The Odd Couple: The Australia-America Relationship (Adelaide)

Wed, Jul 24, 2024 6pm ACST Meeting Hall, Adelaide Town Hall

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Join Senator for South Australia, Sarah Hanson-Young, in conversation with Allan Behm, Director of The Australia Institute's International & Security Affairs Program at the Adelaide Town Hall to discuss Allan's latest book, The Odd Couple: The Australia-America Relationship.

This is a FREE event, but registration is essential.

The Odd Couple: the Australia-America relationship, a provocative narrative about recalibrating the relationship between Australia and the USA to deliver peace and prosperity rather than conflict and disharmony.

America matters. Australia matters. They matter to each other. They matter to the world. Their institutional and structural alignments are deep and powerful. Americans believe in themselves. Australians believe in each other. They are mates. They are gregarious. Americans are single-minded and ambitious. Success is the reward for effort. Australians are happy-go-lucky. They do not push themselves too hard. Americans honour success. Australians cut down tall poppies. Both are brash.

There are also many contrasts. America is religious. Australia is secular. Curiously, their differences help to explain why they are so close – and why their relationship is so superficial. ‘National security’ is a major shared interest. So is racism. America’s (and Australia’s) recent wars have all been against non-whites. Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are worse off for the wars we fought. So are we. Australia supports American adventurism unconditionally. Their focus on security emphasises war, not peace. America is floundering and appears to have lost its way. It needs friends that advise and encourage. It needs Australia.

In The Odd Couple, Allan Behm suggests ways that America and Australia can transcend military glitz to strengthen well-being and human security worldwide. America needs a friend, not a flunkey, and Australia may become its best ally.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, is committed to ensuring Australia remains connected to the rest of the world through ideas and global action. Decency to refugees and promoting a welcoming Australia to new migrants are causes that are close to her heart. Sarah was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2016 and will continue to stand up for the rights of vulnerable people in Australia and around the world. Sarah's portfolios include Environment and Water, and Arts and Communications.

Allan Behm, Director, International & Security Affairs Program at the Australia Institute, Canberra, specialises in international and security policy development, political and security risk evaluation, policy analysis and development, and negotiating the policy/politics interface. Following a career spanning nearly 30 years in the Australian Public Service, he was Chief of Staff to Minister for Climate Change and Industry Greg Combet (2009 to 2013) and senior advisor to the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong (2017–19).


Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 6:00pm - 7:30pm ACST


Meeting Hall, Adelaide Town Hall
128 King William St
Adelaide, SA 5000
Google map and directions


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