Australia Day best wishes

Monday, 25 January, 2021
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Australia Day celebrates the contribution that every Australian makes to their dynamic nation. From those who have been there for more than 65,000 years, to those who have travelled from all corners of the globe, including Ireland, to call Australia home.

We wish all our IrelandXO members who call Australia home every best wish on their National Day, and share some of community's favourite news items that relate to the Irish Diaspora in Australia.

Australia Day best wishes

Chronicles Insight - An Irish Explorer in Australia

These days it is hard to imagine walking through St Kilda in Melbourne without hearing a chorus of Irish accents. But what about the Irish man who made Melbourne his home in 1853 and set out on an immensely difficult trek to traverse the vast nation of Australia, from south to north?

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Where Irish Settled in Australia

Since 1791, Irish people have emigrated to Australia. Emigration initiatives such as the Earl Grey scheme for orphan girls in the 1840s, and events such as the Irish Famine in 1847, saw different waves of people arrive on Australian shores in the 1800s. Whether by choice or by situation, these pioneers went on to create a new life for themselves and their families, contributing to the Australia of today.

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IrelandXO Connections - Victoria and Offaly

When newlyweds John Richard Colbourne and Maria Harwood left Dublin, Ireland for Australia in 1857, it would have been hard for them to imagine two of their great-granddaughters making the return journey many years later. But like many with family roots in Ireland, sisters Leonie and Marie did make the trek – all the way from Geelong in Australia – to learn more about their family history.

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Australian Women of Irish Descent

In March of 2020 the New South Wales-based Aisling Society honoured a number of notable Australian Irish women for International Women’s Day. They created a wonderful book of illustrations and stories, and were kind enough to share their research with us. 18 of the 20 women featured in the Aisling 20/20 Vision project can now be found on the IrelandXO Chronicles. The remaining two are omitted only because they were born less than 100 years ago. Here we have featured just a small selection of these incredible women who have played an integral role in shaping the Irish community in Australia as we know it today.

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IrelandXO Connections - New South Wales and Clare

Kerri Ferguson, from Australia, has a varied and colourful Irish heritage. She has spent many years researching her Irish family history and has documented her findings in a soon-to-be-published book. Last year she travelled to Ireland to film some of the significant places of her ancestors' stories, and Ireland Reaching Out was there to lend a local hand. 

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Quinn's Immigration Scheme

Australia’s Irish diaspora is a thriving and proud group of people whose roots date all the way back to the 18th century. Though we have often heard tales of the Irish who were sent to Australia against their will during the years of penal transportation, there is less spoken of the Irish who chose to leave Ireland for a new life in a far off country. These relocations were made possible by the implementation of a number of migration schemes both in Australia and at home in Ireland. Here we have outlined the origins of one such scheme in Queensland and the rocky start to which it got off.

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IrelandXO Connections -  Searching for Margaret Murphy

Since 2014, Lyn Stewart has visited Ireland three times to discover more about five Murphy sisters, who left Cahir (Caher) for Australia in 1841.

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