Mary Lou's Donor Story

Mary Lou Byrne, Australia for UNCHR Donor

Mary Lou Byrne has travelled the world as a librarian, cataloguing collections from Kuwait to the Solomon Islands. In 2015, she hosted a screening of the film The Good Lie at her local RSL Club in Sydney to raise funds for Australia for UNHCR.

“I first became interested in refugee issues after the Tampa incident in the early 2000s,” said Mary Lou. “I wanted to know who these people were, and why they were in the middle of the ocean. I volunteered for a community service program and for the next five or six years, I met once a week with refugees in the Villawood Detention Centre. Their stories of fleeing Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan helped me understand their situation.”

“It must be the most difficult decision to leave your home, to pack up everything and go. It’s difficult for us to understand. That’s why I screened The Good Lie, not only to fundraise, but to explain to my friends what is happening, and what it must be like to be that desperate. If you can understand why children would run over a thousand miles from a small village in Sudan to Kenya, you might be more likely to support the cause.”

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