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President Blog - 15 September

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Hello everyone

I hope everyone has enjoyed the warm, sunny spring weather we have been having over the past two weeks!

My past two weeks have been filled with wonderful AWA experiences, which I have been so grateful to be able to attend.

Last week was the Children's Bioethics Centre's annual convention. My husband and I attended two of the events during the week.

First, we listened to the CBC's international guest speaker, Dr Joe Brierley, put on a presentation at the hospital examining end of life issues and withdrawing and withholding treatment in the paediatric ICU. The speech was incredibly interesting and demonstrated what a very challenging topic this is - thus the need for a bioethics centre to assist in these cases.

We also attended the Public Forum Dinner where a panel discussed the ethics of childhood obesity. Again, a very interesting and engaging topic! Both events were put on incredibly well. You will be happy to know that the AWA was honoured and recognised at the Public Forum Dinner for all of our fundraising efforts and our partnership with the CBC. Attending these events gave me great pleasure and reconfirmed, in my mind, the AWA's decision to partner with the CBC.

This week I attended two quite somber events - both to commemorate September 11, 2001. The Australian American Association (one of our new partners) held a remembrance ceremony at Parliament House to remember those who lost their lives in the attacks on September 11 and honour the American and Australian Emergency Services, American Military Personnel and Australian Defence Force Personnel. The ceremony was heartfelt and very moving.

The US Consulate General's office also held a memorial ceremony to remember September 11. Both ceremonies recalled the sadness and pain that occurred on September 11, but focussed on the strength and will of our country, which can never be shaken. Attending these events made me proud to be American. They made be remember the enduring American spirit that will never be undermined - even in the face of hardship. These events also reminded me of the close bond between Australia and America - both politically and culturally and made me remember one of the reasons why I love living here.

The AWA's involvement with the CBC, the US Consulate and the greater American community here in Melbourne is just one of the things that makes our organisation so dynamic and interesting. We also have so many other great events of our own coming up - today is the Morning Coffee at Gasworks at Albert Park, the Evening Book Club will meet on 20 September and our New Member Event/General Meeting is scheduled for 5 October - hope to see you all at an event soon!!



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