Western Australian mining billionaire and philanthropist Andrew Forrest is leading a contingent of business leaders responsible for developing a new brand for Australian exports, with the initiative designed to reclaim the country’s competitive advantage.
Mr Forrest has been appointed as chairman of the newly-created National Brand Advisory Council, comprising 11 business and community leaders hand-picked by Trade Minister Steven Ciobo.
The council will work across industries and government agencies to build the new brand, which will be used to promote education, foreign investment, tourism and exports.
Alongside Mr Forrest, the council comprises Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate, Qantas boss Alan Joyce, Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, Tourism Australia chairman Bob East, Coopers Brewery boss Glenn Cooper, A2 Milk chief Jayne Hrdlicka, AESOP CEO Michael O’Keefe, Navitas chief executive Rod Jones, Austrade chief executive Stephanie Fahey and Sydney Festival Artistic Director Wesley Enoch.
The initiative was first flagged in the federal government’s Foreign Policy White Paper, released in November last year, which called for the creation of a stronger national brand for Australia.
Mr Forrest said Australia had for too long relied on its natural gifts to draw the attention of global consumers and investors.
“Australian modernity is so much more than this: we’re a nation of inventors, actors, engineers, builders, architects, athletes and innovators,” Mr Forrest said at the council’s first meeting in Canberra.
“The world has already figured this out and we draw huge investments from abroad each year.
“But our message today is that Australia can do better in promoting the breadth of our industries, services and experiences across the globe.”
Mr Forrest said business would be invited to participate in the brand building via a series of industry forums in all capital cities, as well as through a digital engagement platform.
“Today is the first step on Australia’s Nation Brand journey,” Mr Forrest said.
“I strongly encourage representatives of industry and business across the country, be it in the arts or agriculture, sport, education, tourism or technology, to have their say and be part of this unifying nation branding initiative.”