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Geoffrey Rush, Olivia Newton-John, Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson at G'Day L.A. 2005

The Aussies are coming! Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John and the Crocodile Hunter himself, Steve Irwin will be in tinsletown from January 14-20th to celebrate G’Day, L.A. Over seven days, 15 events will focus on such diverse industries as entertainment, tourism, food and beverages, manufacturing and sport.

To open the festivities, Jackman and Newton-John will chair the Penfolds Icon Gala at the Hollywood Palladium on January 14th. Last year, we spied Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush at this event, so you know it will be star-studded. The next day, you will have the opportunity to schmooze with the ubiquitous Steve Irwin, who will lend his unique talents to a one-hour live stage show at UCLA, which will raise the curtain for an afternoon Aussie festival, and an Aussie rules football clash between the Sydney Swans and the Kangaroos.

Then, to top it all off, the Australian Designer Showcase will feature exceptional contemporary fashion designers in an exclusive collection show at the Hollywood Palladium on January 18th. Last year, we purchased lots of unique accessories which we sported at various celebrity events. For complete info on all their events, check out their website at www.australia-week.com

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German Director Stephanie Volkmer

and Andy Garcia at premiere of TRIP

While in an international mood, German artist and media mogul, Frank Otto brought his experimental film and art project to LA. recently for the U.S launch of TRIP-LA. Otto premiered his film to an eclectic crowd at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, which included actor Andy Garcia, artist Ed Moses and a host of German ex-pat actors like Young And The Restless stalwart Eric Braeden and Philippe Brenegmeyer. Garcia and Otto, who met for the first time, chatted about their mutual film projects. Andy just directed The Lost City with Dustin Hoffman, and he invited Frank to a private screening a few days later. TRIP will continue its American Tour throughout 2006.

The Award Season is upon us, and we have to admit that the People’s Choice Awards have the most unusual categories. These awards which will be taped live from the Shrine Auditorium on January 19th on the CBS Television Network, include such categories as Crest Whitestrips Fans Favorite Smile (Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz or Queen Latifah) and Nice ‘N Easy Fans Favorite Hair (Jennifer Garner, Faith Hill or Nicole Kidman). But our favorite is Olay Total Effects Fans Favorite Look. Seems that Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie will duke each other out in this division. My money is on Angelina!

With the start of the New Year, we want to wish all our devoted readers, a most happy and healthy year ahead, and invite you all to join us in our never ending quest for the most exciting events on the Hollywood Beat.