Drunk on Oz cheer

Saucy Aussies feted for film

HOLLYWOOD — G’Day LA! Australia Week 2005 kicked off Jan. 15 with the 2nd annual Penfolds black tie kudos dinner.

The evening, designed to fete Nicole Kidman, Mel Gibson and crooner Keith Urban for their achievements in the American entertainment industry, was also a hearty Ozhug-fest encouraged by all of the free-flowing wine fromPenfolds’ winery.

“I know half the Australians in the audience are tanked, so I will keep this brief,” Urban said in an acceptance speech that epitomized the festivities at the Century Plaza. Urban, who took home the frosh nod for Australian achievement in music, shared an intimate and amusing story about writing a song with his good mate, Olivia Newton-John.

Cate Blanchett, who also comically copped to being a little tipsy when she flubbed the opening of her speech, lauded her pal Kidman for being “brave” as an actress. Kidman noted that Australians “come from a land where, ‘having a go,’ is part of our make-up. We are not afraid,” she said.