Twenty-first Shamrock in the Bush

Shamrock has reached its majority!!

Our keynote speaker for the gathering which commences on the evening of Thursday 1 August will be His Excellency Mr Noel White, Ambasador for Ireland. Fellow Irish speakers academic and musician Fintan Vallely and writer Evelyn Conlon, who joined three years ago will return to join an experienced and entertaining group of speakers will present a variety of talks.Check our program for further details of speakers and presentations. As in recent years we have included a variety of music, verse and entertainment - this year's event will uinclude the traditional Shamrock in the Bush Dinner in Galong House and a ceili in the Galong village hall. We are again supporting Operation Christmas Child is a charity that we are supporting once again and we encourage you to either bring along a shoebox containing suitable items or we are happy to accept cash donations for this worthy cause. The brand new and exciting exhibition in St Clement's Museum was officially opened in April 2013. A fundraising raffle will be conducted during the event. As this will be the last Shamrock in the Bush (at least in its present format) we encourage you to join us for this very special event.
Added 11 June 2013

Twentieth Shamrock in the Bush

Yes - we are doing it all again and bookings for the twentieth Shamrock in the Bush are finally open!

Keynote speaker for the gathering which commences on the evening of Thursday 2 August will be Siobhan McHugh a very well known known Irish-born boral historian, writer and documentary-maker. An impressive line-up of speakers will present a range of subjects that are sure to please our audience.Check our program for further details of speakers and presentations. In recent years we have included a variety of music, verse and entertainment - this year's event will be no exception. We are again supporting Operation Christmas Child and encourage you to either bring along a shoebox containing suitable items or we are happy to accept cash donations for this worthy cause.Plans are progressing for a brand new and exciting exhibition for St Clement's Museum which will be opened in April 2013. Our fundraising raffle this year will be a package for two people at the official opening of St Clement's Museum to be followed by pre-dinner drinks, the celebratory three course dinner, twin ensuite accommodation, breakfast and hospitality basket so we encourage you to try your luck for this very special event.
Added 10 May 2012

Nineteenth Shamrock in the Bush

Our participants this year were able to take advantage of a specially arranged visit to the National Museum of Australia in Canberra to view Not Just Ned; a true history of the Irish in Australia and then to travel to 'a little piecie of Ireland' to attend an evening reception as the guests of His Excellency Mairtin O'Fainin at the Irish Embassy in Yarralumla. All arrived back at St Clement's tired but very happy with their outing. Our keynote speaker Claire Dunne had everyone enthralled with her talk on her experiences since arriving in Australia. Our dinner was an Irish Christmas in July with participants presented with a Christmas gift - a Shamrock in the Bush wine glass. The winning ticket for the Opera at the Monastery package for two was drawn during the final session of Shamrock on Sunday 10 July and was won by long time supporter and speaker at a number of Galong events, Christine Wright. Congratulations Christine - we look forward to welcoming you to Galong in October for a wonderful evening of fine music and food. It was a really enjoyable event - we will keep you informed of future vents.
Added 20 July 2011

18th Australasian Irish Studies Conference

St Clement's is proud to host the third and final day of the 18th Australasia Irish Studies Conference on Sunday 3 July. The conference is being organised by the National Museum of Australia in conjunction with Not Just Ned: a true history of the Irish in Australia exhibition at the museum. For further details of the program see flyer and the NMA website.
Added 1 June 2011

A very special program for 2011

This year's Shamrock in the Bush will be special for a number of reasons so you are encouraged to book as soon as you receive notification of program. Highlights of the event are a curator led tour of Not Just Ned: a true history of the Irish in Australia at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra followed by a reception hosted by the Irish Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mr Máirtín Ó Fainín at the Embassy of Ireland. Registration fees will include coach travel to and from Canberra. The annual Shamrock Dinner will be Christmas in July held on Saturday 9 July in Galong House and we are once again encouraging participants to donate a shoebox of items for Operation Christmas Child. With the refurbishment of a three bedroom lodge adjacent to Galong House it will be possible to accommodate several more participants.
Added 5 May 2011

St Clement's Historians

At last the work on the museum is underway after a two day concerted effort by the Natoli family from Sydney-based Carrington Constructions who volunteered their time to assist in the establishment of a 'real' museum space for the St Clement's collection. Particular care has been taken to ensure that all changes can be reversed should the need arise. Painting is due to be completed within the next few days and will complete the transformation. It will be startling! Work on the selection of objects, text panels and mounting the exhibition is already underway. The museum will broadly cover the themes of indigenous and Ryan occupation, the history of the Redemptorists in Australia, the establishment of the monastery at Galong and its role in education as well as its continuing role in local religous traditions. Images drawn from the collection will figure prominently in the new exhibition.

The historians have also been busy mentoring the students from the Donald Horne Institute at the University of Canberra and will assist in the week long annual field school to be held at St Clement's immediately following this year's Shamrock in the Bush in July.
Added 5 May 2011

The winner of Shamrock in the Bush raffle is ...!

The winning ticket for the Shamrock in the Bush 2011 package for two was drawn during the final session of Shamrock on Sunday 8 August and was won by long time supporter and speaker at a number of Galong events, Linda Emery. Congratulations Linda - we look forward to welcoming you to Galong on Thursday 7 July for our nineteenth gathering.
Added 29 August 2010

Eighteenth Shamrock in the Bush

Bookings for the eighteenth Shamrock in the Bush are finally open!

Keynote speaker for the gathering which commences on the evening of Thursday 5 August will be Professor Mark McKenna, who is currently writing a biography of Australian historian Manning Clarke. It is wonderful to report that this year we will have two speakers direct from Ireland. Dr Fintan Vallely, flautist, academic and author and Evelyn Conlon, a Dublin writer will join us at St Clement's. Our twenty speakers will present a range of subjects that are sure to please our audience.Check our program for further details of speakers and presentations. In recent years we have included a variety of music, verse and entertainment - this year's event will be no exception.
Added 29 April 2010

The Shamrock in the Bush Cultural Heritage Fellowship

It was with great delight that we were able to announce the joint winners of the inaugural Shamrock in the Bush Cultural Heritage Fellowship at the Sudan Commemorative event held in Galong House on 13 February. The fellowship will be awarded annually to encourage a student/students who have contributed to the ongoing work of documenting and maintaining the collections at St Clement's. Congratulations to University of Canberra students Leanne Houghton and Andrew Willett who shared the 2010 award and we look forward to a long and productive association with them as they develop new careers in their chosen fields.
Added 20 February 2010

It's all over till August 2010!

It's always great to receive compliments from the participants of Shamrock in the Bush and this year was no exception with comments such as this from a happy Shamrocker -- Just wanted to say a very big thank you for all your efforts in making this year's Shamrock in the Bush such a lovely event. We all had a wonderful few days.

From the organiser's perspective we also enjoyed the event and would very much like to thank our speakers, some of whom travelled several thousand kilometres to deliver outstanding presentations on a wide range of topics, as well as the participants who have continued to support this event. It was a fun weekend with musicians Adrian Barker, Ben Stephenson, Jen Kelson and Richard Herrman as well as our resident minstrel and bard John Dengate adding their talents to the jampacked program.Editor of the Irish Echo Billy Cantwell, gave an engaging account of his experiences as the editor of the only Irish newspaper in Australia, at the Shamrock Dinner in Galong House, where 100 guests shared a gourmet meal

The winning ticket for the Shamrock in the Bush 2010 package was drawn by speaker Richard Stone at the conclusion of the weekend on Sunday 9th August. Long time supporter of events at St Clement's, Robert Lehane was the winner of two places at next year's event from 5 to 8 August 2010. The happy winner of last year's raffle June McCluskey, another supporter of our events at Galong, cheerfully volunteered to ensure all the tickets were sold.
Added 20 August 2009

Seventeenth Shamrock in the Bush

Bookings for the seventeenth Shamrock in the Bush are now open.

This year we have a yet another interesting program. Keynote speaker for the gathering which commences on the evening of Thursday 6 August will be Dr Gordon Forth, formerly of Deakin University. A further nineteen speakers and musicians will present papers on topics ranging from the Anglo Irish, Fenians, murderers, soldiers, musicians, and poets to politicians, bushrangers, literature, art, language and Celtic spirituality. Music and verse by our minstrel John Dengate will compliment the presentations.

A highlight of the event will be the Shamrock Dinner in Galong House where Edward 'Ned' Ryan once held high revel and dispensed hospitality to family, friends, neighbours and travellers. Guest speaker will be Billy Cantwell, editor of the Irish Echo with music by two of Australia's best regarded exponents of Irish music - Adrian Barker and Ben Stephenson.

This year we visit the historic Black Swan in Binalong for a session of verse, music and Irish country hospitality. Good company, warm open fires, and a delicious tea make it a great way to spend a winter afternoon.

Saturday night will be Live @ Ned Ryan's when we take several steps back in time with a unique presentation on one of Ireland's foremost families - the Fitzgeralds, by one of their own, Alan Fitzgerald.

This event is too good to miss and we urge prospective participants to book early to avoid disappointment.
Added 5 March 2009

St Clement's Historians

Work to transform the library and museum spaces has been continuing behind the scenes with the sorting of further donations to the St Clement's collection. Recent donations of Irish, Irish-Australian and Australiana publications from the collections of Fr Frank Keogh, Fr Anthony Kelly and Fr Barney Lynch have added significantly to the library.

A new page dedicated to matters of historical interest at St Clement's will be available shortly.
Added 1 March 2009

Far from Famine

The commemorative and celebratory event concluded on Tuesday 7 October after a program that ranged from the archaeological remnants of the famine landscape of Ireland to the building of famine memorials in Australia, visiting workhouses and immigration depots along the way.The event culminated with a special ecumenical thanksgiving service and concert.
Added 7 October 2008

And the winner is ...!

The winning ticket for the Shamrock in the Bush 2009 package for two was drawn by keynote speaker Michael Gibbons after the Far from Famine concert on Monday 6th October. Congratulations to June McCluskey, a supporter of our events at Galong.
Added 7 October 2008

Far from Famine registrations

There are still places available in either single or shared accommodation for Far from Famine, an event commemorating the lives of more than 4,000 young female immigrants who were recruited from the Union workhouses of Ireland to settle in the colonies. Comprehensive information on this unique and exciting event together with the registration details are on this website.
Added 1 September 2008

Do you have unwanted books?

The library at St Clement's has undergone some major changes in recent weeks with the sorting of books and reshelving of the collection nearing completion. Several individuals have contributed to the collection from their own libraries. Collectively some 400 volumes have been donated by Fr Brian Maher, Frank McMahon and Fr John O'Brien. We are actively seeking books for the Irish, Irish-Australian and Australiana sections of the library. If you have publications that you are willing to donate to the library please contact us to arrange collection.
Added 1 September 2008

Sixteenth Shamrock in the Bush

The annual event concluded today, after a series of interesting presentations by some very talented speakers. The event continues to attract participants from far and wide - Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Highlights of the weekend were the Shamrock Dinner in Galong House with guest speaker Dr Nicholas Brown and the first Live @ Ned Ryan's concert, showcasing the talents of the participants. Keep an eye out for the release of the 2009 program - you could win two places for the event. See our fundraising page for details.
Added 3 August 2008

Far from Famine registrations are now open!

The program for Far from Famine has been released today! Those of you who have advised your contact details have been emailed details of the program and a registration form. These forms can be found on this website on the program and registration pages.
Added 31 July 2008

Extra speaker for Shamrock

An additional presentation has been added to the advertised program with Dr Jeff Kildea speaking on Billy Hughes and the Irish Question. Dr Kildea recently authored a publication on Hughes for the Department of Veterans' Affairs Wartime Australians series to coincide with the opening of an exhibition on Hughes at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne. The exhibition will move to Old Parliament House, Canberra in June 2008 before touring regional Australia in 2009. See the website www.billyhughes.oph.gov.au for details of the Canberra exhibition.
Added 25 April 2008

Registrations are now open!

The program for Shamrock in the Bush 2008 has been released today! Those of you who have advised your contact details have been emailed details of the program and a registration form. These forms can be found on this website on the program and registration pages.
Added 12 April 2008

Shamrock in the Bush Registrations

It is expected that the program for this year's event will be available by the end of the first week of April. The numbers of prospective attendees far exceed the places available.To avoid disappointment please ensure that you fully complete your registration form and ensure that cheques are made payable to St Clement's Retreat and Conference Centre.
Added March 2008

Canberra launch

The Reverend Professor James Haire launched Echoes of Irish Australia: Rebellion to Republic on Saturday 9 February at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. A broad cross section of the community attended the launch, which was accompanied by musical entertainment by Jennifer Gall and David Game.The book has received favourable reviews in the Canberra Times and the Irish Echo.
Added February 2008

Book launch

There will be a Canberra launch of our publication Echoes of Irish Australia: Rebellion to Republic by the Reverend Professor James Haire at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Barton on Saturday 9 February. If you are interested in attending please contact us for further information.
Added January 2008

Reports Completed

It has been a busy year for those involved behind the scenes with the Canberra Museum and Gallery mounting a temporary display of items from the collection for the official opening of the museum space on 14 April by Federal Member Alby Schulz.

Two assessments essential to the future of the collection were made during the year. The first undertaken by Dr Richard Reid and Cheryl Mongan was a voluntary contribution to the project in the form of the Significance Assessment of the collection, to establish the strength and uniqueness of the collection in relation to a criteria used to identify collections of national significance.

The second by Kim Morris of Art & Archival Pty Ltd and Carmela Mollica of the Conservation and Restoration Studio was a preservation survey funded by the Community Heritage Grant. Their report on the condition of the documents, textiles, paintings and objects in the collection and recommendations as to the care, storage and preservation of the wide ranging collection will be a valuable guide as work progresses.
Added November 2007

Shamrock in the Bush Official Guests

We are pleased to confirm that His Excellency Mr Máirtín Ó Fainín, Irish Ambassador to Australia has accepted our invitation to be the guest of honour at the fifteenth Shamrock in the Bush to be held from 2 to 5 August 2008. He is the fourth Irish Ambassador to support the event and it is especially pleasing that he has agreed to launch our publication Echoes of Irish Australia: Rebellion to Republic at the Shamrock Dinner in Galong House on Friday 3 August. Another guest that we look forward to welcoming to Shamrock will be our after dinner speaker Mr Craddock Morton, Director the Australian National Museum.
Added July 2007

Community Heritage Grant

Exciting times are ahead as volunteers from various backgrounds work towards establishing the museum, archive and library in Galong House. St Clement's has attracted a great deal of good will for the project. Professional historians, writers, anthropologists, curators, editors, graphic designers, speakers, musicians, dancers and many others have and will contribute their expertise and time to bring the project to fruition.

In November 2006 St Clement's were successful in gaining funding for a heritage preservation project through the Community Heritage Grant program facilitated by the National Library of Australia. The grant recognised the St Clement's collection as not only being of interest on a local level but more importantly its wider significance. The grant will fund a significance assessment and a preservation survey of the monastery's diverse collection in addition to a recent three day preservation workshop for 25 volunteers from St Clement's and various other local museums.

Kim Morris of Art & Archival Pty Ltd and Carmela Mollica of the Conservation and Restoration Studio conducted the successful and enjoyable workshop giving volunteers the opportunity to gain background information on preservation, conservation, and collection and personnel management as well as practical skills in dealing with paper and textiles.

Once the assessment and survey have been completed volunteers will have the opportunity to put their new-found skills to use as the collection is progressively re-housed and readied for exhibition.

St Clement's gratefully acknowledges the support of the Community Heritage Grant which will assist to formalise the recording, assessment and future maintenance of the collection.

Community Heritage Grants are jointly funded by the National Library of Australia, National Archives of Australia, the Department of Communications, Information, Technology and the Arts and the National Film and Sound Archive and the National Museum of Australia.

For further information on Community Heritage Grants.
Added March 2007

This page last updated: 11 June 2013