Dear Members and Friends,
This is our last newsletter before the summer holidays. We have had a very busy year with a wonderful array of events - from lectures and seminars to drinks parties and, of course, our 50th anniversary celebratory Gala Dinner. We have been thrilled with the overwhelming feedback we have received in relation to all of these events and so have been very busily planning some exciting things for 2023 which we will announce in the coming months. We appreciate our events are very popular and many have sold out very quickly. As Covid restrictions are now well and truly a thing of the past, moving forward we will be able to hold much larger events to accommodate even more of our supporters.
Our annual Summer Party on 15 June in the glorious gardens of the Royal Over-Seas League was a huge success. The weather was beautiful and our event partner, Yalumba, generously provided us with some magnificent wines. We were pleased to welcome the team from Yalumba as well as our Acting High Commissioner, Ms Lynette Wood. Some photos of this fabulous event can be found here.
So many of you mentioned how much you enjoyed the wines at the Summer Party - Jansz Premium Cuvee, Samuels Collection Viognier and Samuels Collection Grenache. Yalumba has therefore very kindly organised a special offer for all B-AS supporters for your summer holiday plans with 10% off all orders of these wines through their partner AusWinesOnline. Please scroll down for further details.
Our next major event is of course our President's Reception with Lord Hague of Richmond in the magnificent surrounds of the Exhibition Hall of Australia House on Wednesday 5 October, 6-8pm. Lord Hague will be making the keynote address and, as I am sure you know, he is an exceptional speaker. Tickets will go on sale shortly. I strongly encourage you to book for this event as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Priority will be given to our B-AS Members. To become a Member of the B-AS, please click here.
As you know, we have a close working relationship with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Friends in the UK. On Wednesday 16 November, they are hosting "A Night in the Desert" - a magnificent black tie fundraising gala. Tickets are £300 pp for a gourmet 3 course dinner, premium Moss Wood wines and fabulous prizes and entertainment at London's exclusive Hurlingham Club. Ticket sales have just launched and spaces are strictly limited on a first come, first served basis. We are holding a B-AS table for 10 people at this wonderful event - but not for long! Please get in touch with our National Director, Louise Mulley, if you would like to be included and buy a ticket(s) on this table. If you would like to organise your own table of 10 tickets, please click here. A portion of all ticket sales goes directly to support the vital work of this iconic Australian charity.
As mentioned in our last newsletter, on behalf of the B-AS, I wrote to congratulate the new Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Anthony Albanese. We were delighted to receive his office's reply, a copy of which is reproduced below.
I was also pleased to attend a reception and dinner on 20 June hosted by our NSW Agent-General, Stephen Cartwright OAM, to celebrate the official opening of the NSW Agent-General's Office in London by Her Excellency, the Hon. Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW. It was a wonderful event and congratulations to the NSW team. Louise Mulley and I also had the good fortune to meet with Her Excellency earlier that day to discuss the work of the B-AS and to show Her Excellency and her team some of the incredible archives we have here in our offices. We are currently putting together a project to restore and digitise these important materials so that they may be enjoyed by generations to come. Our books and records provide a fascinating account of our history from the first "Australia Club" dinner in 1937, through to our modern B-AS - as well as providing an exceptional insight into shifting and changing views and attitudes regarding the Britain-Australia relationship generally across that period. We will keep you updated on these plans.
As previously mentioned, the UK/Australia Season of Culture is well underway and there are still many more events happening in and around the country through the summer months. The latest official events brochure is now available and can be accessed here. Despite the covid interruptions to the original programme, all of the events that I have attended so far have been extraordinary and I encourage you to look at the programme and join the upcoming events of most interest to you.
I would like to give a very big welcome to our THREE new Corporate Members, Odin Mortgage, FRA (Forensic Risk Alliance) and the University of NSW. Odin Mortgage (currently based out of Hong Kong) specialises in obtaining finance for Australian expats and overseas residents looking to purchase or refinance property in Australia and is soon to open an office here in London. FRA is a leading expert in forensic accounting and corporate and data compliance with offices around the world including in London. UNSW has an extensive alumni network in the UK and we look forward to engaging more with that network at our events.
Finally, Corporate Member, Granger & Co, has a fabulous summer offer for all of you for the month of July! Drop into at any of their restaurants - King's Cross, Notting Hill, Chelsea and Clerkenwell - and have a complimentary coffee, tea or hot chocolate PER PERSON when you dine with Granger & Co. Just quote "B-AS" on arrival or when requesting your bill (note this cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers). Thank you Granger & Co!
Wishing you a wonderful summer break wherever you might be and I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.
Damian J. Walsh