Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day! I certainly did - spending it
with my two Valentines - my husband, Matt, and puppy, Ollie. I have to say
I'm not a huge Valentine's Day fan, but it's hard to fault a holiday
dedicated to expressing love!!
It's been a busy month so far - both for me personally and for the AWA. I'm
happy to say that I sat for (and passed!) the Australian Citizenship test
earlier this month. Therefore, I am *nearly* an Aussie!
As many of you know, in preparing for the Citizenship test, I had to learn
a number of historical/political facts about Australia and review what are
deemed to comprise "Australian values".
Undergoing this process made me stop and really think about what being an
Australian citizen means. Why do I want to become an Australian Citizen? Is
it so that I can participate in elections? Or carry an Australian passport?
Does this mean I am less of an American?
For me, becoming an Australian citizen is important to allow me to become a
fully participating member of this country that I have come to love and
respect. I do not, at all, believe this makes me 'less American'. In fact,
going through this process has made me value my US Citizenship even more,
as I reflect on the 'values' that I deem to be "American" - including (most
importantly to me) freedom and equality.
Our shared societal values (both American and Australian) are at the heart
of the US-Australian relationship. Yes, we are military and political
allies, but our countries are also ideologically aligned in so very many
ways. I feel so privileged that I will soon be a citizen of two countries
that I truly believe in and respect.
OK, back to AWA news...the AWA Board recently held a Strategy Day to help
us focus on the direction of the AWA. We discussed many aspects of our
organisation including membership, branding and fundraising. We are
finalising our thinking on these topics now and I will soon be sharing some
of our ideas with you regarding how the AWA Board believes our organisation
should move forward.
I hope that many of you will join the AWA at some of our upcoming events -
we are having a theatre night in association with the Melbourne Theatre
Company on 1 March, during which we will see The Other Place a new
production straight from Broadway. This night will also include a pre-show
cocktail reception with an overview from Director, Nadia Tass. It should be
a wonderful night! Further, the AWA will be sitting together at the
Melbourne International Women's Day Breakfast on Tuesday 12 March, which is
being organised by UN Women. Tickets to both of these events are available
on our website.
Hope to see you all at an AWA event soon!