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March 2024 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends,

Our first big event of the year is our International Women's Day event this evening in the Exhibition Hall of Australia House and held in conjunction with the Australian High Commission. This year's theme is “Empowered - Australian Women on the International Stage”. This event sold out quickly and I am looking forward to seeing many of our Members and friends tonight. However we have many more exciting events coming up!

We have just sent a “save-the-date” for a very special event in the lead up to ANZAC Day. On 17 April in the Exhibition Hall of Australia House, Brigadier Grant Mason DSC DSM ADC, the head of the Australian Defence staff in London, and Rear Admiral James Parkin CBE, Director Develop for the Royal Navy, will be discussing the collaboration between the Defence forces of Australia and the UK in the context of the many current global challenges and active engagements. The High Commissioner, HE, the Hon. Stephen Smith, the co-author of the Australian Government’s recent Strategic Defence Review, will open the discussion. A reception will follow. This will be a fascinating evening and I encourage you to attend. Bookings will open next week.

And don’t forget, as previously announced, we are hosting past Prime Minister Julia Gillard, now one of the most exciting speakers on the world stage, at an event at Australia House on the evening of 29 May. This will be one of our most popular events of the year so, if you want to attend, please keep an eye on your inboxes when we launch ticket sales.

We are also thrilled to say that we have now set our date for our hugely popular annual Summer Party to be held on 12 June. We are delighted to report this will again be held in the gorgeous gardens of the Royal Over-Seas League overlooking Green Park. This event also always sells out very quickly so please do save the date - tickets will launch later this year and we will give plenty of notice.

As always, our Members get priority and preferential booking rates for all of our events and we value your support greatly. To become a Member of the B-AS please click here and please do tell all your friends to join us!

We will send details shortly regarding the Australian High Commission's plans for ANZAC Day and how you might apply for tickets to attend the ANZAC Day service. We are also looking into organising a lunch after the service at a venue close to Westminster Abbey. For planning purposes, do let us know if you might be interested in attending such a lunch by clicking here and we will send more details in due course.

Congratulations to the lucky winner of our competition last month to attend Matthew Jukes' tasting of top Australian wines at the Tate Modern. We have another exciting draw for our B-AS Members this month. We have TWO tickets to give away to one lucky B-AS Member to attend the award winning Australian production of "Fangirls" at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre at the special FANGIRLS FANCLUB Party performance on 24 July 2024 with drinks, food and a DJ! Scroll down for entry details...

As you know, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy is one of our Charity Members. The AWC has kindly offered all B-AS supporters the chance to attend a special reception in the Exhibition Hall of Australia House on Tuesday 19 March, 6-8pm. Join AWC CEO, Tim Allard, in conversation with one of UK TV’s best loved conservationists and wildlife presenters, Michaela Strachan, (of Autumnwatch, Springwatch and Winterwatch fame) discussing solutions to protect Australia’s unique biodiversity and the importance of acknowledging, respecting and incorporating First Nations perspectives when it comes to climate and the environment. To book tickets, please click here and please note that spaces are limited.

And the Young Ambassadors group of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy would also like to invite B-AS supporters and guests to the fabulous black tie "Koala Gala" on Thursday 18 April in aid of the vital work of the AWC. Held in the elegant Mayfair clubhouse of the Cavalry and Guards Club, guests will enjoy a champagne reception, three course dinner and the Koala Rave dance floor! All money raised for the AWC will be matched by the Big Give as part of Earth Week. Please contact us by clicking here if you would like the booking link.

Finally, many of you will be familiar with the Admiral Arthur Phillip Memorial in Bath which is currently located in the Assembly Rooms Garden across from the house where Phillip lived. The memorial was originally unveiled in 2014 but is being relocated to nearby Sydney Gardens and unveiled anew on 11 July 2024.  The B-AS West Country Branch is raising funds to cover the costs of the relocation. To make a donation in support of this important Memorial, please contact Keith Newton, B-AS board member and Chair of the B-AS West Country Branch at

Best wishes,

Damian Walsh



Relocation of the Admiral Arthur Phillip Armillary Sphere Memorial in Bath

The original unveiling with the late Sir Christopher Benson

This important Memorial consists of an armillary sphere in bronze mounted on Bath stone with engravings of 400 words relevant to the voyage of the First Fleet and to the Admiral Phillip's principles and achievements; a sun dial that can show the time in Sydney and Bath; and a globe engraved with the course the First Fleet sailed to Australia in 1787-88. The Memorial was designed, constructed and positioned in 2014 as one of a number of national Admiral Phillip commemorations. These included a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey to honour the 200th anniversary of Admiral Phillip’s death.

The B-AS is delighted the Memorial will now have a new site in the beautiful Sydney Gardens and the opportunity to reinvigorate the memory of the extraordinary and historic achievements of Admiral Phillip. The Gardens were named for politician and Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, after whom Admiral Phillip named Sydney. The Memorial will be installed near the southern entrance to the Gardens, readily accessible to visitors, who will be able to interact closely with it, read the inscriptions, use the sun dial, and turn the gnomon to trace the First Fleet’s voyage.

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