This month we sadly say farewell to our Consul General, Owen Feeney, who will soon be taking up his new role as Counsellor at the Embassy of Ireland, Paris. Owen has led the Irish Consulate, in Sydney for nearly three years and during that time has been a great friend and colleague to Enterprise Ireland.
The Consul General has provided great support during our Trade Missions, Ministerial visits, supporting the promotion of Irish businesses in Sydney and co-hosting events such as our quarterly Advisory Panel and our events across March to celebrate St Patricks Day.
Owen also worked with Enterprise Ireland to establish the Clare Foley Women in Business annual event, marking the contribution of Irish women to Australian businesses, providing an opportunity for networking and marking the launch of our inaugural Women in Business Mentor Programme.
Sadly, we were not able to give Owen the send-off we would like to or that he deserves but would like to thank Owen for his help and support and highlight some of successes whilst being in the Consul General role, such as:
- Providing one of the largest ever consular responses, supporting thousands of Irish citizens impacted by the Covid 19 crisis. These efforts are on-going, as the Consulate seeks to support the community in addressing the impact of closed borders.
- Establishing the le Chéile forum, as a valuable network for community development. The fruits of which are seen in increased coordination and collaboration between organisations. The bi-monthly gatherings address issues and challenges identified by the community.
- Sharing and celebrating the historical contribution of Irish women to Australia, through the Aisling 20/20 Vision initiative with the Aisling Society and State Library of New South Wales. The portraits of these women now hang on the walls of Ireland House Sydney.
- Engaging the next generation of the Diaspora through the Generation Green project. Engaging this cohort is a key objective of Ireland’s new Diaspora Strategy. Generation Green brought the community together to identify a diverse range of young Australians with Irish heritage. Their stories and connections to Ireland formed a digital campaign and outdoor exhibition and live event at Circular Quay to mark St. Patrick’s Day. The exhibition has since toured and the Consulate is working with Youth Action (the national youth council of NSW) to further extend the reach of the project.
- In line with the ambitions of Global Ireland, expanding Ireland’s trade, political and cultural links into Sydney’s fast-growing western suburbs. This has included St. Brigid’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Parramatta and Liverpool.
- Coordinating a Team Ireland trade promotion campaign, highlighting the business opportunities and strengths Ireland offers Australia. This campaign has been seen by almost 900,000 viewers on the social media platforms of the Consulate, Embassy, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Chambers of Commerce/Lansdowne Club.
We celebrate and thank Owen Feeney’s valued contribution to promoting the Irish-Australian relationship since 2018 and his valuable contribution to Team Ireland which will certainly be missed.
We would like to wish him all the best in his new role in Paris and look forward to seeing him soon!