CATH NEWS REPORT:
Friends of St Brigid's Teresa O'Brien
The story behind the successful campaign to save Crossley's historic St Brigid's Church will be a part of a major exhibition at the National Museum of Australia from next month, reports The Warrnambool Standard.
Friends of St Brigid's secretary Teresa O'Brien said several committee members would attend the launch on March 17, with the display covering the south-west's Irish heritage as well as the four-year push to save the church and adjoining hall for community use.The exhibition, called Not Just Ned, highlights the history of Irish settlement in Australia and will open in Canberra on St Patrick's Day.
Their campaign ended in December 2009 when the Koroit Catholic Parish agreed to sell them the property after an unsuccessful public tender process.
A feasibility study and business plan for the property, aimed to be opened as an an Australian-Irish cultural centre and a community centre funded through a $30,000 state government grant, is expected to be finalised by May.
Volunteers have already contributed hundreds of hours to raise funds for the church, organising concerts, catering at events and preparing funding submissions.
"You have to be creative with these things. We're done really well and it all helps to continue to pay off the mortgage," Ms O'Brien said.
"But we are more than aware our biggest issue is volunteer burn-out."
"It's been a year since we finalised the campaign and people are still as passionate and are still motivated and we're getting great support for our events."