×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Toasts Australia at the G’Day USA Gala

All things Aussie were celebrated at the G’Day USA Gala at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood Saturday night.

Celebrities, diplomats, and supporters filled the Dolby Ballroom to honor three remarkable Australians — actor Ben Mendelsohn and producers David Hill and Catherine Martin — for their contributions to Australian-U.S. relations. The event also served as a showcase of the country’s natural beauty and thriving tourism industry.

Gareth Edwards, who directed Mendelsohn in the recent “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” presented the veteran actor with the G’Day USA Excellence in Film and Television Award. Edwards described Mendelsohn’s character Orson Krennic as “the bad guy of all bad guys” but called the actor the “ice cream man” of the set — everyone became a little kid and got really excited whenever he was around.

“They don’t actually give you this when you need it,” Mendelsohn joked upon receiving the award, a nod to the film’s success. (“Rogue One” has earned over $1 billion at the box office.)

Ben Mendelsohn
“Rogue One” star Ben Mendelsohn accepting his award. (Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

Later in the evening, Keith Urban presented “American Idol” producer David Hill with the G’Day USA Lifetime Achievement Award. Hill’s produced many sporting and entertainment events –including the World Series, the final season of “Idol,” and even last year’s Academy Awards — during his decades-spanning career. Urban’s wife, Nicole Kidman, honored Oscar-winning production and costume designer Catherine Martin (“Moulin Rouge” “The Great Gatsby”) — who also happens to be the wife of Baz Luhrmann — the other G’Day USA Lifetime Achievement Award. Fun fact: Urban and Kidman met and fell in love at this event in 2005. 2017 marked the gala’s 14th year.

Honoree Catherine Martin, director Baz Luhrmann and their daughter. (Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

The mood was celebratory and light, thanks to the humorous emcees Renee Bargh and Richard Wilkins. Attendees dined on an Australian-inspired menu and wine list prepared by chefs Neil Perry and Wolfgang Puck. Naturally, lamb was the main course. Guests also were treated to discount flight vouchers from Qantas, longtime sponsor of the gala.

As jovial as the mood was, a shadow was cast over the event by President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven countries. With G’Day celebrating intercontinental relationships and many of the attendees considering America their second home, Trump’s order felt against the spirit of the gala.

“The more the world comes together and is inclusive, the better for everyone. That’s the only future for the world,” Edwards explained.

Chef Curtis Stone, with wife Lindsay, joked that he didn’t have to cook for the entire gala. (Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

Added celebrity chef Curtis Stone, “It’s a really sad day when we lose track of who we are. You’re a human being no matter what country you’re born in, what color your skin is or what god you pray to. From what I understand, that’s the fundamental basis of what America was built on.”

The gala celebrated Australia’s diversity, opening with a rousing guitar performance by indigenous Australian artist Chris Tamwoy and renditions of both the Australian and United States national anthems.

Other notable attendees included Qantas goodwill ambassador John Travolta, Paul HoganJai Courtney, Brenton Thwaites, Luke Hemsworth, Dominic Purcell, and many more.

G’Day USA is Australia’s premier public and economic diplomacy program in the United States. Produced by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Qantas Airways, Tourism Australia, and Austrade.

More Scene

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Tina KnowlesSoul of Nation: Art in

    Jay-Z, Tina Knowles Celebrate New 'Soul of a Nation' Exhibit at Broad Museum

    “This show is so important. I mean, it’s our history — and it’s a very important part of our journey,” Tina Knowles Lawson said about Friday night’s opening of the exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963 – 1983” at the Broad Museum in DTLA. “I’m just so impressed [...]

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content