Operation Boomerang rescues Aussies from ‘lambless’ Australia Day

11 January 2016

OVER 1 million Australians abroad are in serious danger of not being on home soil on Australia Day to enjoy some lamb on the barbie - but Operation Boomerang is on a mission to fix that.

That’s the premise of this year’s Australia Day Lamb campaign from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), designed to encourage consumers to come together to celebrate January 26 with a feast of lamb.

Now in its twelfth year, the annual campaign, which has become as iconic as lamb itself, is hotly anticipated and MLA’s latest instalment doesn’t disappoint.

Operation Boomerang unites Aussies in action-packed style from around the world to ensure they never “lamb alone”.

Lambassador Sam Kekovich returns for Operation Boomerang, and is joined by legendary SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin and other well-known Aussies including Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and cricketer Mitchell Johnson.

Lee Lin Chin is the mastermind of Operation Boomerang. Having spent Australia Day 1996 in a freezing Warsaw without “a chargrilled chop in sight”, she vowed to never let that happen to another Australian again.

The rescue mission sees Chin’s troops – including Sam Kekovich as a helicopter pilot and NOVA radio broadcasters Fitzy and Wippa – set out to save as many overseas Aussies as possible from a lambless Australia Day.

Landing back on home soil after their successful mission, they’re met with a message from the ‘Prime Minister’ and a lamb barbecue, with celebrity chef George Calombaris on the tongs.

So passionate is MLA about making sure Aussies don’t miss their Australia Day lamb, they’re launching a competition with the NOVA radio network to bring five “stranded” Aussies back to Australia from anywhere in the world to enjoy the Biggest Lamb Barbecue with their loved ones on Sydney Harbour on January 25.

MLA has partnered with all major retailers and independent butchers to promote the campaign’s message.

MLA’s Group Marketing Manager, Andrew Howie, said Operation Boomerang was about keeping lamb top of mind for all Australians, and appealing to a wider audience.

“It’s the next chapter in a longstanding and successful campaign in building consumer attitudes to lamb, which is about people coming together to enjoy lamb,” Mr Howie said.

“The Australia Day Lamb campaign has proven to be very valuable in lifting lamb sales and ultimately delivering value back to levy payers.

“Every year we see a significant uplift in lamb sales in the week before Australia Day.”
Last year’s award-winning Australia Day Lamb campaign, “Richie’s BBQ” featuring legendary Australian cricket commentator Richie Benaud, generated record lamb sales.

Mr Howie said lamb sales lifted over 35 per cent in the week before Australia Day 2015, compared to the weekly average, and generated a return of $3.76 for every dollar invested in the campaign, which is funded through producer levies.

    • From now until Australia Day, find the campaign and lamb recipe inspiration on the We Love our Lamb Facebook page.
    • Click here to view the Operation Boomerang video, or click on the image above.

    For media enquiries contact: Matthew Peacock, Corporate Communications Manager, p: 0408 362 696, e: mpeacock@mla.com.au

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