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Since 2004, Australia Week has brought Australian food and wine, travel, film, arts, culture, fashion and business to a US audience. With over 15,000 participants in 2008, it was the largest annual foreign country promotion in the United States. The event is produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Qantas Airways, Tourism Australia and Austrade. The ten-day promotion is held annually during the month of January in Los Angeles and New York. The objective of Australia Week is to demonstrate Australia as an innovative, high growth, sophisticated economy, with leading edge research and technology in products, goods and services. The program highlights Australia’s economic credentials as a desirable place in which to do business and invest, source goods and services.
G'Day USA: Australia Week presents Australia as a modern, sophisticated society, while setting an accurate perception of Australia in the United States.
Pioneered in 2004 as G’Day LA, by the Australian Consul General in Los Angeles, the Hon. John Olsen AO, G'DAY USA: Australia Week has quickly expanded to become a bi-coastal celebration with top Australian celebrities, filmmakers, chefs and politicians taking part. Australia Week is now arguably the largest single foreign country promotion held annually in the United States, showcasing all things Australian.
In 2006, Olsen was reassigned to the post of Consul General in New York. It was then Olsen re-branded the event from G'DAY LA to a larger umbrella of G'DAY USA.
Since its inception, G’DAY USA: Australia Week has raised the profile of Australia, its policy perspectives and the capabilities of its key industries in the US market, particularly entertainment and culture, tourism and sport, food and beverages, energy, manufacturing and education. It has been an important instrument for promoting Australia as a destination for productive investment from the United States. In addition, the event set a benchmark for the international promotion of Australia and Australian interests.
To appeal to the New York audience of high-powered investors and research and development (R&D) executives, the Australia Week Steering Committee added Innovation and Financial Services days to the program in 2007.
The Australia Week promotion has resulted in excess of $22.5 million in trade and investment across sectors as diverse as art, food, wine, fashion, tourism and business services.
Fashion has become a key component in the program, allowing Australian designers to gain a foothold in the highly complex US market. Since the Australia Week Fashion Showroom was instituted in 2007, several designers have recorded significant export sales to high end fashion department/specialty stores.
Food and Beverage: Australia Week has vastly improved access of Australian products to the U.S. market. During the first week of the supermarket promotion in New York, high demand forced Citarella stores to re-order several Australian products.
The 2008 Bristol Farms promotion saw Australian product lines expand from 32 item in 2007 to 46 items. Citarella’s second Australia Week promotion in 2008 featured 53 Australian product lines, an increase of 20 products from the previous year.
The 2008 Winter Fancy Food Show attracted over 16,000 buyers from food, wine, gift & department stores, supermarkets & restaurants from around the world, with 32,000 visitors and attendees. With trade outcomes from 2008 still being collected, exhibitors predict even bigger results than 2007’s 31 export deals, totaling more than $3.7 million.
The Innovation Day has provided Australian companies visibility, new deals and partnerships with members of the American venture capital and R&D industries. Tasmanian company Autech Software & Design, producers of colour visualisation software, won the inaugural Innovation Shootout in 2007; being selected as Australia’s most innovative company by a panel of judges including the Wall Street Journal and CEO’s of some of America’s leading venture capital firms. The company received widespread media coverage both in Australia and overseas, including articles in the New York Post and Wall Street Journal, and the company CEO being interviewed on Chinese television. Fermiscan, the winner of the 2008 Innovation competition, also received extensive media coverage including Fox Business Network, BusinessWeek Magazine, ABC News NY and CW 11 New York.
The Innovation Day and Financial Services events focus on brokering business connections within the finance and R&D communities, exposing US executives to Australian innovators and financial services leaders. The marquee session of the Innovation Day includes the 'Innovation Shootout' whereby six Australian states compete to have their product/innovation funded and launched in the US marketplace.
Qantas bookings rose during Australia Week 2008 to record-breaking levels. As a result of the promotion, in April 2008, Qantas Airways increased its capacity to offer 47 flights between US and Australia – nearly doubling capacity over the last five years since the promotion began.
Australia-Week.com and Australia.com received almost 150,000 visits, with visitors spending 17,500 hours learning about Australia.
Australia Week 2008 media coverage generated 445 million global audience impressions—an equivalent advertising buy of approximately $7.5 million.
The Black Tie Galas in Los Angeles and New York serve as the publicity anchors of G’DAY USA: Australia Week. The dinners honor high profile individuals for significant contributions in their industries and for excellence in promoting Australia in the United States. Previous honorees include: Cate Blanchett, Anthony LaPaglia, Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Olivia Newton-John, Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe, INXS, Kylie Minogue, Phillip Noyce and Colette Dinnigan.
In 2011, The Black Tie Gala signature event honoured Legendary Australian Singer Barry Gibb, Tennis Champion Roy Emerson and acclaimed Actress Abbie Cornish. Olivia Newton-John presented to Barry Gibb, Andre Agassi presented to Roy Emerson and Director Zach Snyder presented to Abbie Cornish. The evening featured Australian food prepared by celebrity chefs Curtis Stone and Wolfgang Puck. Entertainment included performances by Guy Sebastian, The Qantas Choir and a fashion show presented by Myer.
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, AM New York, Bizbash, US Weekly, Ok Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter and Time Out NY, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Extra, CBS Early Show, Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Fox & Friends, Martha Stewart, Inside Edition, ABC News NY, E! News, CW 11, KCBS 2 News (LA), Good Day LA, Good Day NY, Fox Affiliates.
Sky News, Today Show, Network Ten News, Seven Network News, Nine Network News, Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV News and Radio, Austereo Network, Radio 2GB and Fairfax Radio Network (including 2UE, 6PR, 3AW), Australian Associated Press, The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Who, Woman’s Day, News Limited Newspapers (including Sun Herald, The Courier-Mail, Adelaide Advertiser, The Daily Telegraph), Queensland Business Review, Ragtrader and Encore Magazine and MX.
In addition to the media coverage, a partnership with BusinessWeek delivered a special supplement about Australia. More than 4.8 million readers received the supplement, including over 620,000 C-level executives.
- Shen, Maxine (19 January 2008)."Days Down Under - Cheers, Mate! Australia Week Visits Big Apple", New York Post, p 26.
- Milne, Glenn (17 February 2008)."Say G'Day to a Massive Boost in US Trade", Sunday Telegraph, p 91.
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- Discover Magazine Editors (23 January 2008)."When Australians Invade" http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2008/01/23/when-australians-invade/", Advance. Retrieved on 8/6/08