Aussie talent shines at G’day USA gala
The G’day USA gala has welcomed some of the most influential people in film-making at an extravagant reception in downtown Los Angeles including James Packer and his fianc? Mariah Carey.
The highest honour has been presented to director George Miller whose Mad Max Fury Road has ten nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards.
Newly engaged Carey and Packer powered along the red carpet, the singer too shy to show off the huge rock on her ring finger.
The opening act was a laid back duet between Seal and The Voice winner Harrison Craig.
An honour for excellence in film was bestowed on writer, director and actor Joel Edgerton.
He thanked Hugh Jackman, who later performed for the crowd, for showing such kindness early in his career and being a good listener.
‘When I met Hugh I knew he was made of gold and I knew he would do amazing things because he gave me all of his time and made me feel like I was the only one in the room.’
Rachel Griffiths and Toni Collette.
Foreign minister Julie Bishop addressed the gathering, acknowledging those who helped the night happen including Qantas, the Victorian government and a host of sponsors.
She then looked to the power couple saying ‘James and Mariah, you have taken Australian/US engagement to a whole new level.’ There were giggles.
There were nostalgic references to classic film Muriel’s Wedding when co-hosts Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths first appeared on stage – as Abba’s Waterloo played.
Lifetime achievement award recipient Miller reflected on how the industry has changed since the 1970’s, speaking of the decision to dub American accents on the entire cast of Mad Max.
Hugh Jackman had people wiping away tears when he performed ‘I still call Australia home, a fitting end to an event that celebrates the talents, achievements and brilliance of Aussies.
As guests partied, homemade Tim Tams and cookies were served after a feast of cerviche, beef, fish prepared by executive chef Neil Perry and naturally, Australian wines poured generously for several hours.
Other attendees Jonathon La Paglia, Jack Thompson, Michael Caton, 5SOS and Nicole Richie.
Donna Demaio travelled as a guest of Qantas