The Ireland Funds Australia celebrated the start of the week of St Patrick’s Day festivities with a reception for our wonderful supporters on a Tuesday evening hosted in the stylish corporate offices of Deloitte in the CBD.
Chairman Yvonne Le Bas welcomed the Irish Ambassador Breandán Ó Caollaí, Consul General Owen Feeney and Senator Deborah O’Neill along with Board Members of the Ireland Funds Australia including Frank Curran, Patrick Tuttle and Louise Kelly and of course Executive Director Teresa Keating.
Yvonne acknowledged fellow Governors and major Sponsors including Tim Harrowell of Emirates, David Kelly of PwC and Niall Ronan of Coolmore and extended a special thank you to our wonderful host, David Murray of Deloitte. Chairman of The Lansdowne Club Philip O’Sullivan was also acknowledged as the Ireland Funds are proud to be the Lansdowne Club’s “Charity of Choice”. With over 2,000 members, the Lansdowne Club are Australia’s premier Irish business network and we are thrilled to have this charity partnership over the next few years.
The Chairman provided an overview of significant impacts over the last two years and was thrilled to advise guests that in 2018 our largest ever grant round of more than $1.8 million was donated to projects such as Science Gallery Melbourne, Integrate My School and the Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute and that since our inception 32 years ago, The Ireland Funds Australia has donated more than $12.3 million to 115 projects across the island of Ireland and here in Australia.
Yvonne spoke of the partnership we have formed with Trinity College Business School to support 20 scholarship places in their MBA Programme. With 4 scholarships a year over 5 years for Australian residents and the first intake happening this September Yvonne encouraged guests to spread the word across their networks for any bright minds who would like to earn their MBA at Ireland’s leading university.
We were privileged to have the Irish Ambassador Breandán Ó Caollaí speak, endorsing the work of Fund, the connections made both here and across Ireland and how significant our help is to people in need and he encouraged everyone to continue supporting this life-changing work.
Louise Kelly spoke on behalf of the Young Leaders giving an update on events and goals for 2019. With exciting events in the pipeline and a growing network of emerging philanthropists, the Australian Young Leaders truly are some of the most dynamic around the globe. Sadly, this was Louise’s last event as she heads back home to Ireland. She thanked the Ireland Funds for allowing her to have some amazing experiences and providing the opportunity to tangibly give back. Louise has been an invaluable part of The Ireland Funds Australia family who will be dearly missed.
Executive Director Teresa Keating then provided an update on our event calendar for 2019, with our Melbourne Dinner confirmed for 30 May and our Brisbane Luncheon on 9 August and the 6th annual Global 5k in September and finished by thanking all present and asking for their ongoing support to enable us to continue this vital work.
Photos: Kristy McVay Photography