Tourism Australia has collaborated with Friend of Australia ambassador and ICEHOUSE lead singer, Iva Davies and Qantas to create an online video clip to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Australia’s unofficial anthem, Great Southern Land.
From an oyster farmer at Barilla Bay in Tasmania and a local choir from the Blue Mountains, to famous artists like Katie Noonan, Van She, Eskimo Joe and Cut Copy, Australians have come together to pay tribute to beautiful destinations across the country and reconnect with the Australian landscape through music.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said that the song Great Southern Land provides a natural platform to showcase why there’s nothing like Australia to the rest of the world.
“For the past 30 years Great Southern Land has been an inspirational and positive anthem for our country. This clip will be shared with online audiences over the world including with Tourism Australia’s 3.4 million Facebook fans – to reignite some of the passion and emotional connection that people feel towards Australia when they hear this song,” Mr McEvoy said.
“We know from research that more and more travellers are turning to word-of-mouth and online media for holiday inspiration and collaborating with advocates like Iva Davies and our 160 Friends of Australia ambassadors is a powerful way for Tourism Australia to reach new audiences.”
Created specifically for online media, the clip features landmarks across the country such as Uluru, Kangaroo Island, Perth’s Cottesloe Beach and Rottnest Island, Parliament House in Canberra, Federation Square and Degraves Lane in Melbourne, Sydney’s Bondi Beach, Chinatown and Taronga Zoo, Tasmania’s spectacular coastline and Crystal Cascades in Tropical North Queensland.
The clip is a tribute from everyday characters across Australia and celebrated musicians, including Eskimo Joe, Katie Noonan, Cut Copy, Muscles, Jonathan Boulet, Young Talent Time, Van She, The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and more.
“It is really humbling that so many Australians including artists that I respect, have taken the time to come together to form this amazing clip for Tourism Australia, showcasing the beautiful destinations Australia has to offer the world. As a musician, I’ve travelled this vast country many times and seen some awe-inspiring places but what I’ve learnt is that you never stop discovering the beautiful colours and changing landscapes of Australia,” said Iva Davies, frontman of ICEHOUSE.
Iva Davies was inspired to write the song while on a Qantas plane flying over the vast landscape of central Australia on his way to the UK for the first time in 1981.
“There’s a real sense of the land in this song, you can see wide open plains and red earth, huge skies and isolation whenever you hear it. There is so much mystery in the music, and I think that’s what drew me to it from an early age,” said Stuart MacLeod, Eskimo Joe.
The album, Primitive Man which features the song Great Southern Land, sold over 650,000 copies when it was first released in Australia on the 30th August 1982 and continues to sell to this day with songs from the album receiving high levels of airplay in Europe and the US every year. The anniversary edition of Primitive Man was released in July this year and contains a DVD featuring interviews and TV performance footage.
Tourism Australia’s Friends of Australia program is a global network of over 160 advocates including Collette Dinnigan, The Wiggles, Brett Lee, Dick Smith, Matt Moran and more, who act as spokespeople and ambassadors for Australia on the world stage.
The Great Southern Land project is collaboration between Tourism Australia and Iva Davies, with special thanks to Qantas.
Icehouse’s Iva Davies – one of Tourism Australia’s ‘Friends Of Australia’ – recently spoke to theMusic.com.au about the track in detail, particularly the track’s humble beginnings.
“Interestingly I was actually very nervous about the release of it [and] one of the reasons for that was because it was very long,” Davies admitted. “The suggestion was made – I think it was from within the record company – they wanted to cut off the very long note that starts the song and I absolutely resisted this because for me that one single note was the kind of defining core of the song.
“It was all about horizon, about that expansive view and to me that was best summed up by just holding one single note as if you were looking at the horizon of the sea or looking across some vast plain. So I absolutely resisted the idea of cutting off that note. So, yes, there were lots of kind of sonic pointers towards that sort of picture, although, as is the case with lots of songs, most of those choices are more instinctive than they are calculated.”