After Europe and Asia, the United Buddy Bears enter another continent on their tour around the world – Australia!
At March 8, 2006 the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, opened the exhibition of United Buddy Bears with the following words:
"The Buddy Bears' presence over the next weeks will add a colourful dimension to Circular Quay and highlight the crucial work UNICEF performs in helping the world's children. The central message of the Buddy Bears exhibition – of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and support for children in need – is one the Australian Government is proud to support."
Please read the Messages of greeting for the exibition of the United Buddy Bears in Sydney.
At the grand opening, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Australia, Martin Lutz, read the message of greeting sent by the Federal Foreign Minister, Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier:
"The colourful troupe is a unique work of art, a symbol of the universal longing for a world in which people and cultures learn to know and live in peace with one another, a world of tolerance, friendship and mutual understanding. At the same time the Buddy Bears serve as splendid ambassadors for Berlin and a Germany that seeks contact with the rest of the world."
It was a very special moment when the new Buddy Bear for Australia was unveiled: The well-known Australian artist and UNICEF Ambassador Ken Done had designed this new bear in his unique style. The bear had already been introduced to a wide audience on Australian Breakfast Television. In the future, it will travel around the world on behalf of Australia.
On behalf of the Aborigines, "indigenous artist" Elaine Russell, herself a member of the group of artists "Boomalli Aboriginal Artists", had designed an additional Buddy Bear which generated proceeds of 15,000 AUD (approx. 11,000 EUR) in aid of UNICEF at the opening event!
In Sydney, the bears designed by international artists from 123 different countries were standing together hand in hand on Circular Quay, promoting their unifying message. Framed by the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, the exhibition on the waterfront provided an extraordinary sight.
With the kind support of the Goethe-Institut in Sydney and in close cooperation with Hamburg Sued, Schenker and UNICEF, the exhibition presented in Sydney from 8th March to 5th April. Henkel Australia/Henkel New Zealand were the organisers of the opening event and also the main sponsors.
The exhibition owes its origin and the possibility to be visited all over the world completely free of charge to the committed work of many institutions, organisations, administrative bodies, companies and individuals.
For supporting the 8th exhibition of the United Buddy Bears in Sydney we want to thank: