Big Names headline G'Day LA
Australian Consul General to Los Angeles the Hon. John Olsen said his committee would shortly announce other big name Australians who would lend their talent and presence to the week's activities.
"We're holding some of it back to ensure the excitement builds in LA," he said.
"Over the last two years we've had Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Keith Urban, Geoffrey Rush, Baz Luhrmann, Hugh Jackman, Anthony La Paglia, Poppy Montgomery, Delta Goodrem, Steve Irwin Greg Norman and many others freely give of their time and talents to help draw the spotlight to Australia Week and to Australia.
"Their involvement helps immeasurably in putting the event on the map in Los Angeles and attracting the media and public attention which is the purpose of G'Day LA.
In 2005 coverage of Australia Week in outlets as diverse as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Los Angeles Times, LA Business Journal and the Hollywood Reporter was valued at more than USD$3 million.
Mr Olsen said Oliva Newton John would be the 2006 recipient of the G'Day LA Lifetime Achievement honour at the Penfold Icon Gala and that her Grease co-star John Travolta would be on hand to present the award.
"Olivia remains one of the most popular Australians in the US. We are delighted to honour her for her achievements and her unquestionable contribution to building Australia's 'personality' in the US. Her easy nature, professionalism and talent set the standard for Australians in Hollywood.
"INXS will perform for the dinner and will back up the following night with a full private concert at the famed House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. This concert will be a mere four days before the start of the band's sold-out US concert tour and is sure to be one of the most sought after invitations in Los Angeles in January.
"Steve Irwin will again lend his unique talents to a one hour live stage show at UCLA which will raise the curtain for a family barbecue and AFL clash between the Sydney Swans and North Melbourne Kangaroos.
"Steve is a huge drawcard in the US. His generosity in promoting Australia Week on his numerous US television appearances is invaluable to us and we know his presence at the family day will draw thousands to not only see him but discover the excitement of Australian Football.
"We're delighted to also announce that Ian Baker-finch will host our CEO Golf Day in 2006. Ian is a worthy successor to Greg Norman who has so generously been with us for the past two years. The Golf Day is a great networking opportunity for Australian business people to meet with their American counter-parts in a relaxed environment.
"Throughout the rest of the Australia Week high profile Australian government and business leaders will also anchor events ranging from the annual get-together of the southern Californian chapters of the Young Presidents Association to Education, Immigration and Energy industry seminars.
"The involvement of the top level of Australian talent across so many fields in vital to the success of Australia Week and, equally, speaks volumes for the event's growing profile as a meaningful forum for Australia to engage with the American market."