About the Author: Reggie Singh serves as Political and Economic Officer at the U.S. Consulate Sydney in Australia.
Secretary Clinton's Australian townterview at the University of Melbourne, with youth from across the country, was broadcast to a nationwide audience on Sunday evening. The U.S. Mission in Melbourne spent an intense week working in Melbourne with our partners and hosts for this event -- the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Asia Society/Asialink -- culminating in a Sunday morning taping before a 500-person audience.
The young people filing into the auditorium of the Sidney Myer Asia Centre at the University of Melbourne were both excited, as well as a bit nervous. In the end, a mix of questions covering both the personal and political put the audience at ease and allowed the Secretary to work in some humor.
The questions ranged from: "In your opinion, Madam Secretary, how close are we to achieving true gender equality here in the Western world?” to “How do you handle the stress of being Secretary of State?”
This townterview was a somewhat different format from other such events during the Secretary's visit through the region. She led off with a 15-minute policy speech framing the history, shared sacrifice, and common values of the U.S.-Australia alliance, while looking forward to an agenda that the two countries will tackle in the years ahead.
Secretary Clinton noted that security in the future requires us to adapt to emerging threats and unexpected challenges, ranging from climate change to cybersecurity. In addition, the U.S. and Australia would also work together to expand economic opportunity, including through the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.
Finally, the United States and Australia have a similar vision for regional architecture, culminating in the recent American decision to join the East Asia Summit.
Secretary Clinton concluded her remarks to young Australians by emphasizing, “Yes we're looking back, to make sure we never forget, but we're also looking forward, to make sure we envision and then produce a future worthy of your dreams.”