Highlights from the G’Day USA Arts Gala
The G’Day USA Arts Gala is hosted by the American Australian Association in partnership with the Australian Government; this annual event brings together Australians and Americans to celebrate and showcase Australian creativity and talent!
On the 28th of January, we saw Australians and Americans alike celebrating the artistic talents who have been working in, supporting and helping each other in the creative industry for decades. G’Day USA celebrates the friendship and relationship between Australia and the United States, attracting politicians, entertainers, celebrities and leaders from both countries.
2023 marks 20 years of G’Day USA, celebrating Australian excellence in the US. First founded in 2005 and hosted in Los Angeles, California, this showcase demonstrates Australian culture, food and talent, and is a bright mark on the calendar of Australian-US events!
The funds raised from the gala support the American Australian Association and its Arts Fund, helping to inspire and fuel the stories of the next generation and allow them to flourish. This year, the G’Day USA Arts Gala featured an evening of high-profile performances, presenters and an amazing star-studded red carpet to celebrate the 20th anniversary!
The Kid LAROI was one of multiple performers who took part in the G’Day USA Arts Gala this year, kicking off the event with an acoustic performance of his hit song ‘Stay’. He started his music career at the age of 12, with his impressive debut EP, 14 with a Dream, releasing in 2018.
In that very same year, he was chosen as a finalist in Australia’s Triple J Unearthed competition and featured as the opening act for American rapper Juice WRLD on his Australian tour. The now 19 year old rapper, singer and songwriter was awarded with the Excellence in Music award by Angela Bishop, who also happened to be the host for this year’s event.
Other highlights included Indigenous artist Mi-kaisha and her performance of her original track, ‘Eternity’. Mi-kaisha was named an American Australian Association Indigenous arts scholar in 2019 and undertook music studies at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU.
The R&B vocalist, songwriter and producer released her second single ‘Seen’ late last year. Australian multi-instrumentalist G-Flip also hit the stage to perform their song ‘Lover’ later in the night, pumping up the audience.
Miranda Kerr was awarded the Excellence in the Arts award from Katy Perry. Known for her celebrated international modeling career that has spanned over two decades, Kerr has worked with fashion titans all over the world, and is a renowned entrepreneur and businesswoman. Stephen Lang presented the Excellence in Film & Television award to his co-star in Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, award-winning actor Sam Worthington.
This year, the American Australian Association celebrated its 75th Anniversary, awarding over $15 million total to 1000 Graduates, Veterans and Artists alike. Over the past 20 years, many G’Day USA and the American Australian Association celebrants have attended multiple galas and seen many inspirational evenings just like this one.
“We live in a country where we really believe money for the arts is absolutely fundamental,” shared Baz Lurhmann, honoree from the inaugural gala and Academy Award nominee for ‘Elvis’. “These American Australian scholarships are [giving] young American and young Australian artists light and giving them a chance.”
This year’s event also featured an emotional tribute for a legendary talent, Olivia Newton-John. Newton-John was a big supporter of the G’Day USA Gala for decades, serving as both an honoree and presenter, last attending the event in 2020 with her daughter and co-star John Travolta to raise funds for Australian Bush Fire relief. This year, Olivia Newton John was given a tribute by Australian actor and comedian Paul Hogan, as well as Olivia’s husband John Easerterling and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi. Deltra Goodrem performed an emotional medley of Newton-John’s biggest hits, including Physical, Hopelessly Devoted To You, and Magic.
The show was closed with a moving final song, a beloved G’Day USA tradition – a rendition of I Still Call Australia Home dedicated to Olivia Newton-John.