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Looking Forward to the Coming Year with the AWA

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Hello AWA members and supporters!

I am excited and honoured to be writing to you for the first time as President.

To introduce myself - my name is Tiffany Lucas (previously Barmann). I am originally from Kansas City, Missouri and have lived in Melbourne for the past 4 1/2 years. I moved here to be with my husband, Matt. I work full time as a corporate and commercial lawyer at Arnold Bloch Leibler and am also involved in a portfolio of social enterprises my husband and I started last year, Third Dimension, which focuses on the alleviation of poverty through social business. Matt and I got married in December last year and we live in South Yarra with our little puppy, Oliver! I joined AWA just over 2 years ago and have greatly enjoyed meeting other members, serving on the Board and participating in social and fundraising activities.

AWA is truly a fantastic organisation full of energetic, engaging members. I am very excited about working with the new Board. We have a wonderful group of ladies, who I am confident will help lead the organisation this year. In fact, 6 of the 9 ladies on the Board are returning Board members - what a great retention rate!!! We will truly be able to build on all of the achievements of last year!

Speaking of last year - what a remarkable success!! We have many ladies to thank for this success but, in particular, I'd like to thank Ann Marie Johnston, our previous President. Ann Marie's leadership helped reenergise and reinvigorate the AWA. She put in place a new website, new partnerships and a new perspective for our organisation. The AWA would not be where it is today without her leadership, and I am excited to continue building on the path she has set.

We have a lot to look forward to as an organisation this year. I am particularly excited about our continued partnership with the Children's Bioethics Centre (CBC). I am proud of the AWA for directing our fundraising efforts towards the CBC. The CBC is a world leader in Children's Bioethics and has been widely recognised worldwide for its efforts. The work of the CBC is so very important - looking out for the best interests of children during what is likely to be the most trying time of their lives.

I am also looking forward to strengthening our relationships with other organisations in the American community here in Australia - including the American Australian Association, the Australian American Association and the American Chamber of Commerce (in which we recently became a corporate member). Over the course of the next year, we will focus on offering our members the benefit of attending events held by these groups and inviting members of these groups to join in some of our events, thereby providing an even greater opportunity to network and socialise with the American ex-pat community in Melbourne.

There is already so much on the calendar to look forward to this year! The Halloween Committee is hard at work, planning the biggest and best ever AWA Halloween Extravaganza (previously known as "Trunk-or-Treat"), which will be held at Elsternwick Cricket Ground (Sportscover Arena) on 28 October. Also, the Thanksgiving Committee is beginning to plan their event as well! In the mean time, our social and activity groups remain active and have fantastic upcoming events (such as Gen X-Y's upcoming outing to see "Angles in America" at Chapel off Chapel) and our monthly night meetings (which are held the first Wednesday of every month) continue to be well attended.

As we kick off this Board year, I encourage all of you to take advantage of the benefits of your membership in AWA - whether through participating in fundraising, social or networking events! I look forward to seeing all of you at an upcoming event!

Kind regards

Tiffany

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