Random thoughts from Avalon

Guest blog from Damian Kemp

  • Oz def min introduces Growler, meets growler

Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne did a presser for the local media and the more jaundiced trade hacks on the first day of the Avalon air show, taking a walk around the RAAF’s first EA/18 Growler to look at the pointy things and pods slung underneath.

There were guard dogs there as well, presumably to prevent a maverick journalist hurdling over the fence (although looking at most of the journos present, it would be awkward clamber and fall) and making a run (resembling a slow jog) to touch the lovely, lovely plane.

At one point a blue shirt did think he should open the gate and let the journos in. He was soon put straight.

The minister also took the time to have a chat with one of the four dogs. It was a private conversation and I’m sure the handler had the dog under control but I don’t think it is the kind of situation where the phrase “Who’s a good doggie? Does doggie like his belly scratched? I bet doggie likes his belly scratched!” would be used.


I refuse to apologise for the photo quality, it is meant to be like that, it is called art you heathens.

  • South Australia, twice winners of the Rugby World Cup

First it was the Oscars with La La Land and Moonlight but at the Australian Air Show one speaker confused South Africa with South Australia.

Now sure, both places produce cracking wines. Few people would turn down a dozen of Clare Valley’s finest or a glass of Breede River Valley’s best.

However, the speaker began going on about his company’s close connections with South Africa, South Africa this and South Africa that before abruptly changing to his company’s presence in South Australia, a theme returned to at a later press conference.

Meanwhile in Madison Square Gardens: “It is great to be back performing in Detroit, we get the best crowds here ….”

  • BAE Systems, everyone’s “before anyone else”

The Australian Air Show is sort of in Melbourne where espresso coffee is religion. Burning the milk is a capital offence, Starbucks virtually gave up (but now seem to be making a comeback) and debates about which machines provide the best bar pressure have resulted in massive street riots.

There is a sectarian divide between the drinkers of flat whites and those who have the less educated café latte palate and even further to the agnostic heathens who drink instant.

At the air show, several stands fire up the machines and bring in their own baristas, offering all espresso types to their stand workers and often to the wider hall monsters. They’ve done this for the past three shows.

One hip cool young barista was chatting about how BAE Systems wasn’t offering coffee to the wider population, pronouncing BAE as ‘bay’, which of course in modern parlance is the person you put ‘Before Anyone Else’.

There’s a marketing opportunity here people, although maybe very short term and in fact it may have already passed in the past 24 hours.

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