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Past Events


Melbourne Thanksgiving Celebration Nov 2013

The American Women’s Auxiliary and the American Australian Association in Melbourne held a wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration Dinner on Fri 22nd Nov2013 at Sandy By The Bay in Sandringham. The weather was kind and a magnificent sunset over the bay was the backdrop to the dinner. It was well attended by members and their families who came together to enjoy each others company over a traditional turkey dinner matched which Fowles Wines, and superb pumpkin pie to crown the evening’s culinary fare. The formalities of the evening were opened by Lauren Bardis who chaired the evening wonderfully. Rachel Costanzo sang both National Anthems brilliantly! We all had cause to reflect on what we in Australia and America have to be thankful for. Tiffany Lucas (AWA President) led us through the AWA’s involvement in community; U.S. Consul General Mary Warlick highlighted our two great countries democracies and the importance of family & friends near and far; Andrew Dyer (AAA Board Director) led us in a fascinating history lesson of the origins & tradition of Thanksgiving and its permutation’s over time and in different countries; Nick Le Souef (AWA Panel of Advisors) shared a Thankful Thoughts prayer which encapsulated & celebrated the day to day; the two Bergman siblings and Sophie Wake  allowed us to be thankful through the innocence of  children. It was a time to reflect and really be thankful for the day to day; and how individuals and organisations can contribute selflessly to a greater good.

AAA VIP Corporate Breakfast - Melbourne

Decisions 2012: The Political Landscape of the Impending US Presidential Election

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Date: Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Location: Arnold Bloch Leibler. Level 21. 333 Collins Street. Melbourne

Our panel of experts discussed their perceptions of the candidates and offered their opinions on pertinent issues such as the economy, US foreign policy and the impact of the election on the Asia-Pacific.

With Expert Panellists

  • Tom Switzer -  Editor of the Spectator Australia and a research associate at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney
  • Dr Tim Lynch - Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne
  • Cameron Stewart-  Associate Editor, The Australian

Moderator: Sara James- Emmy award-winning foreign correspondent, author, and commentator



AAA Exclusive Event: Corporate Programme Series

The Impact of the US Presidential Election on Australia & the Asia-Pacific

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Date: Wednesday, 26 September 2012

   Location: NSW Trade & Investment. Level 47, MLC Centre. 19 Martin Place. Sydney NSW 2000

Our international panel of political and economic experts addressed what Obama  or Romney  would mean for Australia and the region.

Our Expert Panellists:

  • Hon. Andrew Stoner MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Trade & Investment and Minister for Regional Infrastructure & Services for NSW State Government
  • Prof. James Fallows, Chair in US Media – United States Study Centre & National Correspondent - The Atlantic
  • Huw McKay, Senior International Economist – Westpac Banking Corporation


 Geoff Elliott - The Australian


Prospects for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region

with former US Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis C. Blair


Much of the history of the 21st century will be written in the Asia-Pacific. US-China relations are the region's most important dynamic. With both countries in the middle of leadership transitions while facing significant bilateral geopolitical tensions amid global economic stagnation and uncertainty, what are the prospects for peace and prosperity in our region? One of America's foremost  

national security experts discussed these issues vital to Australia's, the region's and the world's future.

Date: Monday,  13 August 2012
Location: Law LT 101, Eastern Avenue. University of Sydney

The Internet, Young Adults, and Political Engagement around the US Presidential Elections

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U.S Associate Professor of Communication Studies, and Faculty Associate of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University in Illinois, Eszter Hargittai presented an intriguing lecture on digital media's role on mobilizing voters, especially young adults. Based on unique survey data of a diverse group or young adults from Spring, 2009, the relationship between on line and offline political engagement around the time of the 2008 presidential elections was discussed.

Date: Thursday, 2 August 2012
Time: 3:30pm-5:00pm
Venue: University of Sydney. Darlington Centre Boardroom within the Institute Building on City Road.

The Hon. John Brumby on The World in Transition

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Melbourne University, Department of Business and Economics hosted a Free Public Lecture with The Hon. John Brumby where he discussed challenges and opportunities for businesses today.

Date: Thursday, 2 August 2012
Time: 5:30-6:30pm
Location: Basement Theatre. Business and Economics Building (Building No. 110). 198 Berkeley St, Carlton.

Making good cities great: the US experience

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On Thursday, 26th July, Former Mayor of Pittsburgh, Tom Murphy presented a public lecture explaining some of the triggers behind his town's transformation.

Murphy was in Australia as a visitor of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney for the 10th International Urban Planning and Environment Association Symposium (UPE10) between 24 July and 27 July. At the conclusion of the symposium Murphy lead a Sydney Ideas panel event in which US and Australian planning experts applied the lessons of city revitalization to Sydney and its suburbs.

UPE10 Symposium - Next City: Planning for a new energy and climate future


On Tuesday, 24th July, the US Studies Centre joined with the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney to host the International Urban Planning and Environment Association’s 10th Symposium (UPE10).

Key Note Speakers: Tom Murphy (Former Mayor of Pittsburg and Fellow, Urban Land Institute), Professor Frederick Steiner, (Dean of the School of Architecture and Henry M. Rockwell Chair in ArchitectureUniversity of Texas) and Tom Wright (Executive Director of Regional Plan Association, New York).


CIRCUS OZ: From the Ground Up

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Date: Wednesday, 20 June –  Sunday, 15 July 2012
Time: 1.30pm and 7.30pm shows
Venue: Under the heated Big Top, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne

Circus Oz gleefully presented its show for audiences of all ages. With a spring-loaded love of the absurd, Circus Oz created a fabulous new future From the Ground Up.

In December 2012, Circus Oz will be taking From the Ground Up to New York for a five-week season at the New Victory Theatre.

St Francis Catholic Church celebrates 4th July


Date: Sunday, 8 July 2012
Venue: 463 Oxford Street, Paddington

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church celebrated Independence Day with an American-style hot dog and cotton candy morning.

All members of the American Australian Association, as well as their family and friends were invited to join in the fun!

Welcome reception for new CEO to the USSC, Dr Bates Gill

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On Monday, 25 June 2012, AAA along with the US Consul-General to Sydney, Niels Marquardt welcomed Dr Bates Gill and his wife Sarah Palmer to Sydney with a lovely reception at the Consul's-General residence.

Dr Gill officially commences his appointment as the CEO to the US Studies Centre in October 2012, replacing Professor Geoff Garrett.

In attendance was the US Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich with his wife Rebecca Bleich; former Prime Minister, the Hon. Bob Hawke AC; Hon. Warwick Smith AM; Lucy Turnbull AO; Peter Grey, Austrade; newly appointed Australian Consul-General to Los Angeles, Karen Lanyon along with over 70 esteemed members from AAA's corporate base.

View the event gallery.

4th of July Celebrations

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Date: Friday, 6 July 2012
Time: 5:00pm - late
Venue: City Hotel (347 Kent St, corner of King St, Sydney CBD)

A number of American social & professional networking groups  teamed up to host this year's 4th of July extravaganza.

Free entry, over $12,000 in prizes, including a trip for 2 to the US, live DJ, trivia, American food-beers-cocktails, American whiskey tasting, and lots more!

4th of July at Melbourne's First American Steakhouse

Date: Wednesday, 4th July 2012
Location: Bob's Steak & Chop House. 6 & 7, Lion Building
737 Bourke Street, Opposite Etihad Stadium Docklands
Melbourne 3008

Bob's Steak and Chop House  put together a special 3 course 4th of July Dinner.

AAA members received a glass of Perrier Jouet Champagne or a glass of house red/white as a welcome drink.

4th of July at Restaurant Eden


Date: Wednesday, 4th of July 2012
Venue: Eden Bar and Restaurant. Shop 2, Level 8, MLC Centre, 19 Martin Place. Sydney

The kitchen served up some classic American food including Spicy Hot Chicken Wings & a classic Texan style Pulled Pork Burgers. There were also great specials on American drinks at the bar.

The role of the media in US Presidential Elections



Date: Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Venue: Law Lecture Theatre 101 New Law School Building, Camperdown campus, University of Sydney

Washington Post National Economics Correspondent Michael Fletcher shared his thoughts on the media coverage of the world’s most high profile election. In this special event, Fletcher, a former White House Correspondent covering both the Obama and Bush presidencies, appeared in conversation with ABC’s John Barron, who has reported on US presidential campaigns for the past two decades.

Meet the Founder Interview - Richard Horton, partner DLA Piper, Silicon Valley


Date: Thursday, 31 May 2012
Time: 5:30–7:00PM
Venue: University of Melbourne. Brown Theatre. Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building. Building 193, Wilson Ave.

Melbourne University put on a free lecture with Richard Horton, a partner in the Silicon Valley office of DLA Piper. Richard is both a corporate and intellectual property lawyer focusing on tech and cleantech angel and venture financings, M&A and strategic IP and technology licensing and advice. Richard represents numerous Australian tech and cleantech businesses and investors looking to enter the US market, in particular Silicon Valley.

Reflections on the Shift of Economic Gravity from the Atlantic to the Pacific

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Date: Monday, 28th May 2012
Time: Pre event drinks 5:15 to 6:00pm, Forum - 6:00 to 7:30pm
Location: The Barnet Long Room, Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating reflected on Australia’s most important international relationship in conversation with Australia’s preeminent print journalist Paul Kelly. From helping found the APEC leaders meeting and the WTO to contributing to humanitarian interventions and peacekeeping in Africa, the Keating government worked closely with the administrations of George HW Bush and Bill Clinton. Since leaving office former Prime Minister Keating has been an influential commentator on Australia’s alliance with the US in the context of emerging Asia and the rise of China.

U.S Professor Hobson discusses "The Savage South: Reflections on an Image"


Thursday, 24 May 2012

University of North Carolina Professor of English, Fred Hobson, examined the prevailing image of the US South from colonial days of the 17th and 18th centuries forward, as the backward, violent, uncivilized and generally benighted part of the United States.

President Obama's health care reform

The Supreme Court and the future of the American health system

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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A presentation for the Sydney Law School Distinguished Speakers Program by Professor Lawrence Gostin, the Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. Professor Gostin is also the Director of the World Health Organisation’s Collaborating Centre on Public Health Law and Human Rights.

This event was proudly co-presented by Sydney Law School and the United States Studies Centre.

AAA VIP Cocktail Reception

On 14 May 2012, AAA hosted a VIP function with guest speaker U.S Professor Kenneth R. Mayer, Professor of Political Science.

With over 90 attendees, the event was a great success and attracted a broad range of guests including the Honourable Marilyn Warren, A.C. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Justice Elizabeth Curtain, esteemed members of the academia world, senior corporates as well as past recipients of the AAA Fellowship Program.

 View event gallery.

Event of the Year!


Jacques Nasser AO and Lindsay Fox AC were honoured at the AAA Benefit Dinner on 8 February 2012 in Melbourne

Anna Reich Lecture on the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC

8 February 2012 - Sydney

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The Friends of the Botanic Gardens hosted a fascinating talk by Anna Reich on the internationally renowned United States Botanic Garden including a virtual tour of the Conservatory, National Garden and Bartholdi Park.

2012 Super Bowl Party

6 February 2012 - Sydney

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North American family and friends gathered at The Brooklyn and the King St Brewhouse for the annual Super Bowl watch party! Both venues featured the game on big screen TVs, American food and beer and fun specials for this traditional event.

Michael Kosta at the Comic's Lounge

17-28 January 2012 - Melbourne


American comedian Michael Kosta, a regular on The Tonight Show and Comedy Central, performed a special 10 shows only at The Comic's Lounge in Melbourne.

Christmas with the U.S. Consul General

1 December 2011 - Sydney


AAA Members celebrated the beginning of the Christmas season with a festive gathering at the U.S. Consul General's residence in Sydney.

A mix of corporate and individual members and their guests sampled cocktails and canapés whilst enjoying a lovely Sydney evening on the terrace.

AAA Thanksgiving Feast

24 November 2011 - Sydney


The AAA hosted its annual Thanksgiving feast on 24 November at Postales Restaurant in the GPO Sydney.

Members and their guests enjoyed a traditional American Thanksgiving buffet of carved turkey and roast beef + all the trimmings, stuffing, mashed potatoes, butternut squash purée and pumpkin and pecan pies!

Harvard Club of Australia 50th Anniversary Dinner & Annual General Meeting

10 November 2011 - Sydney

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The Harvard Club of Australia celebrated its 50th anniversary at the QVB Tea Room with an evening of entertainment and special appearances including an address by Ambassador Jeffrey L. Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia.

Lecture: "Would the world have been different under US President Al Gore?"

3 November 2011 - Melbourne


Roy Neel, visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne presented a public lecture entitled "Would the world have been different under US President Al Gore?"

Neel is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University and the current Chief of Staff for former Vice President Al Gore, overseeing his climate change advocacy programs, national and international political relationships and liaison with his clean energy business interests.

Crave International Food Festival

Through 31 October 2011 - Sydney


The annual Crave Sydney International Food Festival kicked-off with the World Chef Showcase on the weekend of 1-2 October.

Hundreds of extraordinary food events including Night Noodle Markets and Barbecue Madness brought Sydney to life for a month!

MLB Sneak Preview of 'Moneyball'

19 October 2011 - Sydney


MLB and Sony Pictures hosted a private screening of Moneyball in celebration of the upcoming 2011 World Series and the Australian Baseball League season. 200 VIPs enjoyed American treats, games and networking.

David Raleigh & Nathan Leigh Jones Performance

2 October 2011 - Newtown


David Raleigh and Nathan Leigh Jones - the best of New York piano-soul and Sydney piano-pop - performed at Notes in Newtown on 2 October. For upcoming performances, visit their websites:

David Raleigh
Nathan Leigh Jones

Hello Spring! Celebration

29 September 2011 - Sydney


The Alumni Clubs of Yale, Columbia, Princeton and Harvard hosted a HELLO SPRING! celebration of sun, flowers and outdoor dining at Bungalow 8 on the King Street Wharf.

9/11 10th Anniversary Interfaith Service

11 September 2011 - Sydney


More than 1200 people gathered at an interfaith memorial service at St Mary’s Cathedral to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

The ceremony began with the stirring sounds of a didgeridoo played by Aboriginal film-maker William Barton. Father Paul Hilder introduced US Consul General Niels Marquardt who commented on the Australian way of remembering significant past events citing the oft-used “Lest We forget”.

Bells tolled as the names of the ten Australian victims were read and a candle was lit in their names. David Campbell followed with a moving “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables.

The service concluded with thoughts from His Eminence George Cardinal Pell, Sheikh Dr Mohammed Anas and Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence.

The event was proudly supported by the AAA Ltd.

Melbourne Writers Festival

25 August-4 September 2011 - Melbourne


The MWF presented over 400 writers from around the world in a programme of talks, debates, literary banquets, film screenings, gigs and workshops.

Two special US connections included Alice Pung's memoir "Her Father's Daughter" launch and a "Middle East; Spring or Fall" panel discussion with Professor Mona Eltahawy and author Joseph Braud.

Sister City Biennial: San Francisco - Sydney

4 August-3 September 2011 - Eveleigh


The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery joined forces with CarriageWorks in Sydney to create an exhibition featuring contemporary artists from each metropolis.

For more information on the 2011 exhibition, visit carriageworks.com.au.

A Dialogue with Thomas Friedman

29 July - Melbourne & 2 August - Sydney


The US Studies Centre in partnership with The Wheeler Centre hosted A Dialogue with Thomas Friedman on the World Today at Melbourne Town Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

Thomas Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize recipient for The New York Times and one of the world's most well-known and influential journalists discussed the rise of China and emerging Asia, the Middle East and the Arab Spring and his upcoming book That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back.

Stanford Alumni Association Art and Wine Event

21 July 2011 - Paddington


The Stanford Alumni Association hosted an evening of Art and Wine at the Roslyn Oxley Gallery in Paddington. Guests enjoyed a pairing of star contemporary Australian artists with an alluring array of Vasse Felix wines. Artists Del Kathryn Barton (painter) and Marley Dawson (sculptor) spoke about their work.

Work by Del Kathryn Barton

Simon-Kucher & Partners Pricing Strategy Forum

21 June 2011 - Sydney

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Global consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners hosted its first Pricing Strategy Forum in Sydney. Participants learned best practices in the field including how to tackle today’s pricing challenges in Australia. Company founder and internationally esteemed bestseller author Hermann Simon presented the secrets of success for Hidden Champions, unknown world market leaders, and explained what large corporations can learn from them.

Fragomen Immigration Breakfast Session

31 May 2011 - Sydney


AAA in partnership with Fragomen, a global immigration services provider and Australia’s largest immigration law firm, hosted a free immigration breakfast session on Global Mobility - moving employees between Australia and the US.

Experts discussed the options, pathways and processes involved for sponsoring companies who wish to employ foreign nationals to Australia or to the US for short-term or long-term work opportunities.

AWA American Independence Day Ball

17 June 2011 - Melbourne


The American Women's Auxiliary to the Royal Children's Hospital celebrated their 80th anniversary with an American Independence Day Ball at the Sofitel in Melbourne. The black tie affair featured dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions.

US Studies Centre Discussion with Bob Hawke

3 May 2011 - Sydney


The US Studies Centre held the second of its 'Conversations with the Prime Ministers' series, this time with The Hon RJ Hawke AC and The Australian's editor-at-large and esteemed political commentator Paul Kelly.

Mr Hawke discussed his relationship with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush and the impact of the alliance on Australian domestic politics including the more independent line that Australia took from the US on key foreign policy issues during those years. Mr Hawke spoke candidly of the challenges facing the present Chinese leadership and the implications of the rise of China for Asia-Pacific and Australia's relationship with America.

Coral Sea Cenotaph Service

2 May 2011 - Sydney

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AAA commemorated the 69th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea (4-8 May 1942) with its annual Cenotaph Service in Martin Square.

Official guests included AAA Deputy Chairman Michael Baume AO, US Consul General Niels Marquardt and NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, amongst other distinguished guests.

Fukushima Disaster Roundtable Breakfast with Dr Ziggy Switkowski

29 April 2011 - Melbourne

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AAA in partnership with Sullivan & Cromwell hosted a roundtable breakfast with the esteemed Dr Ziggy Switkowski on the impact of the Fukushima disaster.

According to Dr Switkowski, Australia's best-known nuclear power expert, the impact of any meltdown in Japanese nuclear reactors damaged by the recent earthquake will be small compared to the devastation caused to them by the quake itself and the subsequent tsunami. Public perception and the politics associated with the question of nuclear power are the major hurdles to be overcome if nuclear power is to become a major source of energy in Australia.

Australia-US Alliance Reflections with John Howard

15 February 2011 - Sydney

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The United States Studies Centre hosted an evening at the Customs House with Former Prime Minister John Howard. Mr Howard reflected on his decade's experience with Australia's most important international ally, the United States. Joining the conversation was Australia's preeminent print journalist Paul Kelly.

The Future of Securitisation Discussion Luncheon

29 November 2010 - Sydney


AAA and Genworth Financial hosted an exclusive discussion luncheon at The American Club on the future of securitisation featuring key industry leaders:

Chris Dalton, CEO, Australian Securitisation Forum
Tom Deutsch, Executive Director, American Securitization Forum
Greg Medcraft, Commissioner, Australian Securities & Investment Commission

US Midterm Elections Discussion Luncheon

8 November 2010 - Sydney

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An engaged audience enjoyed the insights of Dr Morris Fiorina, Professor and Senior Fellow of Political Science at Stanford University and of James Fallows, international correspondent for The Atlantic and Professor of Media at the US Studies Centre. Both gentlemen are accomplished authors and their presentations led to an interesting and timely discussion for all attending the lunch at The American Club.