Thursday, 13 November 2014

It's All About Community Spirit

The Diplomatic Community of Dublin host an annual International Charity Bazaar at the Royal Dublin Showgrounds (aka, RDS).  The general public is invited to 'Experience the World in a Day', and all monies raised on the day is pooled together, and donated to local charities.

Last year, 4,000 people helped raise €60,000 which was donated to 5 charities (the charities are known beforehand with lots of promotion leading up to the event)

Last year I noticed, there was no Australian stand and couldn't help but wonder why. Considering the history between the two countries, I thought it was disappointing that the Aussie community in Dublin couldn't get their act together for a stand. I was determined to find out why there was so stand, and to see what might be done to ensure there would be one this year.

I asked around and learnt that the last time there was a stand, the Deputy Ambassadors wife (I think that was his position) took it upon herself to organise things. She might have even been the co-ordiantor of the whole event one year. In fact, most of the organizers are the wives of Diplomats (remember, we are in a very patriarchal community). Our Ambassador is a woman, and the Embassy is small in terms of employees, so this event, while important, didn't have anyone able to dedicate the time to organising. They support the event with donations to the raffle and Tombola.

Move forward a few months, and guess who's been busy co ordinating the Australian stand at this years ICB?

Yep, little ol' me.

Now most Embassies sell food, drinks, arts'n'crafts, jewellery, fashion items, toys. As Australia is so far away, and with no budget, what on earth could we sell? It was slowly becoming apparent WHY we hadn't a stand. What Aussie businesses are in Ireland that would want to promote their product or services at the event?

It's been such fun using my brain (again). I've enjoyed putting my 'creative' hat back on, and coming up with strong marketing suggestions and working them thru to a positive conclusion reminded me of why I loved my career in advertising so much. Lateral thinking. Creative concepts. Making sure everyone benefits. Making the initial approach. Keeping notes of when emails were sent/received; phone calls made, messages left. Waiting for the response. The buzz of a 'yes, we'd love to help'

It's been a lot of work, but like anything it's been so worthwhile.

With huge help from Mr&MrsA in Sydney (THANK YOU!), McGuigans Wines were the first to agree to participate in the event. They have generously offered to sell a twin-pack, gift boxed set of one red and one white wine. Not only that, they are providing staff to set up a professional pop-up stand, and will be offering tastings on Sunday. THANK YOU!

The team from Aussie owned/founded CurrencyFair will be there too, helping people understand how to go about transferring currency back'n'forth (perfect synergy at at INTERNATIONAL event, don't you think?). While they won't sell anything the day, they will be able to promote the heck out of their products and services, and for that, they have made a generous financial donation to the Aussie kitty.  THANK YOU!

Geoff and his chef @ Woolshed Baa came to the rescue and generosity baked 300 lamingtons. They are so pretty and uniform! THANK  YOU!

Lamingtons YUMM!!!!

Finally, no Aussie stand is complete without TIM TAMS! Sadly, Tim Tams are no longer imported into Ireland, so finding the right person within Campbells Arnotts in Sydney was fraught with time zone differences, the impersonal 'contact' to a large multinational company, and finally, asking for something all the way in Ireland was simply, very cheeky. Our Ambassador made a few enquiries while on holidays in Sydney and between the two of us we managed to track down the right person.

Long long story short - a very helpful lady on the other end of a generic 'Hello I hope you can help me' email replied! Not only that, she organised for 6 boxes of Tim Tams to be delivered to the Australian Embassy from Rotterdam, and 6 boxes + promotional material to be delivered from SYDNEY - all donated. You can only imagine my surprise when I read the email.
THANK YOU to Hayley in the North Strathfield office, and my email-buddy, Lilien.

You've no idea how exciting it is to know our household has the only TimTams in all of Ireland. MissM bought the first packet for her daddy.

I posted a pic onto my FB page and have already received bribes from friends who want to be assured of securing a few packets.

Several friends have offered to come help on the day which will make it a fun Sunday.

MissM has offered to be in charge of the Tim Tams and has been practicing her 5x tables (we are selling one pack for €5)

G has offered to collect the lamingtons early Sunday morning, and to help with the  financial aspects at the end of the event.

It's exciting to be a few sleeps away from this event. I've booked a massage for Monday afternoon, just in case!

I'm so proud to be Australian and be part of the vibrant International Community in Dublin.

What national event have you been part of?
How do you feel when you wear your national colours?
Do you have a national costume (we don't)?
If you had to say what your national favourite food/s were, what would they be?
What food do you miss the most from 'home?

With friendship


  1. of course you have a national costume - jandals and a sunhat :-)

    1. Very funny Margarita!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Lots of people from many countries wear sandals and a sunhat x