ABIE Christmas Reception, 19 December 2018
A successful year for ABIE, with 14 events covering a wide range of economic issues, drew to a close on Wednesday, December 19th, to the music of Gershwin and the sound of champagne corks popping.
As is the tradition, ABIE’s annual Christmas reception for its members was held in the Ambassador’s residence, with Deputy Head of Mission and Ambassador to UNESCO, Angus Mackenzie hosting the event.
The well attended party which drew a number of new members was generously sponsored by the legal firm Calinaud David Avocats.
At the piano was Melbourne jazz singer and composer Sarah McKenzie, who began with her own composition Paris in the Rain, then moved through to Gershwin and ended with her original version of Merry Christmas.
“It’s been a great year for ABIE”, said Mr Mackenzie, “and a great year for French Australian relations. I’d like to thank you all for the assistance you have given to the ongoing Free Trade Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement. 2018 has been memorable.”
These close ties are reflected, he said, in the choice of France for the “Australia Now” initiative for 2021. Underpinning this cultural programme is the strengthening of bilateral ties, raising Australia’s profile as an innovative, creative nation, and moving the country’s image beyond the clichés of kangaroos and koalas.
“Australia Now” will give ABIE wide scope for future events, but the focus now is on planning the 2019 calendar, which starts with the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, January 16th at 17.30 at the Australian Embassy. Another date to mark in your agendas is the 11th March when ABIE will be organizing a ‘Sunset Seminar’ on the hot topic of Blockchain.
In his closing remarks, ABIE President, Bernard Tabary, warmly thanked the Embassy for its valued support during the year. He expressed particular thanks to the members of ABIE for their contribution to the association and encouraged them to continue in 2019.