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President's Blog - 1 May 2013

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Hello everyone!

It has been a tumultuous past couple of weeks for the US. I was shocked and saddened by the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred on 15 April. I hope that all of your friends and families in Boston at the time are safe and sound after this tragedy.

I ran the Boston Marathon in 2006 and still clearly recall the absolute exhaustion I felt when passing over that finishing line. I feel so strongly for the athletes who were affected by the bombings after working so hard in the lead up to and during the marathon - along with all of the supporters who had come to cheer on these athletes.

During the days and weeks after the bombings, I was again reminded of the resilience of America and Americans. From the spectators and police who worked quickly and tirelessly to identify and apprehend the suspects to the outpouring of support for Boston flowing from all corners of the US - America does persevere in the face of hardship. Perhaps unfortunate events have one positive effect of bringing communities together and strengthening our patriotism.

We see patriotism also strengthening here in Australia. The ANZAC Day celebrations this year were larger than ever before with record crowds attending dawn services and parades. For a holiday which was almost extinct a couple of decades ago, ANZAC Day is quickly becoming a central part of the Australian psyche. Australians are drawn together by remembering tragedies of the past - which is fostering a newfound patriotism.

As I am getting sworn in as an Australian citizen next week, I have found myself reflecting on this trend and know that I will look forward to sharing in the growth of Australian patriotism (my own and the public's) over the upcoming years, while still embracing my devotion to and respect for the US. I do not believe that patriotism is exclusive - meaning that you can only be patriotic with regard to one country. In fact, I believe that my respect and appreciation for Australia (which has developed over the past 5 years) has helped to deepen my respect and appreciation for the United States.

Tonight (1 May) is the AWA Monthly Night Meeting (from 6pm to 7:30pm) and the first 2013 Halloween Committee Meeting (from 7:30 onwards), both being held at my house. Hope to see many of you there! Also, next Thursday (9 May) is a gathering of the Gourmet Lunch Group as well as our new Activity Group - the Dinner Group. Check out the calendar on the AWA website for more information regarding both of these events.

Finally, we are still seeking a Silent Auction Chair for our upcoming silent auctions being held at the Block Arcade Fundraising Event (19 June) and the Harvard Krokodiloes Fundraising Event (13 July). Please contact me if you might be willing to serve in this very important position!!

Hope you have a good couple of weeks and I look forward to seeing you at an AWA event soon!

Kind regards


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