The 2017 Australasian Championships also created history as GAAWA was immensely proud to have Uachtaran Na Eireann Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina attend Championships Finals day on Sunday October 8th at Tom Bateman Reserve. President Higgins attendance at Tom Bateman Reserve was part of his State visit to Australia & New Zealand and GAAWA was more than happy to host the President & Mrs Higgins. This was also the first time a President of Ireland and the President of the GAA had attended a GAA match outside of Ireland. The President and his wife arrived at 12:30pm before the Ladies Championship Final and were greeted by Aogan O’Fearghail, members of Australasia GAA and GAAWA. The President and Mrs Higgins were also met by a guard of honour formed by members of our Junior Academy, Minor Players and Clubs. President Higgins greeted the players of both the Ladies Football and Hurling Finals before their matches started and he was also introduced to the players from the Men’s final that featured New South Wales & Western Australia. President Higgins also met members of the Irish Community and State Games volunteers along with Olwyn Searle, Mayor of Gosnells and Terry Healy member of Parliament for Southern River. PRO of GAAWA Tom Murphy spoke with President Higgins during his visit and updated him on all the goings on GAA-wise in Western Australia including playing numbers & our clubs, state competitions in Hurling & Football, youth development at Junior Academy and Minor level and the history of Gaelic Games in Western Australia. President Higgins was very impressed with the information provided and commended GAAWA for the work and effort going on at all levels of the organisation. At 5:30pm we bade farewell to President Higgins and Sabina at the end of what was a truly historic event for Gaelic Games in Western Australia. There was a huge amount of work and effort put into arranging the visit and huge thanks go to Ambassador Brendan O’Caollai, Ambassador Noel White, Honoury Consul of Ireland to Western Australia Marty Kavanagh, the Irish Consulate in Perth, the Irish Embassy in Canberra, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Aras an Uachtaran, An Garda Siochana, the WA State Police, the Australian Federal Police, Diane Baker & Nollaig Trevarthen for their efforts and assistance to make the visit possible. I would also like to thank the many volunteers who helped in any way in making President Higgins and Mrs Higgins feel so welcome at Tom Bateman while also running the Australasian Championships. Mile Bouchas to you all. This historic visit was also picked up in Ireland with articles & photographs being published in the Irish Times, Irish Independent and closer to Perth, the Gosnells Examiner.