[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]September 2010 Newsletter


Welcome to the third edition of the John Byrne Memorial (JBM) newsletter, which aims to provide updates on the work of the JBM. We would also like to encourage you to visit our ‘new look’ website at http://www.johnbyrnememorial.com.au for more information.


Since its inception the JBM has been guided by the State Trustees Australia Foundation (STAF) in order that our fundraising and scholarship activities comply with legal requirements. In the past only direct donations could be made to STAF – The John Byrne Memorial raising issues about the transfer of funds from our fundraising events, held in an operational account, into the Trust Fund.

After discussions with STAF in March 2010, the JBM Executive Committee decided to become an incorporated entity in order to allow JBM to have more flexibility in its transfer and allocation of money and for future development. The Executive Committee reviewed its mission/purpose statement making minor amendments and completed an application form for Consumer Affairs Victoria. The Executive Committee was entered as the Committee of Management with Annette Byrne-Phillips nominated to hold the position of Public Officer.

The application was approved by Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Certificate of Incorporation was tabled at the Executive Committee Meeting in July 2010.

2010 Scholarship Recipients

Every year the JBM awards two scholarships to students studying in the Western Region of Melbourne – a tertiary scholarship for someone studying at Victoria University and a secondary scholarship for someone undertaking VCE studies at Maribyrnong Secondary College. It is with pleasure that we announce the successful recipients for 2010.

Ms Sher Gay Moon Khin Yin

Ms Khin Yin is 26 years old and arrived in Australia in 2008 from Myanmar. She is currently enrolled on a full time basis in a Certificate III in Children’s Services and a Certificate III in ESL (Employment) comprising 908 study hours over the year. Ms Khin Yin hopes that her studies will enable her to gain employment in the Child Care field. In addition to the $1,000 scholarship, Ms Kin Yin has been offered mentoring support on behalf of the John Byrne Memorial.

Ms Halla Abdullahi

Halla is in Year 11 at Maribyrnong Secondary College. She is living with an aunt who arranged for her to come to Australia after both her parents died in Ethiopia. Both she and her sister spent nearly two years in Egypt waiting for their papers to be processed for entry into Australia. During that time neither of the girls attended school but Halla bought some books and taught herself basic English so that when she arrived she could understand conversations around her. In the seven months she had at language school upon arrival, Halla improved her English oral and written skills quickly and is making progress at school. In a letter to the John Byrne Memorial Executive Committee she wrote:

My aunty has a big place in my life and I am very grateful for that. I am grateful that my teachers and John’s family believed in me and gave me this big opportunity to help me with my school. I am proud of myself, my aunty is proud of me and I wish my parents were here to see this and see what her daughter achieved at school and will achieve in the future. I am sure they would be proud.

Financial Assistance

The JBM has also allocated $1,000 a year to assist disadvantaged students with educational related expenses, such as the purchase of public transport tickets. The JBM has organised for the Western Language School (WELS) to administer the fund that are accessed by youth and relevant support workers.

In the last year, 4 six monthly travel tickets were purchased and given to four students studying at Debney Park Secondary College, Maribyrnong College and Footscray City Secondary College. The travel tickets have been important to these students, who otherwise would not have been able to attend school. Funding for travel tickets is not available elsewhere.

Fundraising Events

Since our last newsletter we have held three events that proved successful on two fronts – raising money for the JBM and bringing John’s family, friends and associates together to socialize.

There was a special screening of the powerful Australian film “Balibo” at the Como Theatre in South Yarra featuring Anthony La Paglia and one of John Byrne’s nephews, Nathan Phillips. Those who attended were treated to pre-movie refreshments and an introductory talk by representatives of cast and crew, Tom White and Mark Winter. Total amount of funds raised was $4,080.

The 2009 JBM Dinner was held at 501 Receptions in Footscray on the occasion of John’s 60th birthday and as such it was felt an opportune time to bring to a halt the annual nature of the JBM Dinner and look at other fundraising opportunities. The dinner went out with style featuring an amazing soloist, Herman, the launch of the JBM website, a silent auction and great music for dancing. The dinner raised $7,051. Those present were delighted to meet Halla, one of our scholarship recipients who joined us for the evening.

On a Sunday afternoon at the end of May, supporters gathered at the Kino Cinema for a viewing of “Robin Hood” with Russell Crow in the leading role. Time was spent catching up and renewing old friendships over refreshments before the movie. A total of $1,430 was raised.

Both of our film sessions were made possible through the generosity of the Zeccola family and Kino Cinemas and we thank them for their support of the JBM.

The next event planned is the Trivia Night at 7.30pm on Saturday 16th October 2010 at St Joseph’s Conference Room, Edmund Rice Education Australia, 9 The Vaucluse Richmond. John’s nephew and committee member, Mark Walsh and John Binek, both experienced Trivia organisers, are running the evening and have plans underway to make this a cracker event. The winning table of eight will receive first prize of a $200 dinner voucher for Brown Sugar Thai, an outstanding restaurant in East Brunswick.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]