During my week in London, I also had the pleasure of meeting with the National Director of the Britain-Australia Society, Mr Dale Eaton. Mr Eaton provided me with a thorough précis of the history of the Society and its current operations. In 1971, Sir Robert Menzies and former British Prime Minister, Sir Alex Douglas-Home founded two sister Societies, the Britain-Australia Society based in the UK and the Australia-Britain Society based in Australia. HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh is the patron of the Britain-Australia Society, which is an apolitical organisation that aims to promote and encourage the rich cultural, historical and sporting links between Britain and Australia. The Society holds a number of social events throughout the year in London and in other locations across the UK. The Society works with a number of strategic partners who have bilateral interests and shared values including Networking Organisations, The Arts, Charities, Trusts (including the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Trust), Academia, Professional Bodies and Government Offices.
In 2014, the bicentenary year of the death of Admiral Arthur Phillip RN, the Britain-Australia Society Education Trust instigated a number of projects to recognise his significant contribution to the establishment of Australia. These projects comprise a new memorial stone in a prime position within the floor of Westminster Abbey, a specially-commissioned armillary sphere in the centre of Bath and a bursary appeal to fund scholarships and apprenticeships following Phillip’s principles and ideals.
I really enjoyed hearing about the history of the Society and its current work and I look forward to attending some of the many events they hold throughout the year while I am studying in the UK.