The American Australian Association, founded by Sir Keith Murdoch in 1948, launched the next era of the Association by opening a new headquarters in New York City. Named the American Australian Association Murdoch Center, it will serve as a meeting place for Americans and Australians to collaborate in pursuit of strong ties between their two nations.
The Center, located at 600 3rd Ave in Manhattan, opened on March 14 with US Ambassador to Australia, Hon. Caroline Kennedy and Australian Ambassador to the US, Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO in attendance, along with Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and Anthony Pratt.
What does the new center mean for the association?
Commenting on the center, Craig Chapman, Chair of the Association, said, “The Murdoch Center was made possible by a generous grant from News Corp and Fox Corporation, and with the wonderful support of the Pratt Foundation. Their investment in our future undergirds the values of freedom and democracy that our two great nations will always share.”
For 75 years, the American Australian Association has worked tirelessly to strengthen the alliance between the two countries as a conduit of culture, commerce and community, opening doors to endless possibilities. The Murdoch Center will allow the Association to showcase the intellectual and artistic abilities of more than 1,000 graduate scholars, veterans and artists who have been awarded over US$15 million in grants by the Association.
“I remember my father launching the American Australian Association 75 years ago. Australia had entered the Second World War as a member of the British Empire and ended having been saved by the US, resulting in this new bilateral relationship becoming crucial. And what was true then is absolutely the case now, with the world facing many historic challenges, including the rise of a belligerent China,” said Mr. Murdoch at the opening of the Murdoch Center.
“To further this understanding, the Association plays an important role in creating post-graduate scholarships for talented young Australian and American researchers, whose work has transformed and saved lives. Finally, I would just add, it means much to me to have Lachlan 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,” he said.
What does the center mean for Australia and the US?
Commenting on the initiative of the association, Ambassador John Berry (retired), now President of the Association, said, “We are very proud of our scholarship and exchange programs, which are designed to offer fair opportunities to Americans and Australians alike, becoming one of the largest Indigenous exchange programs between the US and Australia.”
Anthony Pratt, said, “Australia’s relationship with America is our most important, and it’s never been stronger or closer thanks to organizations like this. The Pratt Foundation is honored to support the establishment of the new center and I’m proud to be here alongside Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of this great Association.”
In the spirit of the evening, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy stated, “There is no more important relationship in the world right now than the one between the US and Australia.”
The Murdoch Center will enable the United States Studies Centre in Sydney and the Perth USAsia Centre, part of the American Australian Association, to bring their world class research from Australia to the US. It will also empower the Association to carry forward its mission of deepening economic engagement between the two nations through business roundtables, conferences and in other gatherings that encourage trade, investment and innovation.
Much of this work will come under the auspices of the Association’s Business Council, co-chaired by Lachlan Murdoch and former Association Chair, Jennifer Nason. The Murdoch Center will provide resources to arriving Aussies and a home for the community in New York.