At the American Australian Association’s 2017 Benefit Dinner last night in New York City, 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch was honored for his achievements in furthering American-Australian business relations. The annual dinner raised nearly $2 million for AAA’s Education Fund and celebrated this year’s 17 Fellows.
Lachlan, who was introduced by Australian comedian Barry Humphries, highlighted the close bond between the U.S. and Australia in his remarks. “Our two counties share, as much as two nations can, a common outlook; a can-do, practical, egalitarian, sports-mad approach to life, even if the sports we play are one of the few major differences between us.”
He continued by talking about the two countries’ substantial economic relationship and cultural empathy. “Across trade, investment, military alliance, intelligence sharing, research collaboration, common values and social interaction, the U.S. and Australia are uniquely close among the great nations of the world.”
The AAA was founded nearly 70 years ago in New York City by Sir Keith Murdoch, Lachlan’s grandfather. In the organization’s original spirit, the AAA continues to fund scholarships to bring Australian and American scientists, scholars, journalists and veterans to each other’s shores and universities. The AAA has awarded more than $7 million to more than 300 Fellows, giving them the opportunity to pursue studies in a wide range of fields, including medical research and sustainability, at Australian and American institutions.
“With each new, shared idea between Australian and American researchers, we are a little closer to curing a debilitating disease or enhancing crop fertility,” Lachlan said.
He concluded by asking the audience to read about the accomplishments and dreams of the Fellows celebrated at the dinner, saying “the real honorees are the new generation of leaders you are encouraging with your support and your presence here this evening.”
Among the dinner’s 600 guests were 21CF Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch; 21CF CEO James Murdoch; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft; Australian actress and producer Deborra Lee Furness; and singer and actor Harry Connick Jr., who performed at the event. Peta Credlin, political contributor for Sky News Australia, was the MC for the evening.
Andrew N. Liveris AO, Executive Chairman of DowDuPont, and Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, was recognized with the AAA’s Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the benefit dinner.