Presenting ‘Wish You Were Here’ on Facebook Live!

SATURDAY 23RD MAY

7PM AEST | 4PM AWST | 10AM GMT+1

FACEBOOK EVENT: www.facebook.com/events/265020461300081

DONATE HERE: www.facebook.com/donate/284978485856879

All funds donated will be distributed between Irish Support Agencies in Australia 

An online music event raising much-needed funds for Irish Support Agencies in Australia during the coronavirus pandemic.

FEATURING (in alphabetical order)..

  • CHRIS KAVANAGH
  • DAMIEN DEMPSEY
  • DANNY O’REILLY (The Coronas)
  • DECLAN O’ROURKE
  • ELEANOR MCEVOY
  • JOHN SPILLANE
  • LUKA BLOOM
  • LUNASA
  • MARY BLACK
  • MICK FLANNERY
  • MICK MCHUGH
  • MUNDY
  • PADDY MCHUGH
  • PANTI BLISS
  • PAUL BRADY
  • PAULINE SCANLON
  • SHANE HOWARD
  • THE 2 JOHNNIES
  • ULAID

In the days and weeks following the pandemic reaching Australia, it became clear mass job losses would occur across the country. There are almost 18,000 Irish temporary visa holders in Australia, and many of these visa holders are unable to access Australian Government assistance of any kind, leaving them in financial crisis.

Returning to Ireland is not a straightforward option for those who have lost their livelihoods as a result of the pandemic, and many will be seeking urgent support just to cover basic expenses.

Troubadour Presents along with the Irish Embassy, Consulate & several Irish support agencies across Australia & in Ireland have joined forces to bring together some of Irish music & comedies biggest names together for a very special concert to be streamed on Facebook Live.

Ireland’s Minister for the Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon TD, supporting the Wish You Were Here initiative said “the way in which the Irish community in Australia has come together during the crisis to support its most vulnerable is truly inspirational. He went on to say that “music has the power to connect and allows us to celebrate the strength and resilience of our community”.

From Paula Cobain, Co Ordinator, Irish Support Agency, Sydney: 

“At this point in time we are assisting people who are effectively homeless having left their rented accommodation and are still looking for work. Day to day living expenses is another pressure and we are certainly helping there. The rent relief program has theoretically helped people keep a roof over their heads as there are to be no rent related evictions for the next 6 months but that assumes that rent arrears will need to be paid and that really just pushes the problem down the line. It also makes the assumption there will be work.

The most badly affected are those who are on temporary VISAs who have lost work but are without access to their Superannuation (retirement fund) or government programs. They have no income and no welfare supports. The Australian government has indicated that these people should go back to their country of origin but that is not necessarily feasible…we have couples who are 7 months pregnant, people who have no familial home to go back to with parents deceased, families who have been here for years with kids in schools who would struggle to find accommodation/school places back home.

Many cannot afford to support themselves and even if the flight options were stable, they do not have the money or means to borrow it. Some have paid for 3 flights and parted with big money only to have them cancelled, leaving them without means to pay for day to day living while stuck here.

Then we have (breadwinning) people locked out of the country when the travel ban came in so quickly leaving some families without income and a partner unable to return.

There are thousands of backpackers here who were reliant on 88 days of regional work to get their 2nd year VISA but that work it appears is being given to locals returning from casual work in the city.

There is also well documented Covid 19 related resistance to strangers coming into smaller communities at this time which isn’t helping. 

So, the stories are all different but the issue is heartbreakingly the same. Many many Irish people are falling between the cracks and measures the Australian government has put in place yet returning home is not an option.

Unfortunately, we have no idea of the volume of cases or for how long these people and families will need our support.

I hope that gives a sense of the angst. We are genuinely concerned about the impact this will have on the mental health of these people amidst what is a difficult time for everybody.”

FOR MORE INFO VISIT troubadourpresents.com/events/wish-you-were-here

WISH YOU WERE HERE

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