For the first time in 17 months, The Ireland Funds Australia held a face-to-face fundraising event, and it was amazing to be back amongst our friends and supporters at the beautiful Hillstone St. Lucia for our 2021 Brisbane Luncheon.
More than 160 guests were thrilled to be out and about again as they joined us on a lovely Friday afternoon in Brisbane.
Chairman Yvonne Le Bas welcomed guests back to Brisbane and thanked our major sponsors and supporters including Australian Radio Network, Charles Curran AC, Coolmore Australia, The Star Entertainment Group, Miriam Innes, our Board Members, Governors, Associates, Benefactors and Young Leaders.
Yvonne gave an update on the work of the Fund here in Australia; acknowledging how extremely hard this pandemic has been on the fundraising capabilities of the Fund and most importantly for the projects we support, many of whom have been very severely impacted, but have shown resilience and determination.
Thanks to the help of our very generous supporters, we still managed to have a grant round in June 2020 of almost $250,000 to support 18 projects in Ireland and Australia. We are working hard to at least match that donation in our June 2021 grant round.
Yvonne also spoke about the new Heart of The Community Fund global campaign to assist those impacted by COVID, where a small grant can make a huge difference. Click here to watch The Ireland Funds Global CEO Caitriona Fottrell launch the campaign.
Ireland’s Ambassador to Australia H.E. Breandán Ó Caollaí then gave an update on how the pandemic is impacting the island of Ireland and gave thanks for the continued work of the Fund and their supporters who generously give so much.
MC Ben Davis kept us on track and conducted a wonderful interview with AFLW Brisbane Lion’s Orla O’Dwyer and Nat Grider, coming off their recent grand final win. Orla played camogie and ladies’ Gaelic football, representing Tipperary in both and captaining in the former, Orla was signed as an other-sport rookie by Brisbane ahead of the 2020 AFLW season.
A huge thank you to our auctioneer Jason Beaumont from Slattery’s Auctions for conducting our live auction where we saw some hotly contested bidding, especially for the beautiful charcoal drawing of The Customs House Dublin, created specifically for our luncheon and donated by talented artist Miriam Innes.
Some Irish flair came via our band Munsterbucks and Irish dancers, who entertained guests as they enjoyed their baileys and Irish coffees.
From the bottom of our hearts we thank our table captains, sponsors and supporters for everything they do, it is because of their ongoing generosity that we are able to continue the work that we do.
COVID-19 has brought many challenges and we are so thrilled that we are able to once again come together face-to-face to have a wonderful afternoon with our friends and supporters to have fun all whilst giving back.
Very best wishes,
The Ireland Funds Australia