A book like The Alliance at 70 is not what we usually create at the United States Studies Centre (the Centre). By design, this volume is unlike anything we’ve produced – written to engage a broad audience, rich with visuals, generous in layout, and extensive in scope, covering both the history of the Alliance while pivoting to highlight the extraordinary value and relevance of the Alliance today. The Centre’s scholars and experts certainly produce books of this length, but typically produced over years, not months. Reports, policy briefs and ‘explainers’ on emerging issues are more our stock-in-trade, typically written with a ‘policy audience’ in mind, or articles destined for peer-refereed scholarly journals.

Quite simply, given its length, breadth, style and production timeline, The Alliance at 70 is far and away the most ambitious project we’ve undertaken at the United States Studies Centre.

We’ve made many decisions over the course of this project, but the best and smartest was to engage Michael Bodey, who has led the drafting and curation of the volume. From the outset, we knew we would need an experienced writer and editor to realise our vision for The Alliance at 70. A trained journalist, Michael has a prodigious capacity for getting across a brief rapidly and rigorously, while also ensuring that The Alliance at 70 would have an engaging voice and presentation, and — at least as important — be delivered on time for the 70th anniversary of the signing of ANZUS on 1 September 2021. On behalf of all of us at the United States Studies Centre, thank you Michael: it’s been a genuine pleasure working with someone with your talents and grace under pressure.

The Centre’s communications team have worked alongside Michael over the life of the project, led by Maren Koeck, with indefatigable professionalism and calm. Production manager, Susan Beale, and Jared Mondschein kept the project moving with good humour and skill. The wisdom and work ethic of these three was invaluable. Mitch Morgan and his design team turned our words into something exciting to look at in record time.

The Centre’s scholars, researchers and experts helped The Alliance at 70 hit the right balance of accessibility to a broad audience, but with historical realism and accuracy, analytical rigour and policy relevance. I especially thank Victoria Cooper, Sarah Hamilton, Stephen Kirchner, Susannah Patton, Ashley Townshend and Toby Warden. On a tight timeline, the operational support and enthusiasm of Shelley Cheng, Janine Pinto, Cindy Tang, Nhien Truong and Lily Devcic (of the American Australian Association Ltd) was incredibly helpful.

To all the contributors, our heartfelt thanks for your time and evident passion for the Alliance, your diverse set of voices making The Alliance at 70 a truly compelling document. Thank you to former Prime Minister John Howard, Ambassador Arthur Sinodinos, John Lee, Bruce Wolpe and Stephen Loosley for their advice, connections and generosity of time. Michael Bodey personally secured contributions from sources well outside the Centre’s usual lanes; our special thanks to Dean Murphy and Michael Hirsh for ‘making something happen.’

I also thank the Board of Directors of the Centre, led by its Chair Mark Baillie, who enthusiastically endorsed the proposal for ‘Project A70’ and have supported its execution at every step of the way, especially in securing valuable financial and in-kind support. Further, in addition to Mark, Gordon Flake, Chelsey Martin, Brendan Nelson (a book contributor himself) and John Olsen helped land some of the contributions from distinguished former political leaders and diplomats both in Australia and the United States.

The Centre has had terrific assistance assembling materials and images. Yasmin Davis at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Naval Heritage Collection’s Lawson Rennie, Melanie Beer at News Corp Australia and Sally Laming at the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library were particularly helpful. We also thank Michael Miller, Campbell Reid, Glenn Stanaway and John Lehmann at News Corp Australia.

For assistance with images, thanks to Rob Garratt at Sea Power Centre – Australia at the Royal Australian Navy, Campbell Rhodes at the Museum of Australian Democracy and Dr Karl James at the Australian War Memorial.

Our friends at presidential libraries and archives in the United States were immensely helpful. Particular thanks go to Virginia Butler (George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum), Maryrose Grossman (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum), Adam Shoop (Barack Obama Presidential Library), Paul Hogroian (Library of Congress), John Keller (William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum), Ryan Pettigrew (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum), Chris Belena (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum) and Heather Mason at the National Archives and Records Administration.

The University of Sydney’s Fischer Library, the State Library of Victoria and the State Library of New South Wales were also wonderful resources.

Again, my thanks to all involved in bringing The Alliance at 70 to life.

Professor Simon Jackman
Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney

The Alliance at 70 was made possible with generous support from:

Presenting supporter

  • Pratt Industries

Platinum supporters

  • Department of Defence
  • Macquarie Group
  • News Corp Australia, The Australian, Sky News

Gold supporters

  • ANZ
  • The Baillie Family
  • Bechtel
  • Boeing Australia, NZ & South Pacific
  • Bondi Partners
  • Chevron Australia
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Microsoft Pty Ltd
  • Northrup Grumman Australia
  • RØDE Microphones

Bronze supporters

  • Air Lease Corporation
  • Bruce & Ben Scott
  • Citi
  • C|T Group
  • EY
  • Palantir
  • Perth USAsia Centre
  • Thales Australia
  • Westpac