch.

We were grateful to have Christopher McKearney of Asset Value expertly conduct our live auction. A huge thank you to major sponsors, Emirates, Coolmore Stud, Sydney Yachts, The Republic Hotel, Eureka Level 89, and Australian Radio network.

Melbourne Director Paul O’Brien, then took to the stage encouraging guests to pledge directly to the Soar project in Ireland. Having heard from Tom the audience was then treated to a video from founder Tony Griffin and some of the young people who have been involved with Soar’s workshops. Needless to say the generosity and good will in the room was evident as we raised extra funds specifically for Soar.

At the conclusion of the pledge Chairman Yvonne le Bas took to the stage once again to very excitedly announce an anonymous major donation had been received, a first in the Funds 30 year history in Melbourne.

As could be expected, the rest of the afternoon continued on a high, Catherine spoke about the Young Leader Network of which she is a committee member, their upcoming events including the global 5k run on September 23, Catherine and Sonia O’Sullivan, Ambassador for the Global 5K, encouraged all present to join us and run!

Catherine closed the days formalities by thanking everyone for their attendance and generosity and introduced Pat McKernan who performed for guests as they relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company as well as Irish Coffees and Baileys!

As could be expected, the rest of the afternoon continued on a high, Catherine spoke about the Young Leader Network of which she is a committee member, their upcoming events including the global 5k run on September 23, Catherine and Sonia O’Sullivan, Ambassador for the Global 5K, encouraged all present to join us and run!

Catherine closed the days formalities by thanking everyone for their attendance and generosity and introduced Pat McKernan who performed for guests as they relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company as well as Irish Coffees and Baileys!

Melbourne Luncheon 30th Anniversary Programme

Contact

Teresa Keating

Executive Director

413 Bourke Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia

T - +61-410-633-598

Email
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