As previously reported, Iva Davies – frontman for iconic Australian band Icehouse – was made an official ‘Friend of Australia’ amabassador by Tourism Australia earlier this year, using his band’s unofficial anthem ‘Great Southern Land’ in a series of ad campaigns.
Now, in tandem with Icehouse on the anniversary trail this year following their re-formation, Tourism Australia is joining the celebrations for a new campaign that celebrates the 30 year anniversary of ‘Great Southern Land’ by inviting some musical friends to help.
Teaming up with Qantas, Davies has produced a new video clip for ‘Great Southern Land’ which features an all-star cast of homegrown talent to deliver a new version of the tune that puts Australian musicians and their talent in the spotlight to help promote Australian tourism.
Among the musical cameos are the likes of Eskimo Joe, Cut Copy, Van She, Katie Noonan, Muscles and Jonathan Boulet; all pitching in on an updated version of the Icehouse tune.
Speaking about the A-list starring video (which you can view up top), the Icehouse frontman says: “It is really humbling that so many Australians including artists that I respect, have taken the time to come together to form this amazing clip for Tourism Australia.”
It’s a significant move, in that Tourism Australia is promoting Australian music as the chief ambassador for Australia as a tourism destination, using ‘Great Souhtern Land’ as a catalyst for the beauty and enigma of the national landscape.
Naturally, the video also features the sweeping vistas of the Australian landscape described in the lyrics, compiling footage shot all around the country including Uluru, Kangaroo Island, the Blue Mountains, Parliament House in Canberra, Federation Square and Degraves Lane in Melbourne, Sydney’s Bondi Beach and Taroga Zoo, Tasmania’s Barilla Bay and many more locations.
Fitting considering that Davies was originally inspired to write the song while on a Qantas flight to the UK for the first time in 1981, gazing over the vast landscape of central Australia.
“As a musician, I’ve travelled this vast country many times and seen some awe-inspiring places but what I’ve learnt is that you never stop discovering the beautiful colours and changing landscapes of Australia,” says Davis.
Fellow musician, Stuart MacLeod of Eskimo Joe, says that ‘Great Southern Land’ possesses “a real sense of the land.” Adding that in the patriotic anthem, “you can see wide open plains and red earth, huge skies and isolation whenever you hear it. There is so much mystery in the music, and I think that’s what drew me to it from an early age.”
Managing Director for Tourism Australia Andrew McEvoy, who helped organise the tribute, said in a press statement that the song provided a natural platform to showcase Australia’s unique identity.
“For the past 30 years Great Southern Land has been an inspirational and positive anthem for our country,” Mr McEvoy says, adding that the video was to be “be shared with online audiences over the world… to reignite some of the passion and emotional connection that people feel towards Australia when they hear this song.”
Mr McEvoy added that their partnership with advocates like Iva Davies was a “powerful way for Tourism Australia to reach new audiences,” acknowledging that “more and more travellers are turning to word-of-mouth and online media for holiday inspiration.”
It’s the second time this year that Qantas have teamed up with a high-profile musician for a promotional video showcasing Australia’s natural beauty.
Last month, Daniel Johns released his first official post-Silverchair material in a joint collaboration with Qantas, in a move to update their ‘Still Call Australia Home’ ad campaign with a symphonic written and performed by Johns entitled ‘Atlas’.
In related news, Icehouse have re-released the album that contains ‘Great Southern Land’, Primitive Man, in a special Anniversary edition, which comes packaged with a DVD featuring interviews and archival TV performance footage; the choice cut being – as our review points out – “a chat between Iva Davies and Molly Meldrum from the days of Countdown, and a live concert filmed in Germany.”
Iva Davies and his group also hit the road this October for the Primitive Colours tour, with a 13-date schedule around the nation. It’s safe to say the band will be upholding their patriotism and flying Qantas.