10th Annual LINK conference 29 - 30 April 2016, Perth
April saw the return of the annual LINK Conference for Irish support organisations in Australia. The Claddagh Association in Perth were this year's hosts.
The conference is an opportunity for Irish support organisations working in different states in Australia to get together and share information and experiences on the assistance we provide for our clients. We also discuss the common issues facing Irish people living in Australia and ways in which we can work together, and with organisations based in Ireland, to address these issues. Common themes this year included Mental Health, FIFO work and Immigration/visa issues.
Among this years line-up of speakers were the Australian Dept. of Immigration and Border Protection, The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, Crosscare Migrant Project, Irish Council for Prisoners overseas and The Irish Times - Generation Emigration.
We also enjoyed presentations on dealing with the media, family law, fundraising and the economics and emotions of Irish in Australia.
Thanks to all those who took part, and to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, The Irish Embassy in Canberra and the Irish Consulate in Sydney for supporting this important event.
The Australian Irish support organisations present Eithne and Colin Bell from the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust with a custom made sculpture called "Flying Home" which was designed to reflect the important work they do by alleviating the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the bodies of loved ones who have died abroad back to Ireland.