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July 2021 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends

We have all been looking forward to meeting again. Given the UK Government's delay to the full relaxation of Covid restrictions, we had to defer our many wonderful live events planned for June and July. However, we are very pleased that new dates have now been announced - 22 September for our President's Reception in the beautiful gardens of Stoke Lodge with Lord Hague of Richmond and His Excellency the Hon. George Brandis QC, and 15 September for our Summer Soiree at the Royal Over-seas League. Both of these events sold out within minutes. However, given the date changes, we may have some flexibility to offer tickets to our waiting lists. Please do get in touch if you would like to join these lists. We also had to change the date of our 29 June event with Paul Madden CMG (former UK High Commissioner to both Australia and Singapore and Ambassador to Japan) - "Britain and Australia : Partners in the Indo-Pacific Century". This event will now be held live in Australia House on 7 October. Details are below. We are hoping to increase our numbers for this previously sold out event and will send the booking link in early September. Please keep an eye on your inboxes. As you know, this year sees the 50th anniversary of the Britain-Australia Society. We had originally asked you to save the date of 14 October for a fabulous black tie dinner at The Savoy hotel - the inaugural dinner venue of our predecessor, the Australia Club. Given uncertainties over the last few months, we will now hold this dinner on 26 May 2022. Please do mark this special event in your diaries - details to follow. However, we cannot let the 50th anniversary go unmarked this year and have some very exciting news. We are planning to hold a cocktail party on our originally planned date of Thursday 14 October 2021. With an introduction from HE, the Hon. George Brandis QC, this will be a wonderful opportunity for us all to meet again and toast 50 years of our Society. Booking details will follow in a few weeks. Please keep an eye on your inboxes for what will prove a very popular event! We are also thrilled to tell you about an exciting event which launches in September - the Australian/UK Season of Culture 2021-2022 (the Season). Under the patronage of Her Majesty The Queen, this joint initiative between the British Council and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will see a wide range of world class artists and performers from Australia appear in a variety of venues across the UK with the theme "Who are we now?". The Season straddles the worlds of theatre, film, the visual and creative arts, dance and design. A celebration of both indigenous Australians and the multicultural aspects of modern Australian and British societies, this extraordinary programme will see several UK and world premieres. We will keep you updated on the Season and please look out for some very special Member offers and giveaways. A big congratulations to the twenty Members who won a ticket in our June ballot to see Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard AC, "in conversation" with Alexander Downer AC on 14 July at the Royal Over-seas League. I look forward to seeing you at this wonderful event. We have many other fabulous events planned for the rest of the year and beyond. There has never been a better time to join the Britain-Australia Society and we always welcome your support in encouraging your friends and colleagues to join us. We therefore have another exciting ballot for our Members this month! If you get another person to sign up as a Member during July/August, you can enter our draw to win a pair of tickets to the SOLD OUT members' day at the glorious Chelsea Flower Show on 22 September. Details are below. The draw closes on 31 August with the winner announced on 1 September. You can enter the ballot each time you introduce a Member and increase your chances to win this wonderful prize. If you are not already a Member, please click here to access our Membership page and sign up to support the work we do and to take advantage of our "Members Only" offers and events. And please do send this link on! Finally, in this month's "Meet the B-AS" section, we have been digging through our archives (which are an extraordinary record of the last 50 years) and thought you might like to see a document published in 1971 noting the founding members of the Australia Society (later renamed the Britain-Australia Society). This is my last newsletter before the summer break. I wish you all a happy and restful summer and look forward to seeing you at our many and varied live events later this year! Best wishes Damian J. Walsh Chairman

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