Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Makes Houston Appearance at Asia Society Texas Center

HOUSTON, June 13, 2014 — Asia Society’s Texas Center’s signature Distinguished Leaders on Asia series returns for its second installment on June 13, 2014 with The Hon Tony Abbott MP, 48th Prime Minister of Australia.

Coming directly from a Washington, D.C. visit with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Abbott will speak at an intimate dinner hosted by the Asia Society Texas Center and sponsored by BHP Billiton, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips. The remarks will focus on his perspective on U.S.-Australia relations and his country’s role in Asia.

Also attending the dinner will be an extensive delegation from Australia including Minister for Trade and Investment, The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP as well as the Ambassador of Australia to the United States, The Hon Kim Beazley AC.

The trip to Houston will be the Prime Minister’s first visit to the United States since he took office in 2013. He recently returned from a successful trip last month to North Asia to discuss trade relations and secure trade agreements with Korea and Japan.

Sponsorships of the event are by invitation only or available to Asia Society corporate members and individual donors. For more information, visit or contact Bronwyn Walker, Individual Giving Manager, at or 713.496.9937.

The Texas Center launched the Distinguished Leaders on Asia series in 2013 with a joint public appearance by two of the most respected statesmen in the United States. Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, 56th Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and James A. Baker III, the 61st Secretary of State, drew a standing-room audience of nearly 300 for a fascinating conversation moderated by Andrew H. Card, Jr., the 21st White House Chief of Staff.

About Tony Abbott MP

Tony Abbott was sworn in as the 28th Prime Minister of Australia on September 18, 2013. Prior to the election of the Coalition Government in September of 2013, Mr. Abbott had been Leader of the Opposition since December 1, 2009. Mr. Abbott was first elected as Member for Warringah in March 1994. He has been re-elected as Member for Warringah in seven subsequent elections.

During the Howard Government, Mr. Abbott served as a Parliamentary Secretary, Minister, Cabinet Minister, and Leader of the House of Representatives. As Minister for Employment Services (1998–2001), Mr. Abbott oversaw the development of the Job Network and a major expansion of Work for the Dole. As Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations (2001–2003), Mr. Abbott boosted construction industry productivity through the establishment of the Cole Royal Commission.

As Minister for Health and Ageing (2003–2007), Mr. Abbott oversaw the expansion of Medicare rebates to allied health professionals such as dentists and psychologists and introduced the Strengthening Medicare reforms which delivered record levels of bulk billing for patients. Mr. Abbott also introduced the Medicare safety net for people with big out-of-pocket expenses, increased hospital funding by $2.2 billion, and resolved the medical indemnity crisis.

As Prime Minister, Mr. Abbott has promised to spend a week each year living and working in an indigenous community. In recent years, Mr. Abbott has spent time working as a teacher’s aide, a truancy officer as well as participating in Bush Owner Builder indigenous housing project. Last year, Mr. Abbott and a team of business leaders spent four days helping to refurbish the library of a local school.

Prior to entering parliament, Mr. Abbott was a journalist with The Australian and The Bulletin. He was press secretary and political adviser to the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. John Hewson, before becoming Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

Mr. Abbott holds Economics and Law degrees from Sydney University. He is a Rhodes Scholar and holds a Master of Arts (Politics and Philosophy) from Oxford University. Mr. Abbott is the author of four books. Mr. Abbott is a long-term member of Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club and the Davidson Brigade of the Rural Fire Service.

About Distinguished Leaders on Asia

Distinguished Leaders on Asia is an occasional series that features diverse perspectives from decision makers to thought leaders, politicians to artists, on topics ranging across geopolitics, business, society, and culture. Our unique public forum reflects Asia Society Texas Center’s mission to promote “mutual understanding and [strengthen] partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context.”

About Asia Society Texas Center

Asia Society Texas Center is part of a leading global educational organization that promotes mutual understanding and strengthens partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, Asia Society Texas Center provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to connect Americans and Asians for a shared future. Asia Society Texas Center officially opened its headquarters, which was designed by famed Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, in April 2012. Part of the international Asia Society, which has offices in 11 of the world’s leading cities, the Texas Center works to promote mutual understanding and strengthen partnerships among people, leaders and institutions both here and in Asia.


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