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18 October 2004

The United States Ambassador to Australia, Tom Schieffer, will be quizzed by an international student panel about strategic alliances and Australian idiom at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on Wednesday.

In a live video link with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, Mr Schieffer will be asked about the impact of American culture in Australia, how election outcomes might affect alliances and from the US students what the former Texan business lawyer makes of larrikin language in Australian politics!

The Ambassador will join three Australian high school students at the National Museum's Studio in Canberra. The three American students will join the questioning from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Talkback Classroom interview is being held in the National Museum's Studio at 9.30am this Wednesday, 20 October.

Talkback Classroom is a National Museum project linking students from across Australia and the world with key politicians and public figures. Earlier guests have included Prime Minister John Howard and United Nations Civil Society Service Chief Ramu Damodaran.

Each student panel has been preparing for this event by meeting key journalists, academics and advisers.

The Australian student panel from Canberra is: Duncan Kaufman, Radford College; Geoffrey O'Keefe, Daramalan College; and Alix Kuzma, Canberra College. The US panel from Washington is: Will Dreher, Montgomery Blair High School; Andrew Rohrbach, Thomas Jefferson High School; and April Crewson, Stone Bridge High School.

The Talkback Classroom interview will be broadcast on ABC Radio National's Life Matters. Talkback Classroom can also be seen on the SBS TV program, School Torque.

The interview will also be webcast at:

For images or interviews please contact Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338,
0438 620 710 or

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