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President's Blog - 15 November

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Hello everyone

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is already upon us!

Thanksgiving is certainly my favourite holiday. Who wouldn't love a holiday that's all about the food - and also about taking a moment out of our busy lives to stop and remember what is important to us and what we are thankful for. For me, this includes (among other things) my family, my friends and my freedom.

I am so lucky to have an amazing husband and fantastic little puppy here in Melbourne as well as a wonderful and supportive extended family (parents, siblings, a niece, a nephew, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) back in the US. However, I often feel that this time of year highlights the distance between Australia and the US and makes me long for a traditional, cold, Thanksgiving day full of food, family and football!

Thank goodness I have such good friends (like many of my close friends in the AWA) to share this special day with! Being an ex-pat, you soon realise the need for a close support group of friends to rely on. Particularly this time of year, I am very thankful for all of my close friends here within the AWA and the community in general.

In my opinion, the freedom we enjoy (here in Australia and back in the US) is often under appreciated. As you may know, I have just returned from overseas - visiting Tibet and North Korea, two places where freedom is not embedded within society and where people are not free to dictate the path of their own lives. My experience in these extremely restricted societies was challenging but immensely interesting. Each day I was on location in these places, I was reminded of how important our freedom is and how thankful I am to live in (and be from) a country which embraces freedom as an essential value.

I hope many of you are planning to join us at an AWA Thanksgiving event next week to celebrate with friends all of the many things for which you are thankful!

Hopefully you have purchased tickets and are planning to attend the upcoming Thanksgiving events next week. As you may know, we are having a cocktail event with various US ivy-league collegiate alumni associations on 22 November (Thanksgiving night) as well as a family style event at The International at Brighton on Sunday, 25 November. Tickets are still on sale for both events and you can find more information about each on our website. I hope to see many of you at one or both of these events!

Regards and Happy Thanksgiving!


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