The American Australian Association held an inaugural dinner last night, when it was announced that Sydney University would be the host of a special US Studies Centre. This is another coup for the university, which recently became the home for the Macquarie Dictionary production team. I recently telephoned the Macquarie team in their new offices on floor 2 of the Fisher Library stack, just to say hello. They will be having a party to celebrate. I'm not sure when, but probably soonish.
Rupert Murdoch was plastered all over the broadsheets today in his role of eminence grise, mixing it with John Howard, Gough Whitlam, Billy Joel, Baz Luhrmann and others. Funnily enough, his photo received more column inches in The Sydney Morning Herald than in his own paper. But I prefer The Australian's headline — 'Triple A think tank powers US alliance' — because it focuses on the Sydney Uni endeavour rather than the gamut of other-worldly guests who schmoozed about at the $35,000-dollar tables at the Four Seasons Hotel. And, furthermore, Professor Gavin Brown FAA AO was on the tele tonight, gammy eye and all, spruiking the new venture. Go Gav.
It'll be interesting to see which Australian university gets the nod for the probably-soon-to-be-instituted and much-discussed Government-backed Islamic studies centre.