Dec, 01 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A note from The Hon John Olsen AO, Deputy Chairman and CEO:

As 2011 draws to a close, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of the American Australian Association.

The Association is the largest public not-for-profit organisation devoted to building strategic alliances between the United States and Australia. An integral part of our mission is the Education Fund, which supports graduate-level educational opportunities for research between Australia and the U.S.

We are grateful to our members for their support of the Association and are pleased to advise that we have doubled corporate membership this year. Additionally, in 2011, we

* Launched our quarterly Corporate Programme Series
* Commemorated the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 at St Mary's Cathedral
* Kicked-off the MLB World Series with a screening of Moneyball
* Hosted a Thanksgiving feast at the GPO Sydney
* Celebrated Christmas with the U.S. Consul General in Sydney

We look forward to kicking off 2012 with the annual Benefit Dinner on 8 February in Melbourne honouring BHP Billiton Chairman Jacques Nasser AO and Linfox Founder Lindsay Fox AC. We hope you will join us to celebrate two of Australia's business leaders and support the AUS/US Fellowship Programme.

On behalf of the AAA in both Melbourne and Sydney, we wish you a safe and joyous holiday season!


2012 Benefit Dinner in Melbourne

The 2012 Benefit Dinner will be held on 8 February at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne and will honour

Jacques Nasser AO, Chairman, BHP Billiton
Lindsay Fox AC, Founder, Linfox

We are pleased to advise that the lead Dinner Chair roles have been filled and are as follows:

BHP Billiton │ Linfox │ News Limited

Citi │ Commonwealth Bank │ The Dow Chemical Company │ Westpac Banking Corporation

Australia Post │ BlueScope Steel Limited & Brambles Limited │ Caltex Australia │ ConocoPhillips Australia │ Corrs Chambers Westgarth │ Fildes Pty Ltd │ Flagstaff Partners │ Gandel Group │ IBM Australia │ J.P. Morgan │ KPMG │ Merrill Lynch │ Monash University │ National Australia Bank │ Parmalat Australia Ltd │ United States Studies Centre │ Visy │ Volvo Group Australia │ Westpac Banking Corporation

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Spotlight: AAA Education Fellow

Dr. Kara E. Yopak Shaw is an AAA Sir Keith Murdoch Fellow from the U.S. to Australia for 2011-2012.

Kara received her B.A. in marine biology from Boston University in 2002. She then went on to complete her PhD the University of Auckland in New Zealand in 2007. Kara’s research has focused on comparative neuroanatomy within the clade of cartilaginous fishes, and how the development of major brain areas vary between species in conjunction with the adaptive evolution of their sensory and motor systems. She has explored a variety of traditional and novel techniques to explore questions related to brain evolution of sharks and their relatives, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Kara has been extremely lucky to have examined the brains of >100 chondrichthyan species, ranging from deep-sea chimaeras, to pelagic stingrays, to whale sharks. Her data suggest that brain organization and the relative development of major brain structures reflect an animal’s ecology, even in phylogenetically unrelated species that share certain lifestyle characteristics, a pattern similarly documented in other vertebrate groups.

Funds from the AAA in the form of a Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship allowed her to join the vibrant research community within the Neuroecology Group at the University of Western Australia. At UWA, she is tackling new questions related to brain plasticity in sharks and their relatives and has been exploring whether captivity limits brain growth in these fishes. Building on the AAA Fellowship, Kara has already been awarded further extramural funding to extend her stay in Australia. Kara is exceptionally grateful to the AAA for the opportunity to work in Australia at UWA, which has already had a significant impact on her career. She hopes to continue her involvement in AAA and work to further strengthen ties between the U.S. and Australia.


Breakfast Launch: “Australia Matters for America/America Matters for Australia”


In collaboration with the East-West Center in Washington, the US Studies Centre will launch the Australia Matters for America/America Matters for Australia initiative providing statistical information on the breadth and depth of Australia-United States relations.

Guest Speakers:
- Professor Geoffrey Garrett
CEO, US Studies Centre
- Dr Satu Limaye
Director, East West Center
- Mr Ian Thomas
President, Boeing Australia

Date: 6 December 2011
Time: 7:15 am for 7:30-9:00 am (breakfast included)
Venue: Room 2, Hilton Hotel - Level 2, 488 George Street
RSVP: by 2 December to


David Raleigh - A New York Christmas!


Date: 21 December 2011
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: The Basement - 7 Macquarie Place
Cost: $25
Tickets: MoshTix

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Sydney Festival 2012


7-29 January 2012

The annual Sydney Festival returns in January 2012! Starting on 7 January and running for nearly a month, Sydney presents the best of theater, music, dance, film and more!

Click here for the event calendar and details.


Notice: Holiday Office Closure

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Please note that the AAA offices will be closed from 23 December 2011 to 9 January 2012. We look forward to serving you after the holidays!


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