Phil Scanlan, together with his wife Julie Singer Scanlan, founded the Australian American Leadership Dialogue in 1992 with the support of then President George H.W. Bush.
Message from the Founders
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, little has changed in the Australian American relationship to alter the sobering tendency for Australians to presume the permanence of the American alliance and for Americans to take Australia for granted.
Australians need to heed the prescient warning of inaugural United States President George Washington to avoid permanent entanglements with foreign powers. This is particularly relevant in the aftermath of the regulated world of the Cold War and the current inter generational shifts in leadership of both countries.
For many decades, successive Australian governments have failed to acknowledge or account for the wealth transfer from American to Australian taxpayers by way of the defence subsidy. A national conversation about the rationale and efficacy of Australia's alliance with the United States is timely.
The resonance of inter generational change led to the creation of the Leadership Dialogue in 1992and is a consistent factor in how Board and Advisory Council members guide our collective decision making.
The Leadership Dialogue was founded, and continues to run, on principles of bilateral interest,bipartisanship, voluntarism and leadership in the service of others, frank exchange, inter generational perspectives, mutual tolerance and personal courtesy.
Since 1992, leaders have gathered at Australian American Leadership Dialogue (AALD) programs in various cities across the two nations to help shape the direction of the bilateral relationship. These programs allow a rich and ongoing dialogue to develop across seven key themes: economics and trade, security and defence, foreign policy, domestic politics, innovation and technology, energy and climate and education, health and community cohesion.
The bilateral and bipartisan nature of the Leadership Dialogue facilitates the pragmatic and free-flowing exchange of ideas that has become a hallmark of Leadership Dialogue gatherings.
Australia's destiny this 21st century is to be a model inclusive society – secure, strong, smart,compassionate and sustainably competitive underwritten by the rule of law, where the diversity of our people is a national asset.