JOURNALIST: I am joined now by the Minister of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who is here to launch G'Day USA today. A very special time Julie but first, what is your favourite Fleetwood Mac song?
JULIE BISHOP: I am a Fleetwood Mac fan and I remember seeing them perform live in Adelaide. Their 'Rumours' album had just come out, so anything off 'Rumours', but probably 'Go Your Own Way'.
JOURNALIST: Go Your Own, very good. Stevie Nicks fan?
JULIE BISHOP: I love Stevie Nicks. When she and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band, they really gave it dynamism, and I love the fact that their album was called 'Rumours' because there was so much intrigue and curiosity about that band and there is still today, 50 years on.
JOURNALIST: Wow you're all across it, very good indeed. Julie, G'Day USA, for those who are not familiar with the program tell us what it is about?
JULIE BISHOP: Next year will be the 15th year of G'Day USA. This is a platform that we use to showcase Australian talent and industries, goods and services – whether it's food, wine, tourism, the defence industries, innovation – across the vast audiences in the United States. This is one of the most lucrative consumer markets in the world. The US is one of our closest economic partners, and so this is an opportunity for us to show Australian ideas, innovation and talent to the United States.
JOURNALIST: There is stuff going on all through the year, but probably the highest profile event is the G'day USA Gala Ball which happens around Australia Day in Los Angeles and it's always a big night isn't it?
JULIE BISHOP: It is a huge night. It is our signature event, a gala in Hollywood. Each year we honour Australians who have made a great contribution to the entertainment industry and have made us proud that they have been so successful, and am I allowed to give you a scoop?
JOURNALIST: We'd love a scoop, this is a Today Show exclusive. Yes you're allowed to. Always. Please. You're announcing it in about 12 minutes' time but who's being honoured this year?
JULIE BISHOP: This year for January 2018 there will be three honourees. We will be awarding an honour to Heath Ledger posthumously, he is an Oscar winning actor, we miss him terribly and we want to honour Heath Ledger. Then an award to the Emmy Award winning producer Bruna Papandrea…
JOURNALIST: Fantastic, Big Little Lies.
JULIE BISHOP: Yes, Big Little Lies starring Nicole Kidman.
JOURNALIST: How good was that series?
JULIE BISHOP: Fantastic, series two coming out. She also did Gone Girl, great movie.
JOURNALIST: I loved Gone Girl.
JULIE BISHOP: Did you?
JULIE BISHOP: I'm pleased to hear that. Gone Girl. The third will be to Margot Robbie, and she is a fabulous actor and producer – her performance in 'The Wolf of Wall Street' – and she has just been named one of the most influential people of 2017 by Time Magazine. So three great Aussies.
JOURNALIST: Her new movie 'Goodbye Christopher Robin' is fantastic. So Margot will be there on the night, getting the award?
JULIE BISHOP: She will be there, Dickie.
JULIE BISHOP: As will you.
JOURNALIST: I'll be there.
JULIE BISHOP: An opportunity to talk to Margot Robbie in the flesh.
JOURNALIST: Very good indeed. That sounds absolutely fantastic. There's always lots of big names in the room there aren't there?
JULIE BISHOP: That's right.
JOURNALIST: Who's singing this year?
JULIE BISHOP: Jessica Mauboy.
JOURNALIST: Jessica Mauboy is singing.
JULIE BISHOP: There are others but I will keep that as a surprise.
JOURNALIST: Very good indeed. Alright, thank you for that scoop Minister, and we look forward to the announcement, the official announcement very shortly, and we will see you over there.
JULIE BISHOP: And thank you for all your support for Australian talent overseas.
JOURNALIST: Very kind. Thank you Foreign Minister.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555