[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]July 2009, Vol 1, Issue 1

Welcome to the latest edition of the jbm newsletter!

Welcome friends to the second edition of the John Byrne Memorial (JBM) newsletter, your bi-annual updates on what is happening at the JBM.

In the last newsletter we mentioned we were in the process of developing a website for the JBM that is being constructed with the assistance of Nola Grant and a team, including Shane Andrews, at Kangan Batman TAFE. Bancha Rienkham (iCmotion) is the host of the website and he has donated all his time and energy for the cause. We can inform you that this is in the final stages and we are on track to launch the website at the next JBM fund-raising dinner on Saturday October 3rd. It will be exciting to have an online presence for the JBM and it will give us another way to share information as well as keep everyone updated with upcoming JBM events and developments.

And speaking of the next JBM fund-rasing dinner, I hope everyone has October 3rd marked in their calendars already as this year’s event looks set to be as successful as ever. The JBM Social Committee are hard at work as we speak finalising arrangements for what is sure to be a fantastic evening and another chance for all supporters of the JBM to come together for a night of celebration.

Further details regarding the evening can be found in the newsletter below however I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Social Committee has announced that this year will be the final fund raising dinner until further notice. The Committee is currently considering alternative means of fund- raising and endeavouring to explore new and interesting events which will continue to build upon the foundations established over the last four years. As such on behalf of the Committee I would like to welcome all suggestions for future fund-raising activities. If you have an idea or would like to be involved we would love to hear from you!

In other news, it is very exciting as part of this newsletter to be able to introduce to you our 2009 recipients of the John Byrne Memorial Scholarships. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all JBM Committee members and supporters when I say how great it is to see the JBM continuing to provide support to such inspiring young people.

This year we congratulate Mr Tha Gay Aung, recipient of the scholarship at Victoria University, and Miss Kafiya Abdullahi, recipient of the scholarship at Maribyrnong Secondary College. Please read about these two recipients below and how your generous support of the JBM is making a real difference and helping them to achieve their dreams.

And finally I can announce that we have another JBM event for 2009, with a special screening of the powerful new Australia film, Balibo. Featuring an all-star cast, including Anthony La Paglia and one of John Byrne’s nephews, and Australia’s brightest young acting talent, Nathan Phillips. Balibo is an unforgettable film set in East Timor in 1975, the time of the Indonesian invasion and tells the gripping story of the execution of the Australian journalists known as the Balibo Five.

The screening will take place on 16th August 2009. At the Como Cinema, Corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street South Yarra. Entry will be a $25 donation which includes tea, coffee and finger food. The donation will be directed to S.T.A.F – The John Byrne Memorial. Please note however that places are strictly limited so please contact Annette Byrne-Phillips without delay to make your booking. The JBM would like to thank the wonderful people at Palace Cinemas and the Zeccola family for their ongoing support and making this event possible.

2009 Scholarship Recipients

Mr Tha Gay AUNG

The successful applicant for the John Byrne Scholarship at Victoria University is Mr Tha Gay AUNG. He is 28 years of age, recently arrived in Australia (April 2008) from Burma and holds a Permanent Humanitarian Visa. He is currently enrolled on a full time basis in a Certificate IV in Hospitality comprising 913 study hours over the year. Mr Aung hopes that his studies will assist him to become a hotel manager. In addition to funding of $1000 (paid in two installments over 2009) mentoring support has been offered to Mr Aung on behalf of the John Byrne Memorial.

Miss Kafiya Abdullahi

Kafiya Abdullahi, a VCE student at Maribyrnong Secondary College was nominated by her teachers for this scholarship because of her outstanding dedication to her studies in both Year 10 and 11. A refugee from Somalia, Kafiya is the primary carer for her mother who is seriously ill. Kafiya is a great role model for other students, making the most of private study time in the VCE room and working hard towards her goals.

Update on Previous Scholarship Recipients

Last year’s John Byrne Scholarship recipient at Victoria University, Wol Wol has very successfully completed his 2008 studies, receiving many High Distinctions in the two courses he studied. He has again enrolled in two more courses to extend his skills in the field of computers and information technology. Wol has been provided with a VU Access Scholarship of $1000 to support his studies in 2009.

Our 2008 Maribyrnong Secondary College recipient, Arbenita Qorri, successfully completed VCE last year and is now studying Health Science at La Trobe University. Arbenita featured in an article about the John Byrne Memorial Fund in The Mail newspaper in April in which she says she will never forget receiving the John Byrne memorial scholarship. “I could call it a godsend as we were moving houses, I was finishing Year 11 and preparing for Year 12 …. And bit by little bit it would just be there to help my family.”

Provision of Funds for Transport

At a John Byrne Scholarship Committee meeting in 2008 concerns were raised about the inability of some recently arrived students to pay for public transport to attend the secondary schools at which they are enrolled. This need was identified by a couple of youth committees in the Western region that were unable to locate a suitable funding source to support students with educational expenses such as travel tickets. As a result, the John Byrne Memorial organised for the Western English Language School to administer a fund of $500 per year, which can be accessed by youth and relevant support workers. This year the $500 was used to purchase half-yearly tickets for two students – one self-supporting and the other living with relatives. It is remarkable what a difference such a contribution can make. In the words of one of the Student Welfare Coordinators involved “The ticket has been extremely important to her as she wouldn’t have been able to get to school. Her attendance has increased enormously and consequently so has her progress because she is in class and not missing out on lessons.”

John Byrne Memorial Dinner

Following the wonderful success of our dinner last year we are returning to the same venue, 501 Receptions at 501 Barkly Street, Footscray, for the 2009 Dinner. This is a great opportunity to gather with the Byrne family along with John’s friends and colleagues to enjoy a delicious meal, buy a raffle ticket or two, maybe bid for one of the few select auction items and dance the night away. Think about booking a table and inviting your friends.

Venue: The Red Room, 501 Receptions, 501 Barkly Street, Footscray

Date: Saturday, 3 October, 2009

Cost: $60.00 per head

The fundraising dinner has been held each year close to the date of John’s birthday and this year he would have been sixty. The Social Committee considers it timely to make this the last such dinner and look to other fundraising activities in the future. If you have any ideas about how to continue to raise funds for the State Trustees Australia

Foundation – the John Byrne Memorial, we would love to hear from you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]