Australia who

AUSTRALIA WHO

Calls are growing for Brand Australia. Six Australian influencers tell Sam Buirski what our country as a brand would look like.

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PILLAR: MARKETING

Jemma Wong, Head of Audience Growth AFL

What defines and unites Australia?

Ah, Australia. We’re a big land of big stories. We’re up for things. We have a voice and we use it.
We whinge and cringe when we see things that go against the grain of cultural sense or moral virtue. We believe ‘she’ll be right’ and that everyone can. Our acknowledgment and commitment to difference and diversity challenges us and makes us better. It’s a pretty special spirit that we carry.

The main opportunities for Australia?

We’re comfy, that’s our biggest risk. We don’t always step up to the global stage or throw our hat in the ring. We have enormous land but how can we contribute to the waste challenge or the global race for space? We’re world leaders when it comes to genomics, tech and produce; how can we solve our own obesity epidemic? At a time when trust is at an all-time low, we need to back ourselves in and have a crack.

We need the next generation of thinkers, creators and workers continuing to set new standards. If we are going to break new ground, we need to break things first. Game-changing women will be a big part of this – we’ve had Julia Gillard, Nova Peris, Elizabeth Blackburn and Melanie Perkins – and I’m constantly exposed to talented women through Mentor Walks and AFL Women’s. We should be the first country to have balanced representation on boards and CEO positions, rather than accept the statistic that ‘there are more CEOs named John than female CEOs in Australia’.

What’s the tone of voice for future Australia?

Optimistic, progressive, contributing, resilient, transparent and real.

We don’t always step up to the global stage or throw our hat in the ring. We have enormous land but how can we contribute to the waste challenge or the global race for space?

Jemma Wong Head of Audience Growth AFL
Darren Dale, Film producer Blackfella Films

What defines and unites Australia?

Australia is incredibly unique in terms of its geographical location and isolation from most of the world. This gives us a voice that is unique, and one of which we can be proud. At our centre, we have our extraordinary Indigenous culture; this is the heritage of all Australians, not only Indigenous Australians. If, as a country, we can grapple with the concept that this culture belongs to all of us, it will be a massive leap towards achieving a united Australia.

The main opportunities for Australia?

With the global economy we live in, we increasingly can seize our powerful voice and express ourselves on a grander scale. The world is hungry for content, and we have truly great content. Australia needs to part ways with the view that we are not up to par and produce even more bold stories that engage globally.

What’s the tone of voice for future Australia?

I picture Australia having a liberating voice that sees no boundaries. It is a voice that expresses us as the most creative, audacious and bold nation that we can be.

At our centre we have our extraordinary Indigenous culture; this is the heritage of all Australians, not only Indigenous Australians.

Darren Dale Film producer Blackfella Films
Fiona de Jong, Head of Australia’s Nation Brand, Austrade

What defines and unites Australia?

Our people define us – there’s a refreshing youthful optimism Australians carry.

A friendly, warm and laid-back approach, yet a pragmatic approach to solving problems. We are generous in spirit while being self-deprecating and, of course, most of us possess a cheeky sense of humour. I’ve seen first-hand the unifying effect sport can have on our people, communities, cities and our nation. Sport’s part of our history and in our DNA. It’s a leveller of class, race, creed and symbolises the fair-go approach Australians carry. It can galvanise us in times when we may be divided on social matters.

The main opportunities for Australia?

In a world of free trade agreements and technology-driven global marketplaces, we have the opportunity to compete in the future global economy, where geography has limited us in the past.

By speaking with a united voice, by articulating and celebrating our Australianness – as a brand – we can all benefit. Gaining alignment on our nation brand will drive our contribution to the world beyond an increased contribution to global GDP. We can strengthen our reputation as a nation of influence in the global community.

What’s the tone of voice for future Australia?

‘Young and free’ is in our national anthem for a reason, because that’s who Australians can be. Our simple enjoyment of life, our freedoms and mateship allow us to express ourselves in a refreshing way.

I’ve seen first-hand the unifying effect sport can have on our people, communities, cities and our nation.

Fiona de Jong Head of Australia’s Nation Brand, Austrade
Lisa Ronson, CMO Tourism Australia

What defines and unites Australia?

Australia is defined by our unique personality –: our warm and welcoming spirit, our casual optimism and, above all, our irreverent sense of humour that is unique to Australia’s DNA.

Between helping a mate and having a laugh, we are united by world-class offerings of picturesque beaches, pristine nature and wildlife, a vibrant sporting culture and exceptional food and wine, which characterises this great country we call home.

The main opportunities for Australia?

Australia is in a good place right now. We’re transitioning from a resource and goods producing nation towards a more service-orientated economy. In tourism, we market experiences that create long-lasting memories and, in the process, deliver significant economic benefits to our country. Selling Australia as a tourist destination creates a halo for other leading industries like education, investment and export goods. Asia accounts for 48 per cent of our international visitors. The emerging middle class in China, India and Indonesia have the appetite to disperse further and spend more, with Australia in prime position to leverage this. We are a small, yet innovative and progressive nation that offers a melting pot of cultures, underpinned by a lifestyle envied across the globe.

What’s the tone of voice for future Australia?

Australia’s voice is the foundation for our optimistic future. It is welcoming, relaxed and down to earth.

We’re transitioning from a resource and goods producing nation towards a more service-oriented economy.

Lisa Ronson CMO Tourism Australia
Holly Ransom, CEO Emergent

What defines and unites Australia?

Australia has a real culture of mateship, and the notion of having a fair go at anything – and everything – is at the core of who we are. I think we’re often noted for our good sense of humour and the ability to laugh at ourselves. I often describe Australia as a multicultural melting pot; I truly believe one of our greatest strengths is the diversity of people who call this country home.

The main opportunities for Australia?

We are extremely well positioned when taking a look at the global agenda. We need to be a key service provider to the Asia-Pacific region – the demographic dividend of the next generation sits on our doorstep, as does the rapid rise of the Asian middle class. Australia can be a real leader in innovation, we just need to recognise our natural advantage. There is an opportunity to excel in areas like biotech, agriculture and other sustainability initiatives.

I think an underestimated capability we have is as a convener and facilitator for important global conversations. We have phenomenal leadership, diplomatic and public service capability, and our penchant for pragmatism means we have an important role to play in navigating some of the more complex global issues.

What’s the tone of voice for future Australia?

Bold, but grounded. While I don’t believe arrogance has a place in our culture, we need to be more confident in bringing our ideas and contributions forward.

Australia can be a real leader in innovation: we just need to recognise our natural advantage. There is an opportunity to excel in areas like biotech, agriculture and other sustainability initiatives.

Holly Ransom CEO Emergent
Ben Lannan, Partner – International Trade PwC Australia

What defines and unites Australia?

I work in PwC’s International Trade practice and when I put myself in my clients’ shoes I reckon they would say they love working with Australians; our practicality and our approach to getting things done. But there is lingering frustration – we can be hard to do business with and that is not just about regulation. There is a real need for innovation in the way we trade with the world. And, frankly, we take a long time to be convinced on the need to change, especially if there is a risk of failure.

The main opportunities for Australia?

We are extremely well positioned when taking a look at the global agenda. We need to be a key service provider to the Asia-Pacific region – the demographic dividend of the next generation sits on our doorstep, as does the rapid rise of the Asian middle class. Australia can be a real leader in innovation, we just need to recognise our natural advantage. There is an opportunity to excel in areas like biotech, agriculture and other sustainability initiatives.

I think an underestimated capability we have is as a convener and facilitator for important global conversations. We have phenomenal leadership, diplomatic and public service capability, and our penchant for pragmatism means we have an important role to play in navigating some of the more complex global issues.

What’s the tone of voice for future Australia?

Bold, but grounded. While I don’t believe arrogance has a place in our culture, we need to be more confident in bringing our ideas and contributions forward.

Work hard, play hard – with my hope for a contemporary twist – regard people by what they do, not who they are.

Ben Lannan Partner – International Trade PwC Australia

The Press is a publication by PwC Australia, aimed at sharing expertise, capturing insights and working together to solve important problems.

This article first appeared in Edition 6 of The Press
By Sam Buirski, Contributor, The Press

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