I moved to Australia from Ireland 30 years ago and was so impressed by the tradition of helping one another that I experienced in this country. I was the recipient of this ethos when I fell pregnant. Clothes, bassinets, cots etc all appeared as if by magic. I was overwhelmed and very appreciative.

Then, a few years ago, I read an article about how Ireland was the country, above all others, that gave to people other than its own.

I realised that here in Australia we have become very insular in our charity. Yes, charity should begin at home, but it should not end there. Our Australian aid goes to countries that are poorer by far than we are. It is hard to justify the cry to fix the budget at their expense.

The advance in health, education and womens’ independence as a direct result of our aid is something to be proud of. Let’s not stomach another round of aid cuts in this May’s budget.

Barbara Gavin, Mona Vale