Australian twist on race relations

By Leo Horgan

An Australian meat campaign has hammed up the country's multicultural society while firmly reminding who the nation's indigenous people are.  The campaign features a group of aborigines setting up for a barbeque on a deserted beach, only to be joined by successive groups of different ethnicities. 

The bemused group welcome French, British, German, Chinese, Italians, Greeks, Indians and Serbians, among others, to the barbeque with each group adding their own culinary additions and flavour to the rapidly growing gathering. 

A Frenchman with a gift of cheese asks his aboriginal hosts “How long have you guys been here?”- “Since…forever mate,” he replies.  Later, a British commander arrives, declaring “We, sir, are from Great Britannia.  We are the first fleet.”  “Yeah…not quite, mate,” replies his aboriginal host with a smirk.   

The barbecue features appearances from familiar Australian and aboriginal faces including Sam Kekovich, Olympian Cathy Freeman and former National Rugby League player Wendell Sailor.  Other Aussies present include Malaysian-Australian culinary star, Poh Ling Yeow, renowned Australian cricket player Adam Gilchrist and LGBTQI comedian Rhys Nicholson.

The lamb commercial also appears to challenge Australian attitudes towards asylum seekers when another smaller boat appears on the horizon. “Look, it’s the boat people!” someone yells.  A woman turns to the rest of the party, “Hang on, aren’t we all boat people?”.

MLA Group Marketing Manager Andrew Howie says the latest lamb campaign was about celebrating modern Australia.  Mr Howie says the 2017 campaign continues the established ‘You Never Lamb Alone’ platform and positions the lamb brand as inclusive - inviting everyone to the table.

“Ultimately, as the face of Australia continues to evolve and change, we need to make lamb relevant to a diverse, modern Australia,” Mr Howie said. “This campaign does that by celebrating the diversity of Australia.”

That diversity is also reflected through a cheeky reference to Aotearoa, with the arrival of the NZ ‘neighbours’ (played by NZ actors David Wikaira Paul and Mark Nua) late in the piece.  “Choice barbeque, aye bro,” they say, “Where do we put the chilly bin?”.