Welcome Message from John Berry, President, American Australian Association
Thursday, October 20, 2016
After three amazing years representing the United States in Australia as Ambassador, Curtis and I are delighted to be back in the United States, and living in New York, for the first time.
On Monday, I commenced as the new President of the American Australian Association and am excited by the many opportunities ahead to build and enhance this great organization. I look forward to meeting and getting to know many of you at various American Australian Association events over the coming weeks and months.
(Image: Jennifer Nason and John Berry)
Along with the Association Chairman, Jennifer Nason and the Board of Directors, I would like to add my thanks to Frances Cassidy for her energy and dedication over the last 15 years. Her efforts have positioned the Association as the leading private organization supporting American-Australian relations. I am honored to have been chosen by the Board to succeed her in this role and I look forward to building on this solid foundation to create new and exciting opportunities to expand the Association’s reach ever further.
The deep friendship that exists between the United States and Australia remains strong. Our countries are built on the shared principles of democratic government, freedom and the rule of law and an unwavering commitment to human rights. Our people have a great deal of warmth and respect for each other. I can personally attest to this having received such an open and hospitable welcome from the people of Australia during my three wonderful years there; whilst here in the United States, Australians are well regarded for their positive and friendly nature, entrepreneurial spirit and ‘can do’ attitude.
Militarily we are the strongest of allies. Next year, marks another historical milestone in the relationship - 100 years of the United States and Australia fighting side by side in every military conflict since WW1. Furthermore, 2017 also marks the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4-8) – a singularly defining moment of the Second World War, where American and Australian naval and air forces were able to check Japan’s advance in the South Pacific for the first time since the start of the war; ultimately contributing to Japan’s defeat. My father fought in the Pacific theater of the Second World War at the subsequent Battles of Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester, so the partnership of our troops is very personal to me. It was from within this post-World War II framework that the Association was born.
Given global insecurity and the many common contemporary security challenges facing our countries, such as peace and stability in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and the continued global economic recovery, it is more important than ever for the United States and Australia to stand together. We are strong trading and investment partners, as well as close collaborators in science, health, education and other important fields. I look forward to working together with you to deepen and enhance each of these important opportunities and partnerships.