December 2005

Rolling Out the Green and Gold

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Rolling out the Green and Gold

The Courier Mail, 10 December 2005


News source: The Courier-Mail, Thursday 10 December 2005
By John Olsen, Australian Consul-General to Los Angeles

G’day LA: Australia Week sets out to position Australia as a great place to do business, invest or visit.

AUSTRALIA Week kicks off on January 14, 2006 when 1200 people will gather at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California for the Penfolds Icon Gala Dinner.

This will be the most high profile – and as befits the entertainment capital of the world – star-studded event of the third annual G’day LA: Australia Week. The spotlight focused that Saturday night will help bring attention to the broader purpose of Australia Week – raising awareness for Australia and Australian industries in one of the most important economies in the world.

Australia Week is the result of an extraordinary partnership between Australian federal and state government agencies and the private sector. Over the 15 events which comprise Australia Week 2006 more than 200 Australian businesses, large and small, will have the opportunity to get their message and their products direct to the US market. The week will also act to focus US attention on Australia as an investment destination.

The importance of creating an opportunity such as this was recognised by the founding partners of G’day LA in mid-2002. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tourism Australia, Austrade and Qantas Airways in LA met to discuss how we could work together to combine our organisations’ individual talents to create a unique platform for our Australian stakeholders in this tough, crowded market.

The impending ratification of the US Australia Free Trade Agreement gave us even greater confidence.

Now, in 2006 we’re aiming even higher. Over seven days, the events will focus attention on industries as diverse as entertainment, tourism, wine, food and beverages, energy, manufacturing, education, investment and sport. And forums will be held for discussions on the broader business and cultural relationship between Australia and the United States.

Our target audiences will include film studio executives, investors, local and state government officials from LA and California, supermarket, restaurant and department sore buyers and, of course, the general public.

Most importantly, we’re now looking to stretch Australia Week’s reach beyond California.

We’ve enjoyed considerable US national media coverage in 2004 and 2005 but our focus was primarily on California.

In 2006, for the first time, we are holding a ‘virtual’ event, which will, through the power of the internet, engage an additional half a million Americans. The Great Oz Experience Auction will be a high profile event for Australia’s tourism operators.

We are also very pleased to announce a new media partnership with the national cable network the Independent Film Channel. With IFC the G’day LA committee will produce a half hour television special covering all the events and messages of G’day LA.

G’day LA is a truly collaborative production. On behalf of my Steering Committee partners, Michael Londregan, Vice President, The Americas for Tourism Australia, Wally Mariani, Senior Executive Vice President, The Americas and Pacific for Wantas Airways, Kylie Hargreaves, Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade, I thank all our sposnors for their involvement and support.