On Tuesday 5 May 2009, Melbourne Australian Ireland Fund Director Mary Waldron hosted the 2009 Melbourne Supporters Reception. The event was held in one of the PricewaterhouseCoopers function rooms overlooking Southbank where guests enjoyed cocktails and canapés.
Special guests attending the event included H.E Ambassador Máirtín Ó Fainín, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, The Hon. Robert Doyle, former Treasurer of Victoria, The Hon. Pat McNamara, Governor and major supporter Brendan O’Brien and Fergus Ryan.
Also in attendance were Australian Ireland Fund Directors Kevin Luscombe AM and Ted Johnson and Executive Director Teresa Keating.
Director Mary Waldron provided an update on the activities of the Fund over the last twelve months and shared details on a review the Australian Ireland Fund had undertaken over the last number of months about our structure and activities going forward. From the review has emerged a decision that the Australian Ireland Fund will, going forward, in addition to remaining committed to integrated education in Northern Ireland, contribute meaningfully to Australia, which has been hospitable to so many Irish families over many generations.
We now see the opportunity to take the invaluable lessons of the Ireland Funds experience in effectively dealing with the ever challenging occurrence of social breakdown and the consequent process of reconciliation into our own communities of need in Australia. We are currently developing our strategy in this regard.
Ambassador ÓFainín also spoke and gave our supporters an update on the political and economic climate in Ireland and the political climate in Northern Ireland. The Ambassador thanked guests and supporters on behalf of the Irish Government and Irish people and told them that their support is vital to the work of the Australian Ireland Fund now so more than ever. The Ambassador endorsed our decision to support projects of reconciliation and education here in Australia
The event was a great opportunity to thank all those who supported and contributed to the Australian Ireland Fund helping make 2008 a successful year. It also provided an opportunity to network and share a drink with friends!