Nicola Holly

The past year has been very positive in many ways, IASAQ has grown substantially and we’re proud of the fact that we now have three staff members. I would like to welcome Fionnuala, Cáit and Jennifer to the team. If you see them over the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, please say hi and get to know them. Our IASAQ staff are our frontline workers; their knowledge, passion and dedication to the Irish community is exemplary and we’re lucky to have them. I would like to extend a sincere ‘thank you’ for their continued hard work, efforts, and the good humour they bring to IASAQ. 

One of the highlights of this year was the opening of the international borders and seeing people being able to return home after a great length away. We loved watching people’s reunion videos as they touched down at Irish airports and reunited with their families! Our organisation continued to rise to the challenges that the Irish emigrant community in Queensland experience. Domestic violence, housing insecurity, informational needs, isolation, and mental health issues were the main challenges people faced. Many of our clients experience multiple challenges simultaneously and are therefore in need of a variety of supports. 

We are grateful to every single person who has approached us for support or assistance this year. It’s not easy being on the other side of the world from your family and friends, but that’s where we aim to step in. We thank everyone who has partaken in our programs; our Seniors Group, or the JALOS (just a little older) as we call them, our Mother’s Group, and our weekly Knit n’ Knatter Group.

IASAQ presents inclusive, meaningful events that celebrates what it means to be an Irish immigrant in Australia today. Our Charity Ball continues to grow in popularity, and this year we have moved the event to a bigger venue. Our Charity Golf Day, St. Brigid’s Day event and cinema nights have also been well received, and we’re looking forward to those events again. 

The IASAQ Board is focused on growth, development and good governance. Being on the board of IASAQ is a great honour and responsibility. It’s a demonstration of your commitment to your community. Everyone on the Board is a volunteer, and they put the work in as they know how important IASAQ is to our community. I would like to take this time to thank our current and past board members; Johnny, Martina, Michelle, Paudie, Tony, Eoin, Brendan, Gerard, Michael, Mary, Kieran and Liam for the incalculable amount of work they do. I would like to also thank the wider Irish community for their support and to all our dedicated volunteers and members. Whether you’ve been a client, attended one of our programs or events, or even engaged with us on social media, you’ve made an positive impact within our organisation. 

It’s the people that make IASAQ special; our members, our staff, our volunteers, the Board, and most importantly the people we assist and the community that supports us. It’s about coming together as individuals, working in collaboration and upholding the values that this organisation stands for. Those being respect, compassion and a belief that all people should be giving support when they’re at their most vulnerable. 

Personally, it has been a beautifully rewarding experience being President of IASAQ this year. I take immense pride in my role here, and I’m grateful to lead an organisation that has such standing, meaning and value. We are vital to the Irish Australian community and I’m so incredibly proud of all we’ve achieved recently. IASAQ wishes you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day – enjoy the celebrations and take care!

Nicola Holly

Irish Australian Support
Association of Queensland