On June 26 1968 in London, a dinner for retired Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies was hosted by former UK Prime Minister Sir Alex Douglas Home and the Australian High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Sir Alexander Downer. It was at this dinner - attended by 40 mainly business, government and professional leaders - that The Cook Society was born. It had the following objectives:

  • The Society would seek to provide a forum for leaders of business, government, the voluntary sector, culture, academia, and science, prominent in Australia and the UK in order to improve relationships and understanding between the two countries.

  • The principal means for pursuing the objectives would be a series of lunches, dinners and an annual conference. The first conference was planned for Australia in 1969 and this has evolved into The Cook Society Gathering which alternates between the two countries, usually on a bi-annual basis.


Image by Josh Withers



Membership of The Cook Society in Britain is limited and by invitation only.