• BBC Article on Australian Exodus

    BBC Article on Australian Exodus

    Published 23rd January

    Today on the front page of the BBC News webpage is a link to an article on Australians departing Britain.

    I was contacted in November for my views on this. The full response I gave to the reporter is below. You always know a reporter will cut down 200 words to 15 and focus on the sensational  🙂

    You may find my story just as interesting…

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    From: Britain-Australia Society
    Sent: 18 November 2013 13:07
    To: ‘Kris Griffiths
    Subject: RE: press enquiry – BBC article

    Hi Kris

    Membership of B-AS has been higher in the past it is true – around 1000 whereas it is currently just over 700.

    Members are maybe 70% Australian expats and 30% Brits who have a strong Australian connection. But the drop in numbers over the past couple of years isn’t all down to the “exodus” you refer to. We hadn’t raised membership fees in a long long time and took a hard decision to “hike” them from £25pa to £75 – that caused a few of the more casual members to fall out, but we felt it was the right thing to do for the majority of members and the future of the Society.

    Most of our events tend to be 35-120 people with the occasional 200/300 gala – so that is quite sustainable from a smaller base of members. That said, we getting a steady recruitment of new members from the “new wave” of expats.

    What we have noticed very much is the changing profile of the expats who are in the UK with a significant increase in white-collar professionals (lawyers, accountants, architects, surgeons etc) rather than the back-packer, building-trade or bar-work Aussies we saw during the previous decades.

    Society in Australia has transformed over the last ten years or so. The “cultural cringe” has evaporated and Australia is now a super-confident country with high expectations of quality and service – a country at the top of its game. Those coming to the UK now have a different and quite clear agenda.

    The Britain-Australia Society does tend toward the more exclusive side of live in the UK and we aim to offer an entry to high-profile events and networking among a well-placed diplomatic and entrepreneurial community. Our new members are generally in the UK for the medium-to-long term (~7-10 years) to build up international expertise and exposure – which the UK is well-positioned to give them. They are aspirational and it seems our offering is attractive to them.

    There are quite a few Australians who are well-placed at the heart of British culture and have been here for many years in a very wide range of activities – actors, writers, builders, chefs, teachers… Well-placed Aussies include the former headmaster of Eton while Princes William and Harry were there, the current head of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, past and present directors of the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera House and many more, so there is no shortage of experienced mentors.

    The number of Australians coming to Britain may be smaller these days but they are certainly making an impact and making good use of their time here to become experienced global citizens who will enrich Australia further on their eventual return.

    You might like to have a look at our big event of 2013, which was the Bradman Ashes Dinner (shame about the Series result of course!) http://britain-australia.org.uk/events/event/dinner-in-the-long-room-at-lords/ Photos here: http://bit.ly/BASpicBrad We were inundated with people wanting to attend that event.

    Australians are also getting keener on recognising their heritage and in 2014 the Society is installing memorials in Bath and Westminster Abbey to mark the bicentenary of the death of the first Governor of New South Wales – Arthur Phillip. A host of VIPs will be coming over from Australia for the events surrounding those projects and out of the end of it the Britain-Australia Society Education Trust hopes to set up a bursary to assist those talented and aspirational Aussies mentioned above. http://britain-australia.org.uk/about/admiral-arthur-phillip/

    If that’s not enough and you want to give me a ring you can call my mobile!

     

    Kind regards
    Dale

    Mr Dale Eaton
    National Director,
    The Britain Australia Society
    email hidden; JavaScript is required
    www.britain-australia.org.uk

     

    From: Kris Griffiths
    Sent: 15 November 2013 17:07
    To: email hidden; JavaScript is required
    Subject: press enquiry – BBC article

     

    Hello there,

    I’m a BBC journalist currently writing a feature on the Australian exodus from London over the last few years and what effect it’s having. (Previous article example fyi: www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20857969)

    I heard that the Britain-Australia Society’s membership has dropped in last year or so – has this decrease continued and what will the consequence be if it falls too low, if that’s a problem at all?

    If your director or a media representative could answer these questions at the earliest convenience it would be greatly appreciated.

    We are interested in the wider consequences of the Aus exodus – ie. what value do you feel Australians have brought to Britain and what legacy will they be leaving? – so any feedback or reply on these points particularly sought.

    Many thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you,

    Kris Griffiths Writing for BBC Online

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    • Britain-Australia Society Sponsors
    • Britain-Australia Society Sponsors
    • Britain-Australia Society Sponsors
    • Britain-Australia Society Sponsors
    • Britain-Australia Society Sponsors
    The Britain-Australia Society Sponsors

    The organisations shown have all committed to supporting this year’s events. Many thanks to them.

    Commonwealth Bank Australia, CPA AustraliaEtihadCA ANZ,
    Godiva ChocolatierTait Memorial Trust and Vestey Foods Group.