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The Team

John Berry I President


The new President of the American Australian Association comes to the job well prepared after serving as the 25th US Ambassador and President Obama’s personal representative to Australia. Prior to that, John served in multiple senior government positions, earning three unanimous Senate confirmations, including: the head of “HR” for the Federal government as Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the “COO” of the Department of Interior as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget; the head of 40% of Federal law enforcement as Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement at the Treasury Department; and Legislative Director for Rep. Steny Hoyer. John has also been a leader in the non-profit sector, serving as the Director of the Smithsonian National Zoo; The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Government Relations for the Smithsonian Institution. John has accomplished many firsts, most notably, the first openly LGBT US Ambassador to a G20 country and while at OPM, he was the highest ranking LGBT executive official in US history. He has stood atop both poles – north and south, visited all of the world’s continents, as well as all of the states of both the USA and Australia. His most favorite recognitions of the many received have been Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, a lion named “John” in his honor and a mountain in Antarctica called the “Berry Bastion.” He is married to his partner of over 20 years, Curtis Yee.

Debbie Chappel I Chief Operating Officer


Debbie, as COO of the American Australian Association, oversees fundraising and development for the Association’s Education and Veterans’ Funds and management of the annual Benefit Dinner and the ANZAC Day and Veterans’ Lunch; with additional management responsibility for regional office and operations. In her current role she successfully managed and executed the largest and most profitable event in the Association’s distinguished 70-year history, hosting the President of the United States and Prime Minister of Australia and generating a record breaking $3.3 million in fundraising revenue.

Debbie joined the Association in 2008, and prior to assuming her current COO role in early 2017, served as Director of Corporate and Government Affairs.  In her previous role, Debbie had primary responsibility for corporate membership and business program development, as well as fundraising for the annual Australia Day Black Tie Gala. 

Prior to joining the Association in New York, Debbie lived and worked in Australia and the Russian Federation, holding positions in the offices of senior Australian Cabinet Ministers, including the Federal Treasurer and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.  She also worked as a consultant with Austrade in Moscow.   

Georgina Duckworth I Director of Business and the Arts
Rollette Lusanta I Director of Operations and Technology 
Rory Linehan I Director of Policy and Outreach
Melanie Chiew I Events and Communications Manager
Nancy Chapman Finance Manager
Katie Rotherham I Education and Communications Manager 
Libbi Swan Events and Communications Associate 
Louisa Teo I Regional Director, New England
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