United States Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy has emphasised the importance of strong values and relationships in shaping our lives and defining our success, in a personal conversation with members of the National Intelligence Community (NIC).
Ambassador Kennedy was the keynote speaker at the latest Connect+ event – a series organised by the Office of National Intelligence and Future Women, on behalf of the NIC.
Dozens of people from across the NIC attended the event on 27 April 2023, including Director-General of National Intelligence, Andrew Shearer and Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Kerri Hartland.
In her remarks, Ambassador Kennedy expressed gratitude to US President Biden for posting her to Australia - a country that has played a significant role in her own personal history.
Ambassador Kennedy acknowledged the sacrifices of those who served in combat alongside Americans over the last 100 years, including an Australian coast watcher who arranged for her late father to be rescued in the Solomon Islands after his boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer in World War II.
“I wasn't prepared for the powerful emotion I felt meeting the last two surviving coast watchers, one of whom turned 100 last week, and a week later, travelling to the Solomon Islands, where I was able to thank the daughter of the scout who rescued my father,” said Ambassador Kennedy.
In a discussion with the audience, Ambassador Kennedy outlined her priorities while serving as US Ambassador to Australia, including promoting democracy, advancing climate change efforts, and working closely with the Australian government on regional security issues.
“Growing older has taught me that the most important work is done not by those who seem the most important, but by those who care the most.
So, if you think about the kind of life you want to live, you need to decide what values and ideals are most important to you and how you can put them into action,” Ambassador Kennedy said.
The event was third in the Connect+ Speaker Series, aimed at building leadership capability and professional networks amongst women in the NIC.