12th August, 2012

Brisbane Gala Luncheon 2012

We are delighted to announce that the Brisbane Gala Luncheon raised almost $60,000 these funds will be used to continue the work of the Australian Ireland Fund in education in the North of Ireland, educational scholarships for indigenous Australians and also to move into funding projects which tackle poverty and help disadvantaged communities in Ireland.

The lunch took place on Sunday 12 August 2012 at the charming Hillstone St. Lucia.  The weather was beautiful – perfect for guests to enjoy welcome drinks and canapés on the terrace overlooking the stunning St. Lucia Golf Links.  We were delighted to see so many of our Brisbane regulars and also some new faces.

Australian Ireland Fund Director, Sallyanne Atkinson AO welcomed guests, many from Brisbane’s top corporate institutions. Special guests on the day included Chairman Alan Joyce, Councillor Vicki Howard, representing the Lord Mayor, Former Ambassador of Ireland to Australia Richard O’Brien, Australian Ireland Fund Directors Tom Moore, Frank Curran and Peter Ryan and Executive Director Teresa Keating.

Dr Tom Moore was an amusing Master of Ceremonies; he outlined the format of the day and was delighted to welcome Chairman Alan Joyce to the stage.

The Chairman took this opportunity to deliver some sad news – he will be stepping down as Chairman at the end of the year, Qantas will be remaining as corporate sponsors and Alan has become a life governor and will of course remain one of the Australian Ireland Funds most ardent supporters.  Alan paid tribute to Governors Drs. Frank and Ailbhe Cunningham and presented them with a set of stunning Waterford Crystal Governor Suite glasses.  Alan thanked other corporate sponsors, Australian Radio Network, Capital Investment, Vodafone, Greg Ward Jewellery and Courier Mail along with our other very generous sponsors and Table Captains.

The Chairman provided an update on the activities of the Australian Ireland Fund and the projects of integrated education we are supporting in Northern Ireland. He spoke of the Fund supporting two more integrated schools that are helping build bridges, promote tolerance and provide a rounded education for children in Northern Ireland, Forge Integrated Primary School in Belfast and Glengormley Integrated Primary School.

The Chairman also highlighted the Funds Australian projects, in association with Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, providing quality education for disadvantaged indigenous young Australians through scholarships at a number of leading schools. Alan also spoke about the Fund’s involvement of the Chair of Irish Studies at the University of New South Wales, paying particular tribute to Mary Lee, who was very instrumental in setting up the Chair.

The Chairman also indicated there is much work to be done and encouraged those present to help us to spread the word about our work and let us know of any contacts guests feel would like to know about us.

Guests were entertained by Rhiannon & Monique, a young Celtic fiddle and cello duo, who recently won the 2012 Folk Alliance Australia Folk Youth Award. Rhiannon and Monique were absolutely stunning and compelled their audience to sit, listen and enjoy the music.

The Live auction was conducted by Bruce Smith from Ray White Real Estate, who expertly whipped the crowd into a great state of excitement, thanks to all our donors and of course our guests who bid on different items.

Thank you to our table captains and sponsors, quite simply our work would not be possible without your help.