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May 2021 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends

I am sure you joined all of us here at the B-AS offices in watching the televised funeral service of our Patron, His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in St George's Chapel, Windsor on Saturday 17 April. It was a moving service commemorating the life and work of a remarkable man who dedicated his life to the service of others. We are honoured to have had his patronage and support for 50 years. While Covid restrictions also limited the numbers at the ANZAC Day ceremonies on 25 April, there was certainly no limit on the heartfelt tributes to the original ANZACs and the generations of servicemen and women who have defended our values and freedoms in recent conflicts. I am currently visiting family in Sydney and attended the very moving ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Coogee Beach. In past years, attendance has been up to 20,000 for this event! This year, the official attendance was limited to 3,000 seated in a dedicated area but there were hundreds more young people on the beachfront promenade. The service ended with a beautiful sunrise over the Pacific Ocean to welcome this magical day. In London, the Australian High Commission co-hosted a beautiful ANZAC Day service in Westminster Abbey. Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence KCVO CB attended on behalf of the Royal Family. Attendance numbers were severely curtailed but representatives from various Australian and New Zealand groups in London were invited to attend on behalf of their members. Our National Director, Louise Mulley, was very honoured to represent the Britain-Australia Society. The Society's branches around the country hosted or participated in equally moving online commemorative services. Our B-AS partner, the Menzies Australia Institute, recently shared with us their very special film made in conjunction with the Australian Studies Institute, "The Aftermath of ANZAC - Memorialising the First World War" which they have kindly allowed us to broadcast on the Members' section of our website. Please do have a look at this extraordinary film. After much anticipation, we are finally able to announce that tickets for our President's Reception on 23 June in the glorious gardens of Stoke Lodge with Lord Hague of Richmond and His Excellency the Hon. George Brandis QC will go on sale at 9am on Tuesday 11 May. Please keep an eye on your inboxes for booking details. Places are strictly limited and preference will be given to Britain-Australia Society Members. We will make every endeavour to cater for as many as possible. If you are not currently a Member, you might want to consider joining by clicking on the link below. This month we have an incredible array of interesting online events for you! First, please join me via Zoom at 6pm on Wednesday 26 May in conversation with His Excellency, Paul Madden CMG, former British High Commissioner to both Singapore and Australia and, more latterly, British Ambassador to Japan for "Britain and Australia - Partners in the Indo-Pacific Century". Booking details for this very special event will be released later this week so, again, please keep an eye on your inboxes. Tomorrow, 5 May, at 12.30pm (BST) we bring you an exceptional lunchtime treat as leading Australian chef and author, Ross Dobson, joins well-known indigenous chef, Mark Olive, live from Australia to discuss Ross' new book, "Australia: the Cookbook" and the elements which make up "Australian cuisine". This one-off event will be moderated by leading food editor, Samuel Goldsmith, with a special introduction from our Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency the Hon. George Brandis QC. Booking closes tomorrow morning. Please scroll down to register. Our April webinar, "Living the Transatlantic Life" with B-AS corporate partner bdhSterling, was a huge success with over 150 attendees. This highly informative discussion focused on the tax, pension and financial planning imperatives for those moving to or from Australia. If you missed it, you can watch it now on the Members' only section of our website. bdhSterling is very happy to answer any further questions you might have. Also in April, the Cook Society hosted an excellent webinar with Lord Patten (the last British Governor to Hong Kong) and the Australian High Commissioner. Lord Patten gave his key insights into the current issues facing Hong Kong, China and the general state of geo-political affairs in this region. The Cook Society has very kindly allowed us to make this webinar available to you, again on the B-AS Members' section of our website. As a special May treat for B-AS Members, we are excited to announce we have copies of "Australia: the Cookbook" to give away to three lucky Members. For details on how to enter, please see below. In this month's "Meet the B-AS" section (below) we chat to Andy Elton, Senior Business Development Manager and the Communications Manager for the Office of the Queensland Agent General. Finally, now that things are opening up, we have another fabulous event for your diaries! Save the date of 8 July for our "Summer Soiree" to be held in conjunction with the Royal Over-Seas League in their glorious Club garden with some wonderful young Australian performers. Further details to follow... If you are not already a Member, please click here to access our Membership page and sign up now to support the work we do and to take advantage of our "Members Only" offers and events. Best wishes,

Damian J. Walsh Chairman

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