American Friends of the Australian National Maritime Museum Launched in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ — A new organization seeking US support for a unique Australian-American maritime cultural program will make its first appearance in San Francisco this month (Aug).

The American Friends of the Australian National Maritime Museum will entertain guests and outline objectives at a reception in the Bayview Room at the San Francisco Maritime Museum, Beach Street, on Tuesday, August 30.

Special guest will be L.W. “Bill” Lane Jnr, retired co-chairman of the board of Lane Publishing Co. and longtime publisher of Sunset magazine.

Ambassador to Australia 1985-1989, Bill Lane is a close and long-term friend of the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

Ms Robin Morales, Executive Director of the Australian-American Chamber of Commerce will also be in attendance. The San Francisco based Chamber has assisted in the organization of the reception.

The Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, Mary-Louise Williams, will host the Reception.

Located on Sydney’s picturesque harbor, the Australian National Maritime Museum is concerned with all aspects of Australia’s maritime history. In one area it conducts research and presents exhibitions on the maritime links binding America and Australia, two friendly seafaring nations on opposite sides of the Pacific.

This shared maritime history goes back more than 200 years, with tall ships from both nations plying trade routes across the ocean. Then came adventurous whalers and explorers working together, diggers crisscrossing the Pacific to search for gold and more recently the two-way tourist rush.

In times of war, American and Australian fighting ships have faced combat side-by-side; indeed war also bought closer ties when 15,000 Australian women married US servicemen during World War II.

In peace, yachtsmen, surfers and water speedsters meet and compete for glory.

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s interest in this shared maritime experience centers on its specially-dedicated USA Gallery.

This popular feature was America’s gift to the Australian people at the time of Australia’s bicentenary in 1988. It was in place when the museum opened in 1991.

In the USA Gallery the museum constantly shows exhibitions that identify and explain the sea links between America and Australia and how those links have served to draw the people of the two countries together.

With the exhibitions the museum has staged supporting inter-active displays, school educational programs, lectures, musical performances and theatrical performances.

The USA Gallery is also a focal point where trans-Pacific business networks and cultural institutions come together in an atmosphere of shared cultural experience.

The new American Friends organization, based in the USA, enables American citizens to gain benefits under Section 5501C3 of the USA Internal Revenue Service Code for donations of cash or artifacts.

“We believe there are many Americans who have been to our country, or have some other interest in Australia, and would like support our work financially or with donations of appropriate artifacts,” Mary-Louise Williams said today.

“We’re certainly aware there are Americans holding artifacts, from iron harpoons or diaries to works of fine art, that are part of our shared maritime heritage. We’d love to hear from them.”

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