January 2005
Los Angeles To Get Eyeful Of Aussies In Full Flight

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Sunshine Coast Daily 15 January 2005



News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily, page 15, Saturday 15th January, 2005

Crocodile Hunter joins Gibson, Kidman for tourism push

Los Angeles has been transformed from Tinseltown to Ausiewood.

In coming days Nicole Kidman, Mel Gibson, Greg Norman, Delta Goodrem, Steve Irwin, Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins, Australian politicians, fashion designers, musicians, artists and food and wine companies will be rolled out on a conveyer belt of promotional events as part of G’Day LA Australia Week festival.

Usually self-obsessed Angelenos will find it hard to ignore Australia from January 13-21.

Los Angeles supermarkets look more like Coles in Caloundra.

In Beverly Hills at the upmarket Bristol Farms store – where celebrities like Madonna and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen buy tomatoes or apples for $A4 each – Australian flags cover cash registers and blow-up plastic kangaroos decorate specially constructed stalls with Australian food products.

“ Los Angeles will definitely have an Australian flavour,” Kylie Hargreaves, Austrade’s senior trade commissioner in LA and a member of the Australia Week steering committee, said.

The Penfolds Australian black tie gala on Saturday (Sunday Aust time) at an LA five star hotel is one of the hottest invites in town, with scalpers auctioning off tickets on eBay for $A1300.

At the event Kidman, Gibson and singing star Keith Urban will be honoured for “their role as ambassadors of Australian culture and talent”.

With names like Kidman and Gibson attending, plenty of Hollywood’s American-born A-List are expected to turn up to the lovefest with Cher one of many celebrities rumoured to make an appearance.

Goodrem, hoping to break into the US music market, will sing at the event.

Australian politicians and business leaders, led by Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, will also make Tinseltown home for a few days.

Downer will address the Los Angeles World Affairs council in downtown LA next week and also will appear with some other high powered Australian suits at the BHP Billiton Trade and Investment Seminar in Santa Monica.

Norman will hold a golf day with the chief executives of American companies and Irwin will tease some crocodiles at two shows.

Hawkins, after a break in Australia over Christmas, will be popping up at particular events to add a bit of glamour to the festivities.