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June 2021 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends

With the UK's vaccination programme continuing at pace, we launched our ticket sales for our 23 June President's Reception in the glorious gardens of Stoke Lodge with Lord Hague of Richmond and His Excellency the Hon. George Brandis QC. We were thrilled with the response - the event sold out in under 2 minutes! While we are delighted that so many Members got tickets, we appreciate many of you will be disappointed to have missed out. To that end we have three more fabulous B-AS events for your diary. First, it is a big welcome back to Australia House! You may recall our previously advertised webinar "Britain and Australia: Partners in the Indo-Pacific Century" with Paul Madden CMG, scheduled for May. We are thrilled to announce this event will now be held LIVE in the Exhibition Hall on Tuesday 29 June, 6.00-8.00pm. We will be joined by His Excellency, the Hon. George Brandis QC, who will introduce proceedings. With a welcome drink, please join me "in conversation" with Paul Madden for this very special event examining the UK's recently announced shift in foreign policy. Current numbers in the Exhibition Hall are very strictly limited. Booking details are below. Tickets will go on sale on 7 June at 9am. Given the limitations, priority will again be given to B-AS Members. Should Government guidance on numbers restrictions change later in June, we will make every effort to accommodate and open up spaces for additional guests for what will be an extremely popular event. Tickets for our "Summer Soiree" on 8 July in conjunction with the Royal Over-seas League went on sale on 24 May. This event also sold out in record time - under a minute! Numbers are again strictly limited. We do however have a waiting list in case anything changes so please get in touch with Marina in the office if you would like to add your name to this list. We have been overwhelmed by the loyalty and support shown to us by our Members, especially in relation to the huge appetite for our events. We always appreciate and value your support. We are therefore thrilled to announce a very special B-AS Member only offer. We have TWENTY tickets to give away to see Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard AC, "in conversation" with Alexander Downer AC on 14 July (from 6.00pm with welcome drink) at the Royal Over-seas League. Ballot closes 5pm on Friday 18 June. Entry details below. 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. On this note, may I also wish a warm welcome to our two newest Corporate Members - Voyage Control and mmmGood. We look forward to seeing them at our events. If you are interested in the advantages of a Corporate Membership, please do get in touch with us at the B-AS office. For those currently unable to meet with us in person, we would also like to highlight the series of wonderful online concerts being streamed by the Australia House Ensemble - the next is scheduled for 17 June. For more details please see www.australiahouse-ensemble.com. As you know, I have spent the past few weeks in Sydney visiting family and especially meeting my first grandchild! In that time I had the good fortune to meet up with Richard Nott and Ken Bock, NSW Branch President and Treasurer (respectively) of the Australia-Britain Society which also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. We are committed to maintaining and promoting the close links between our two organisations. You may not be aware but all B-AS Members have reciprocal membership rights with the Australia-Britain Society and are welcome to attend their events. Richard was recently in touch again to let B-AS Members know they are very welcome to reach out to him any time if travelling or moving to Australia and, more particularly, to remember the Australia-Britain Society as a useful contact point when travelling around Australia. So, for this month’s “Meet the B-AS” section, we thought we would spotlight our Australian sister – the Australia-Britain Society. While in Australia, I also had the opportunity to attend a performance of the brilliant Australian Chamber Orchestra at the City Recital Hall in Sydney and to attend an outstanding private performance of the ACO and cocktail party with the musicians at the fabulous Wharf 4/5 in Walsh Bay. Many of you will know that I am Chairman of the ACO UK board. As with everything else, the ACO had to cancel their London season last year and again this year. However I am pleased to announce they will be touring and performing in London again in 2022! We will be offering some tickets to Members closer to the time. Britain and Australia have always had a very special relationship and strong ties - culturally, historically and economically. Australia is Britain's guest this month at Cornwall's G7 Summit and both countries are close to announcing their free trade deal. We look forward to continuing to support and promote this special relationship through the work we do. Finally, I would like to make a special note of the fact that 10 June would have marked the 100th birthday of our former Patron, His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip. We will be thinking of this remarkable man on this day and remembering his legacy. Best wishes Damian J. Walsh Chairman

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