Remarks by the First Lady at a Media Preview for the State Dinner with Australia

October 24, 2023

[As prepared for delivery.]

Welcome, everyone! It's a pleasure to be with all of you once again.

As the United States and Australia celebrate our past century of partnership and look toward the next century of friendship, I was inspired to bring together the vibrant Australian spring and crisp American autumn, as the seasons ripple across our great painted landscapes.

This evening, in just a few moments actually, the President and I will welcome Prime Minister Albanese and Ms. Haydon to the White House. We are excited to build on our strong friendship and show them pieces of our country that make us proud.

And, tomorrow, Ms. Haydon and I will visit the National Cancer Institute to see the incredible work they are doing for children with cancer – a cause close to both of our hearts.

Nurturing our partnerships and relationships with our allies is critically important – especially in tumultuous times like these.

Food is comforting, reassuring, and healing. And we hope that this dinner provides a little of that as well.

And, while we had initially planned for the legendary B-52s to perform their iconic dance and party music, we are now in a time when so many are facing sorrow and pain, and we have decided to make adjustments to the entertainment portion of the evening.

The band will attend the dinner as guests, and the President's Own Marine Band and the Army and Air Force Strolling Strings will provide instrumental music for the dinner.

The United States and Australia may stand on opposite sides of the globe, different hemispheres, different seasons, but, despite our distance, we share so much: a dedication to democracy, a reverence for freedom, a devotion to equality, and a love for the natural wonders of our nations.

Every detail of this dinner has been thoughtfully planned by a team of people from across our government.

So, I want to thank the White House residence staff, our chefs and our wonderful guest chef, Katie Button, our social team, and the State Department staff who have been working so hard to make this visit meaningful.

Thank you all for being here. I've asked the chefs to share samples of the dessert so you can taste a little piece of what our guests will enjoy tomorrow night.

Now I will turn it over to our Social Secretary, who has guided this process, Carlos Elizondo.

Jill Biden, Remarks by the First Lady at a Media Preview for the State Dinner with Australia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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