It was wonderful to see so many friends at our 2019 Supporters Lunch on 31 July. The setting and service at PwC was wonderful thank you to David Kelly and PwC for hosting this special event for us.
Chairman Yvonne Le Bas was delighted to acknowledge our many supporters with a special mention of Billy Cantwell on the 30th Anniversary of the Irish Echo, and the amazing Mary Lee, recently awarded an OAM recognising her enormous contribution to the Irish community.
Yvonne provided an update on our work during the last 12 months including our recent grant round of over $400,000 to projects in Ireland and Australia. A small snapshot of projects includes:
- Inner City Enterprise in Dublin, assisting unemployed people to set up their own business or create self employment
- Learning Hub Limerick a place where art, science, music, health, stories and digital learning for children all come together
- Men’s Sheds (an Australian initiative) improving the health and well being of men across Ireland
- Community Action Network in Dublin supporting the unemployed, improving poor housing conditions and the challenges of the drug economy.
- Our Partnership with The Lansdowne Club, being their charity of choice
- Our partnership with the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation supporting 80 Scholarship Places for indigenous students by 2020 at four leading Australian schools.
Australia was well represented at our recent worldwide Conference in Belfast where the mood we found is uncertain given Brexit, for example, and the recent return to unrest in Derry. Journalist Lyra McKee a victim of the recent unrest was given a posthumous award of The Ireland Funds AWB Vincent Literary Award, presented to her partner Sara Canning.
This visit showed us that our support for Integrated Education and Community Development in Northern Ireland is just as vital today and that peace cannot be taken for granted.
Consul General Owen Feeney thanked supporters on behalf of the people and Government of Ireland, not only for their financial support but their friendship, kindness, care and interest.
Yvonne thanked guests for all their support, without them we could not do what we do; and asked guests to introduce us to their networks to help us create more awareness to directly help more people.
Photos by Kristy McVay