Brand council looks to sharpen Australia’s cultural credentials

An advisory council headed by mining magnet Andrew Forrest is looking to help develop a national rebrand that reverses negative perceptions overseas of Australia’s culture and innovation.

The council has initial government funding of $10.1 million over four years to develop the new brand in partnership with creative agency Clemenger BBDO.

Speaking to The Australian, Forrest said he believed Australia had been resting on its laurels.

“Members of industry from all sectors have said to me over the years that they feel we are resting on our laurels in terms of the national image we market overseas, while countries like Britain, Japan and New Zealand are making strides unifying their message across industries,” Forrest said.

The brand council would complement Tourism Australia’s work in “broadening what Australia was known for offshore”, according to Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan.

“We over-index on friendliness, we over-index on natural beauty, good food and wine and wildlife but we’re probably not as well known for innovation, for culture and other things,” he told The Australian.

“We do want to position ourselves and have more strings to our bow in the way brand Australia is perceived. We have a great story to tell about the country — more than what even ourselves perceive.”