5th June, 2011

Melbourne Gala Luncheon

Our 2011 Melbourne Gala Luncheon took place on Sunday, 5 June 2011 at Zinc at Federation Square in Melbourne overlooking the Yarra River. The 220 guests were greeted with traditional and contemporary Irish music by band ‘The Simpson Three’.

Australian Ireland Fund Director, Mary Waldron was the luncheon chair and Master of Ceremonies for the day. Other Australian Ireland Fund Directors present were Ted Johnson, Kevin Luscombe AM, Dr. Tom Moore, Executive Director Teresa Keating, Professor Rónán McDonald, Director of the Australian Ireland Fund Chair of Modern Irish Studies at UNSW and  Ambassador, HE Máirtín Ó Fainín.  A presentation was made to the Ambassador to recognize the contribution he has made to the Fund whilst in Australia.  The Ambassador retires in July. 

Mary Waldron took the opportunity to give an update on the activities of the Australian Ireland Fund and the projects of integrated education we are supporting in Northern Ireland.  Mary also made mention of the Funds other Australian projects, in association with Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, headed by Mr. Andrew Penfold, to provide quality education for disadvantaged indigenous young Australians through the provision of scholarships at a number of leading schools.

Guests were entertained by Dublin born Eleanor McEvoy on the day. Eleanor composed the song Only A Woman's Heart, title track of A Woman's Heart, the best-selling Irish album in Irish history.  

The Live auction was conducted by our wonderful supporter The Hon. Patrick McNamara. Thank you to our major sponsors: Qantas, “Sydney”, Australian Radio Network, Eureka Level 89, Hamilton Island Yacht Villas, Jetstar,  Avis and Briege Tuite.

Guests then relaxed with dessert and Irish coffees and again enjoyed the music of ‘The Simpson Three’ as guests stayed on to mingle and enjoy the atmosphere of such a great day. 

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

Mr. Robert Clifford, Mr. John Clifford, Mr. Fergal Coleman, Mr. Ciaran Davis, The Hon. Peter Heerey QC, Mr. Richard Herring, Mr. Ted Johnson, Ms. Teresa Keating, Mr. Kevin Kelly, Mr. Dominic Long, Mr. Kevin Luscombe AM, Mr. Seamus McPeake, Mr. Tom Galligan, Mr. Paul Moynes, Mr. David Murphy, Mr. Paul O’Brien, Mr. Cameron O’Reilly, Mr. Ken Ryan,  Ms. Mary Waldron.

Star City, Aer Lingus, Carlton Hotel Group, Tourism Ireland, Sheen Falls,  Australian Rugby, Guinness, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, Waterford Crystal, Setanta Wines, ZINC at Federation Square, Lyall Hotel & Spa, Scotchmans Hills, Harrigans Irish Pub and Hunter Valley Gardens, Bunyip Tours, RACV, Ticketek, TasteIreland, Suntory Australia, The Sebel Heritage, IRFU, Butlers Chocolates, Swisse Vitamins, Australis Music Group, Rhyll Trout & Busher Tucker Farm, Baileys, Ramada Encore, BHA, National Celtic Festival, Brighton Public Golf Course, Kevin Luscombe AM, Mary Waldron, Paul Kelly.