President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to the work carried out by voluntary groups in assisting Irish people when they are far from home.

Speaking on a visit to the Irish Support Agency in Bondi this morning, President Higgins said he felt one of the most important aspects of his State visit to Australia was to visit the resource centres that assist the most vulnerable.

He said such organisations provided a valuable hand of help to those who need it.

The President said people encountered "different versions of strangeness" at different times in their lives and it was important that they had someone or someplace to help them through such events.

The Irish Support Agency was founded in 1995 and works to assist ex-pats in times of difficulty.

It also links more recent arrivals with those who have been in Australia for decades.

Its office acts as a meeting point for the older generation of emigrants in particular, who left Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s.

The stop off at the Bondi-based agency brings to an end the Sydney leg of the visit.

Mr Higgins and his wife Sabina travel to Brisbane this afternoon.