Posted on Mar 21, 2017
President Daryll introduced the Guest Speaker Mr Bill Furnish, Public Affairs Office of the US Consulate in Melbourne.
Chuck it in the Bin
Did you know that “Chuck it in the bin” is an Australian expression?
Our guest revealed this while explaining the Australian-isation of his children after three years in Melbourne; they have mastered this and other expressions like “No Worries” during their residence in Melbourne.
In a relaxed, informative and witty talk Mr Furnish spoke of his career at various diplomatic posts prior to arriving in Melbourne.
His wife is also in the State Department Foreign Service and it is a priority to align their careers and also take into account the welfare of their children.
The posting in Melbourne was selected to allow for good education opportunities for their children.
His prior appointments included Korea, Vietnam and Columbia.
His most recent appointment before Melbourne — without family — was in Afghanistan and his next appointment will be in Pakistan.
The US State Department maintains an Embassy in Canberra and Consulates (branch offices) in most State Capital cities in Australia.
The Melbourne office employs 8 State Department Americans and 45 Australians.
The Melbourne office services Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory for the US Ambassador.
While the Ambassador to Australia is often a political appointment, most of the US Ambassadors and Consuls throughout the world are career diplomats from the State Department.
As Public Affairs Officer he organises exchanges of political and cultural visitors between the US and Australia.
The first Treaty between the two countries was to establish the Fulbright Program where leaders and potential leaders visit each other’s countries to meet and get to know people of similar status.
In Canberra this exchange is dubbed the CIA tour! — Ed.
Bill went to great trouble to point out that the State Department has operated on firm protocols for generations and this has continued unabated since the last US elections.
Recently the newly-appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has visited both Japan and China.
He was previously CEO of Exxon Mobil and has worldwide political, economic and technical contacts throughout the world from which to draw advice and counsel.
In answer to questions Bill spoke briefly and diplomatically about guns and gun culture (there), WikiLeaks, Executive Orders and compulsory voting (here).
And in the ultimate irony, he adopted the down-and-out Western Bulldogs as his team — and three years later was awarded with a premiership.
That’s making Footscray Great Again.
President Daryll: Thanked our Guest Bill Furnish