AUSTRALIA DAY 2007- CELEBRATING WHAT'S GREAT ABOUT AUSTRALIA
Following a tradition of giving Filipinos a taste of what’s great about Australia, the Australian Embassy, Manila has lined up a series of events to showcase the best of Australian lifestyle, culture and arts in celebration of Australia Day, 26th of January.
A nation of difference and unity, Australians are a unique mix of people. For more than 50,000 years, Indigenous Australians have inhabited and thrived in the continent’s unique environment. The remainder of Australia’s population are settlers, or descendants of settlers, and immigrants from Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world who have arrived during the last two centuries.
Such diversity of population has created a unique form of culture, reflected not only though visual and performing arts, but most especially through the Australian way of life.
Kicking off this year’s celebration is Neil Fettling’s “Noosphere”, a photographic exhibition currently on display at the Ateneo Art Gallery. The exhibit, part of the 2006-09 Ateneo-Latrobe Arts Linkages initiated by the Philippines-Australia Studies Network (PASN), presents a series of photographs of the vast and unspoiled wonders of Australia’s interior—marked by parched river beds, sandy dunes and skyscrapers made out of rock. Juxtaposed to these images of rugged terrain is the artist’s construction of an imagined landscape where humans appear to encroach. The exhibit will run until 31 January.
The 25th of January marks the return of the highly-successful Cinema Australia at the University of the Philippines as movie lovers will once again be treated to critically-acclaimed works by renowned Australian filmmakers. Organised in partnership with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the UP Film Institute (UPFI), this year’s Cinema Australia is a must-see for film enthusiasts and budding filmmakers with its line up of award-winning, low-budget films. Films include The Finished People, Romper Stomper, The Boys and Proof. Cinema Australia will run at the UPFI Videotheque on 25 -26 January and 1-2 February at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
Adults seeking to spend quality time with their kids should not miss Cinema Australia for Kids at the Ayala Museum featuring some of the best youth-oriented films from Down Under. Fans will surely be delighted to follow the fun-filled adventures of young Nicole Kidman as she and her friends become entangled with a bunch of bank robbers in the adrenaline-pumping BMX Bandits. Other films included in the two-day screenings on 20 and 27 January are Magic Pudding, the magical animated version of the classic Australian children's novel by Norman Lindsay. Featuring the vocal talents of Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, and Toni Collette; and Koala Brothers, a delightful puppet-style animation set in outback Australia featuring two aeroplane-pilot koala brothers set out to help anyone in need.
Fashion gurus and wellness buffs are sure to mark the 22nd and 31st of January as the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and Rustan’s Department Store launch a range of personal care and cosmetic brands at Essenses Rustan’s Makati and EDSA Shangrila Tower. Qantas, Australia’s national carrier, is giving away raffle prizes and roundtrip tickets to lucky shoppers who will avail of these Australian brands at Rustan’s Department Store.
And on the 25th of January, the Australian Ambassador’s residence will be transformed to a fashion runway for Australian fashion brands retailed by Rustan’s Department Store, Chocolate Clothing Company, Stoked Inc and Crossing Department Store. Dubbed as “Australian Fashion, Fun and Wine”, models will parade the hottest and hippiest trends in Australia while guests are treated to the best Australian white wines in town. The event is by invitation only.
Australia Day is the biggest celebration in Australia where people from all walks of life gather together and celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. The day marks the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson on the Australian east coast. The first official celebration was on 26 January 1818. At that time the anniversary was called “Foundation Day” and was usually marked by sporting events such as horse races and regattas. In 1838, Foundation Day was announced as Australia’s first public holiday and became an annual event held on 26 January every year. In 1946, the Commonwealth Government legalised the observation of only one national day, to be called “Australia Day.”
The Australian Embassy hopes that these activities will give Filipinos not just a healthy dose of Australian merriment, but also an introduction to the richness of Australian culture as well as reaffirm the long standing ties between the two countries. For details of movie screenings and other enquiries, please call the Australian Embassy at 757-8135/8173 or visit the Australian Embassy website at www.australia.com.ph