President's Report



High Commissioners Luncheon

A unique luncheon event took place at the RACV Club organised by the Australian British Chamber of Commerce in March with the British High Commissioner to Australia Her Excellency Mrs Menna Rawlings CMG and the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency the Hon. Alexander Downer AC.

Both were interviewed about matters relevant to both countries and there was much agreement on many matters. Brexit was discussed at length and the conclusion was that there is a great deal of work to be done before the divorce is successful for both Europe and the United Kingdom. Alexander Downer, a member of the Rosl, spoke glowingly of Theresa May and her political ability in negotiating a good deal for Britain.
The League was well represented with Lino and Di Bresciani and Christine and John Chamberlain attending.

Dome to Dungeon

The visit to the State Library in April was illuminating and those who visited discovered places they had never thought about. The tour from Dome to Dungeon was instructive and fascinating, learning about the history of the State Library and the plans for the future. There is no doubt that this marvellous institution commenced by Sir Redmond Barry continues to play a most important role in the life of the City of Melbourne. The tour was followed by lunch at the café next to the Library and both the food and service were exceptional.

Government House

Long term members, members of Council and those that give great support to the League were invited to join our Patron, Her Excellency the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard QC at morning tea at Government House at the end of May. This was a special occasion and the Governor welcomed us warmly and spoke highly of the work of the League. I responded to her remarks and thanked her for her hospitality and wonderful work around our State. A guided tour of Government House followed and all involved had a very interesting time inspecting our Government House.

Queen’s Birthday Service and luncheon and Commonwealth Day Dinner

The Council of British and Commonwealth Societies held the annual Commonwealth Day Dinner at the Gables in East Malvern and special guest was the Malaysian Consul-General who spoke glowingly of the Commonwealth and its importance in the world.

The annual Queen’s birthday church service was held at St Georges Anglican Church in Malvern in June and was well attended with the usual procession of banners, marvellous hymns and a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen. Following morning tea many went to the Malvern Vale Hotel and enjoyed a delicious luncheon and toast to Her Majesty.

Prince’s Trust Australia ABS, EY Dinner and Black tie Dinner

Over the last few months a number of us have learned a great deal more about The Prince’s Trust in Australia and the magnificent work that is being encouraged by HRH The Prince of Wales. Janine Kirk AM Chief Executive of the Prince’s Trust in Australia addressed an Australia-Britain Society luncheon in May and then invited a number of us to a dinner at Ernst & Young to meet the participants in the Prince’s Lead Your Own Business project that encourages those leaving the Defence Forces to gain experience for employment.

Then in July we had our own Black tie Dinner to commemorate the Centenary of the House of Windsor with Janine Kirk as our guest speaker. More on the Prince’s trust in the next News Bulletin.

UK Election Parliament House

The British Consul-General and State Member for Kew had a day after the UK Election Event at Parliament House on 9 June. There was an interesting address by Jamie Angus, Editorial Director BBC Global News on the likely outcome of the election and then we watched the BBC coverage as the Conservatives and Scottish Nationalists lost seats and the Labour Party gained seats but subsequently found not enough to be invited to form government.

My Fair Lady

Congratulations to Dame Julie Andrews, I am sure that all who attended the 2017 production enjoyed it enormously.

jason president


HM The Queen

HRH Princess Alexandra KG GCVO

Patron Victoria
The Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria

Chairman Australia & President Victoria
Jason Ronald OAM

Branch Secretary
Ron Williamson