On Jan. 25, the 17th annual G’Day USA Los Angeles dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel brought together prominent Australian and Americans from film, television, music, business, sports, and culture to support relief and recovery efforts in response to the Australian bushfires. The evening saw Australians and Americans rally together in support of those affected, and Australia’s unique land and wildlife. All funds raised from the event were directed to the Australian Bushfire Relief Fund and Australian Wildlife Fire Fund established by G’Day USA founding partner, the American Australian Association.
Former G’Day USA honoree, Hugh Jackman, introduced a compilation of messages of support from across the United States emphasizing the special relationship between our countries with notes of perseverance, rehabilitation and recovery. Hugh Sheridan hosted the evening, which paid tribute to the brave Australian and American firefighters working side by side to battle the fires, and honored those Australians and Americans who have lost their lives.
Australian wildlife expert and top guide, Craig Wickham, spoke about rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife. He shared uplifting stories from the field about the wildlife and vegetation beginning to come back to affected areas. This message of hope for the recovery ahead was echoed in a video message from the Irwin Family, which shared with attendees, “My father called Wildlife Warriors, those who couldn’t speak for themselves and it is up to us to see out this mission. Thank you all for your support and for being wildlife warriors. It’s time for us to come together for our wildlife.”
John Travolta and Oliva Newton-John took the stage to share their favorite things about Australia and Colin Hay also performed his iconic Men at Work song “Land Down Under,” much to the crowd’s delight.