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News Brief


The Australian government will host a weeklong festival in Israel next year.

By endorsing a plan for the G’day Israel Festival, the government hopes to raise Australia’s profile in Israel.

An initiative of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange, the festival is planned for June 21-29, 2009 in various venues across the Holy Land.

Among the activities planned are a major exhibition of Australian art; film screenings of contemporary Australian films within the already established AICE Australian Film Festival; a contemporary Australian dance company at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv; and an Australian music ensemble touring the country.

Also, a two-day expo in Tel Aviv will promote Australian trade, tourism and education, and a two-day symposium will explore issues such as water management, desertification and the impact of global warming.

AICE chair Albert Dadon received the Australian government’s endorsement from Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on June 25.

“In short, the goal is to raise Australia’s cultural, political, educative and commercial profile in Israel,” Dadon told JTA. “It [the festival] will also hopefully deliver potential commercial results for culture, business, trade, education, investment and tourism, and build on initiatives already established and which successfully promote ongoing relations between the two countries.”

The initiative is based on the G’day USA-Australia Week, an annual festival that has showcased all things Australia since 2004.

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