On Tuesday 14 March, 2023, the American Australian Association reached a pivotal moment in our history as we launched into the next era – Opening our new headquarters, the American Australian Association Murdoch Center, made possible by the generosity and support of the Murdoch family, and the Pratt Foundation.
75 years on, a vision dreamed, now a reality – the Murdoch Center offers state-of-the-art facilities, including a 26-seat boardroom, flexible event space, innovation lab and a back of house office for staff. Located close to the United Nations and the Australian Consulate-General, this new space will showcase the best of the American Australian relationship through panel discussions, speaker series’, performances, art showcases, business roundtables, networking receptions and much more.
Opening night was filled with lots of cheer and reflection on the work the Association has achieved over the past 75 years, to strengthen the alliance between the two countries as a conduit of culture, commerce and community. We heard from Chairman, Craig Chapman who stated “the Murdoch Center has arrived at the right time in history and will be a game changer in the Association’s efforts over the next 75 years.” By the same token but with a personal connection, Mr Murdoch expressed, “I remember my father launching the American Australian Association 75 years ago.….it means much to me to have Lachlan (Murdoch) here today sharing in this important moment and continuing the family tradition. So, many thanks to all for what you have done for the Association and for what you surely will do for the two countries that I call home, Australia and the United States.”
We were also privileged to hear remarks from, Anthony Pratt, United States Ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, Australian Ambassador to the United States, The Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, former Chairman of the Association Jennifer Nason, virtually the Chair of the Association Australia, Leila Smith and Association President, Ambassador John Berry (Ret’d).
To commemorate the opening of our new headquarters, Craig Chapman, Amb Kennedy, John Berry, Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Anthony Pratt, Amb Sinodinos and Jennifer Nason participated in a ribbon cutting in front of a commissioned custom artwork from the APY Art Centre Collective in Adelaide, South Australia. The artwork is a collaboration of eight Indigenous Artists and portrays the work of Ngangkari – Traditional Healers – depicting some of the traditional plants that are used as medicine for the Anangu Traditional Healers.
We were thrilled to showcase our Arts Scholars, with Australian brothers Ziggy and Miles opening the evening with their exceptional talent on classical guitar and Indigenous Arts scholar, Mi-kaisha, closing out the night with a mix of her original songs and Aussie classics which had everyone moving their feet.
A special thanks to Relish Catering for providing us with delicious Australian inspired food throughout the night.
We cannot wait to welcome the community into this new space and look forward to being the main pillar for connecting Australians and Americans in New York City and beyond.