Prior to that in 1936, a movement had been commenced in Sydney known as the “British and American Co-operation Movement”. This was established by two WW1 veterans, Brigadier General Henry Goddard CMG, DSO, VD and Captain Ernest White OBE, MC. They both saw a need for such an organisation as a means of ensuring ‘peace and security’ for our vast and defenceless country. It was inaugurated on 15 July 1936 at the Millions Club in Sydney. The concept and objectives of this ‘Movement’ are not unlike those in place today with the Australian American Association.
The Sydney ‘Movement’ was endorsed by the Prime Minister of Australia and it boasted 4,000 members at the time. At the outbreak of WW11 a secretariat was established in Sydney with a full time staff member. The government of the day provided the Movement with a grant of 1,650 pounds on the basis that it assist the Department of Information. As a proviso of that grant, the government requested there be a name change to “Australian-American Cooperation Movement”. The aim of the grant was for the Movement to provide support to the many US service personnel Sydney. Naturally, the name change was accepted.
The very first Federal meeting of the various state groups was held on 10 November 1943 in Sydney and the first Federal President was Ernest K White, later to become Sir Ernest.