Minister Martin announces over AUD 300,000 in grants to Irish community organisations in Australia
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheal Martin T.D., announced grants totalling over AUD$300,000 to four Irish community organisations in Australia which are engaged in the provision of support and advisory to Irish emigrants.
In announcing Government support to these groups, the Minister said:
“The Government is committed to supporting Irish community and
welfare organisations who work with Irish emigrants in Australia.
The organisations funded provide a range of services to vulnerable
members the Irish community in Australia, particularly the elderly,
including drop-in centres and community outreach programmes. They
have a very tangible and positive impact on the lives of those they
reach and I am delighted that we are in a position again this year
to provide some financial support”.
The Minister continued:
“The large and in many cases ageing Irish community in Australia is fortunate to be able to avail of the services of the welfare organisations in Melbourne, Sydney and Woolongong. I am particularly pleased that, for the first time this year, we are funding the recently-formed Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland. This will ensure that more Irish people in Australia, including the many thousands of young people who travel there each year on working holiday visas, are within easy reach of a community organisation and can draw on its support.
The Minister concluded:
“At a time of worldwide economic difficulty I believe that it is more important than ever that we do not forget those who left Ireland for Australia in years past and who may now be in need of our support, particularly the elderly. In many cases they would over the years have sent financial remittances back home and it is only right that we now do our part to ensure that their needs are attended to".
Note for Editors
The Irish Abroad Unit in the Department of Foreign Affairs, which administers the Government's emigrant support programme, was established in 2004 on foot of the Report of the Task Force on Policy regarding Emigrants. Its role is to strengthen the relationship between Ireland and Irish people living overseas and to provide support to organisations working with Irish emigrant communities. Irish Government funding for organisations providing emigrant services to Irish people living in Australia has risen significantly in recent years. This announcement of grants totalling AUD$303,500 represents an increase of 37% on the 2007 total of AUD$221,500.
Australian-Irish Welfare Bureau NSW 104,000
Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland 70,000
Australian-Irish Welfare Bureau Wollongong 20,500
Australian Irish Welfare Bureau Victoria 109,000
28th December 2008