Media Release

22 December 2008

Australia's finest arts and culture to shine at the Shanghai World Expo 2010

George P Johnson (Australia) Pty Ltd, a family owned global company, has won a public tender to provide an innovative and diverse cultural program worth $3 million for Australia's pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. 

This will be the biggest world expo in history.  Over 220 countries and organisations will participate, and organisers expect 70 million visitors over six months.  Expo 2010 is an unprecedented opportunity for Australia to strengthen its bilateral links and nurture new areas of co-operation and exchange with China.

The Government intends to take full advantage of this platform to raise Australia's profile, showcase Australian capability, and to support Australia's commercial interests in the China market.  Australia will have a striking national pavilion, augmented by targeted trade and investment promotion activities and associated cultural and communications programs.  The total project cost is $83 million, which is the largest investment Australia has ever made in a world expo.

The development of a unique Australian cultural program will be critical in projecting a contemporary image of Australia as a culturally diverse and sophisticated nation.  George P Johnsons' services will be fundamental in building a strong Australian identity and in strengthening opportunities for cultural exports.

George P Johnson, which has 22 offices located throughout the world including China, is well placed to develop and deliver a distinct cultural program featuring Australia's finest artistic talent and creativity.  With over 20 years of experience in managing high level arts and entertainment events, particularly within Asia, George P Johnson will assist in the delivery of key messages about Australian achievement, innovation and capability.

The cultural program will include three key components: a resident group of performers; a rolling program of visiting performers; and a major concert for Australia's National Day at Expo.  A range of art forms will be incorporated, including the visual arts, performance theatre, multimedia, music, literature and film.  The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is working closely with the Australia International Cultural Council (AICC), Australia's leading cultural advisory body, to build on the AICC's major focus country promotion in China in 2010.

The Shanghai World Expo will take place between 1 May and 31 October 2010.  The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is leading the expo project in collaboration with Commonwealth agencies, state and territory governments and private sector stakeholders.  Information about Australia's participation in the Shanghai World Expo 2010 can be found at www.expo2010.com.au.

Media Enquiries: DFAT Media Liaison - 02 6261 1555