Print Icon
Dear Supporter,

It’s my pleasure introduce myself to our members and supporters in this final E-Newsletter of 2016. My name is Yvonne Le Bas and I was appointed as the new Chairman of the Australian Ireland Fund by the Board at our most recent AGM in November. I am the CFO of BT Financial Group, and have served as Treasurer to the Fund for 7 years and a Governor for 5 years. I’m a proud alumnus of Trinity College Dublin, and for me, the Fund is an ideal way to keep up my links to both Ireland and the Irish Australian community and to contribute in a meaningful way to causes in Ireland and Australia that will provide children and young people with the advantages that I was lucky to have growing up.

As we draw 2016 to a close, we are reflecting on a hugely successful year for the Fund, where our signature fundraising event, the Sydney Garden Party, raised the most amount of money ever. With your support, we have donated over $377,000 to charities in Ireland and Australia for the year to June 2016. For 2017, I am very much looking forward to celebrating our 30th year with you all, looking back at what we have achieved and also doing some work to map out where we want to go from here. We also have some new worldwide branding that we’ll be launching - keep an eye out for our new look - and more great events in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for our supporters and friends.

Finally, my thanks to John O’Neill AO for his many years dedication to the Fund, including 14 as Chairman. I look forward to building on his work and celebrating what I hope will be a landmark year for the Australian Ireland Fund in 2017 with you.

Best Regards and a very happy Christmas and New Year to you all.

Yvonne Le Bas

The Sydney Garden Party

The 2016 Sydney Garden Party was the most successful to date, both socially and financially, with over 560 guests attending and $216,000 raised on the day for our flagship projects. This could not have been achieved without the generous support of all involved including our Table Captains and in particular our major sponsors. A very special part of the lunch arrived when Chairman John O’Neill AO was thanked by Deputy Chair, Yvonne Le Bas on behalf of the Board and was presented with the Bird and Bell Award by Teresa Keating, and other members of the Board for his enormous contribution to the work of the Australian Ireland Fund. John has been on the Board for 16 years over two periods and 14 of them as Chairman. We are indeed indebted to John for the enormous contribution he has made to us. View the full report and photos from the day

Your projects supported 2015-2016


Drumlins Integrated Primary School was established in Ballynahinch in 2004 with the support of the Sir Warwick Fairfax Trust and the Australian Ireland Fund. It is wonderful to see Drumlins will move into their new £3.5 million home next September, the first integrated school to be built in Northern Ireland with the government’s Fresh Start funding scheme agreed earlier this year. Who could have imagined that a little school on temporary premises with just a handful of children would now be 200 strong and on the cusp of a permanent multi-million home? They couldn’t have done it without your support…. Thank you!

Past Events

The Sydney Young Leaders held their annual Christmas get together on November 30th at Opera Bar. Unfortunately the heavens opened just as the event was about to get underway, but the torrential downpour was short-lived and our die hard supporters were unfazed by the storm, joining us for a glass of festive cheer and to raise some money for the Australian Ireland Fund. A special word of thanks to Bruce Solomon and Peter Ryan, Australian Ireland Fund board member, for organising such a wonderful venue at Opera Bar, allowing our Young Leaders to network whilst enjoying the views of one of Sydney's most iconic locations. Thanks to all our supporters and sponsors for a great and successful 2016 for the Young Leaders.

Dates for the Diary

Global Young Leaders Summit New York, January 26 - 29
All Young Leader members are welcome to attend.
If you would like more details please email Melissa
Mundy on a Tuesday
Melbourne Event with Irish singer/songwriter Mundy
 Save the date Tuesday 14 March
Ireland Funds Annual Conference 21 - 24 June, Powerscourt Hotel, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow

All Ireland Fund members are welcome to attend.

Support us by attending one of our events outlined above, joining our Governor, Associate or Benefactor programmes or by making a general donation 


Teresa Keating
Executive Director
The Australian Ireland Fund