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US to Australia

September 6 - 21 2017 Sydney, Canberra, Perth, and Melbourne

#acypldownunder

Exchange Schedule

The delegation with MP for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby

In September, ACYPL, in partnership with the Australian Political Exchange Council (APEC), sent a 7-member delegation to Australia. The delegation was politically and geographically diverse, comprising three Republicans, two Democrats, and two Independents from 7 states. This delegation include a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives and a county treasurer from Arizona, as well as public and private sector employees. These dynamics allowed for lively and genuine discussions on Australian and American government throughout the exchange.

The delegation began in Washington, DC, where they were briefed on US-Australian relations at the US Department of State followed by lunch hosted by the Embassy of Australia to discuss the basics of the Australian political system. Both of these meetings were great scene-setters for the delegation’s arrival in Australia.

Upon arriving in Sydney, the delegation had the opportunity to observe local elections, which occurred the day of arrival, meet with the Superannuation Funds of Australia, and have a great media discussion with News Corp Australia. Additionally, they were able to see some of Sydney’s most famous sights including Harbor Bridge, attended an Australian Rules Football match, and took in a performance at the Sydney Opera House.

The delegation then traveled to Australia’s capital, Canberra, where they were able to meet multiple members of parliament, observe House and Senate question time, and met with the Australian Elections Commission. They also were able to tour Parliament House and visit the Australian War Memorial before visiting the US Embassy in Australia.

The group then headed to Perth, where they enjoyed many of the cultural activities that Western Australia has to offer. The delegation visited Nambung National Park and The Pinnacles, attended a county fair, and were guests at the Heart of Western Australia gala, which is a black tie fundraiser for the Western Australia Farmers Foundation.

The exchange culminated in Melbourne, Victoria where they were able to meet with multiple members of the Victorian Parliament, the Melbourne Migrant Information Center, and the mayor of Melbourne. In addition, the group was able to tour town hall and go on an arts walk in one of the most livable cities in the world.

In all, the delegation broadened horizons and introduced new ideas about a country that few Americans have the opportunity to visit. One delegate explained the exchange, “The exchange itself made me truly realize how little I did know about Australia in these areas. Those we met with truly helped me understand how their government works, differences between political parties, and far more about the culture of the country.” ACYPL looks forward to working with APEC to continue to provide a meaningful exchange of knowledge and ideas.