Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you, Andrew, for that kind introduction.
It’s a pleasure to be here to join the American Australian Association for this very special dinner.
This year we celebrate a milestone in the friendship between the people of Australia and the United States.
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of when our two nations fought shoulder-to-shoulder together for the very first time.
One of the reasons that we can commemorate this important milestone flows from the work of this group over the past 70 years.
Since 1948, the American Australian Association has dedicated itself to strengthening the bonds between the Commonwealth of Australia and the United States.
And over time, the friendships we have forged, and the values that we have defended, have helped advance progress and opportunity for billions of people – in our nations and around the world.
For this reason, I am deeply honored to accept this award recognizing Lockheed Martin’s role in promoting the strong defense and economic partnership between our two nations.
Ultimately, it is a tribute to the 100,000 men and women of Lockheed Martin and their hard work and dedication.
It is even more special to receive this honor on the same night that Rupert Murdoch receives the Legend Award.
Seventy years ago, Sir Keith Murdoch, founded this organization, in the wake of World War II to ensure that Australia and the United States built on their shared vision for a brighter future.
Like his father, Rupert Murdoch has helped realize that vision – and broaden it.
Now, as we face unprecedented security and economic challenges the world over, this relationship is more vital than ever.
The threats that peaceful nations face are evolving and accelerating at a rate that we have not seen since the foundation of our friendship a century ago.
In such an uncertain and unpredictable environment, it falls to us to sustain and strengthen the U.S.-Australian alliance to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
That’s why, at Lockheed Martin we are honored to do our part to help support Australia and be a bridge between our two nations.
We continue to explore different ways to invest in Australia’s economy, security, and education sectors.
Across Australia, we employ more than 900 people and have created jobs for more than 3,500 additional Australians through work on our products and programs.
These hardworking men and women support some of the world’s most innovative technologies – contributing to stronger, more secure nations.
Nothing better represents this technological leadership than the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet.
From the very beginning, Australia has been a key contributor to the F-35 program.
As one of the nine original partner nations, Australia participated in the development, production, and sustainment of the program.
Later this year, Australia will welcome the arrival of its first two F-35s in Williamtown.
Of course, our countries can only sustain global security and economic leadership if we have skilled workforces.
That is why our broad-based commitment to Australia’s future includes reaching out to the next generation to help promote the pipeline of talent going into science, technology, engineering, and math.
For the past four years, Lockheed Martin has been the leading partner for Australia’s National Youth Science Forum.
Our investment supports their mission of inspiring and encouraging young Australians to pursue careers in STEM.
It is also why we chose Australia to be the hub for STELaRLab, our only multi-disciplinary research facility outside of the United States.
STELaRLab’s presence in Melbourne gives Lockheed Martin the opportunity to cultivate local talent, partner with leading Australian universities, and provide job opportunities for Australians.
These examples are just the newest and most enterprising chapter in the long, rich story of our country and our company’s friendship with Australia.
I am proud to stand with so many of you here in this room who have reached across the Pacific to achieve our shared aspirations.
Together, we are inspired by an optimistic vision to build a brighter future through security, education, and economic cooperation.
Once again, on behalf of Lockheed Martin, thank you to the American Australian Association for this tremendous honor.