On Thursday 1st March 2012, Lady Mary Fairfax opened up her magnificent home ‘Fairwater’ to The Australian Ireland Fund. The reception provided an opportunity for us to provide an update to and thank our valued supporters and friends.
Executive Director, Teresa Keating welcomed and thanked everyone for their continuous support; Teresa welcomed our important guests including Chairman Alan Joyce, Ambassador White, Consul General Caitriona Ingoldsby, Former Chairman Charles Curran AC and Mrs. Curran, Former Director Peter Cosgrove, Dr. Stanley Quek, Chairman of the Ireland Fund of Singapore, David Wiadrowski, our generous host at PWC, The Hon. Susan Ryan AO, Prof. james Donald of UNSW and Mrs. Mary Lee.
Teresa acknowledged Board Members who were present including Yvonne le Bas. Jane Cosgrove, Peter Ryan, Briege Tuite . Ciaran Davisand Prof. Ronan McDonald.
Teresa added, given Ireland’s current economic climate, Ireland is reaching out to the Diaspora more than ever before. Another way friends of Ireland could help would be to provide any leads for Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland through IDA Ireland. Teresa explained she had two hats and also represented IDA Ireland in Australia as well as running the Australian Ireland Fund. Teresa appealed to anyone if they knew of any companies considering expansion into Europe to contact her. www.idaireland.com
Chairman Alan Joyce then spoke and explained the reasons why he got involved with the Australian Ireland Fund. He feels that education is so important. The Fund is supporting education in Northern Ireland and now here in Australia. As an Irish person having received a wonderful education in Ireland he wants to give back to the country that provided for him through education enabling him to be the successful person he is today. As an Australian citizen also, he is proud and excited to be involved with our Indigenous Scholarships, continuing our theme of supporting education, into Australia.
Alan thanked all our supporters, in particular major sponsors Brett Chenoweth of APN, Richard Herring of APN and Ciaran Davis of Australian Radio Network. He thanked each and everyone in the room who support us in one way or another including our Governors and Benefactors.
Alan then presented a set of Waterford Crystal Governor Suite glasses to Governor Rodney O’Neil for his generous and continuing support for many years. Teresa Keating in turn presented Alan with a set of Governor Suite Glasses for his contribution as a Governor of the Australian Ireland Fund.
The recently arrived new Ambassador of Ireland to Australia, H.E. Noel White spoke, thanking supporters on behalf of the people of Ireland and the Government. He explained that while the economic climate in Ireland is very challenging that he believed Ireland would get through it but it would take time. He reiterated that Ireland needs her people around the globe like never before and encouraged those present to bear in mind how they could help Ireland, not only through the most valued financial support they currently provide but in ways such as indicated by Teresa above through IDA Ireland.
The Australian Ireland Fund Young Leaders programme is vital for the future of the Fund, it is an active group and we are looking forward to great things from them. Some of The Australian Ireland Fund Young Leaders present were, James and Sophie Aspley-Davis, Brendan Sheehan, David Creaven, Dermot McCann, Kerry Morrison, Dermot Sheehan, Sean Unwin and Julie Wynne Dylan Carroll.
The Ambassador also took the opportunity to thank Lady Mary Fairfax AC, OBE again for all that she does for Ireland and the Fund and presented beautiful bouquet of flowers to Lee Thomas for Lady Fairfax as a token of thanks.