Millions of avid Australian Rules Football fans will tune in to watch what is considered to be Australia’s most important sporting event on Saturday, October 1.

117th Australian Rules Football Grand Final
October 1
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne, Australia

The Australian Rules Football grand final is Australia's most important sporting event. "Aussie Rules" (aka "footy") is a variant of football, rugby and Gaelic football and is considered a matter of national pride. The AFL Grand Final is the most attended, most watched and most followed annual sporting event in the country. In 2010, 2,768,000 viewers in metropolitan Australia turned on their TV to watch the Grand Final and an additional 2,687,000 viewers watched the Grand Final replay. Events taking place during the Grand Final Week include the TCA Cup (September 25), the Brownlow Medal Presentation Dinner (September 26) and the AFL Grand Final Street Parade (September 30).
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5th World Summit on Art and Culture

October 3-6
Melbourne, Australia

Government and cultural leaders from approximately 80 countries will convene in Melbourne to "explore how artists can give voice to diverse communities and concerns through collaborations with experts in health and well-being, the environment, education, business, new technologies, cultural identity and more" during the World Summit on Art and Culture. This year’s theme is "Creative Intersections" and over 70 speakers will discuss how art can bring new life to places, people and projects. During the event the location of the 6th World Summit, which will be held in 2014, will be announced.
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26th Melbourne International Arts Festival

October 6-22
Various venues
Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne International Arts Festival, commonly known as the Melbourne Festival, has developed a reputation for showcasing unique and contemporary international and Australian events in the fields of dance, theater, music, visual arts, and multimedia. This year there are more than 50 shows, events and projects in the festival program - which includes 15 world premieres and places a strong emphasis on "live experiences." In 2010 the Melbourne Festival attracted more than 500,000 visitors. Similar events around the country include the Sydney Festival, the Adelaide Festival and the Brisbane Festival.
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World Solar Challenge begins

October 16
Darwin, Australia

The World Solar Challenge is one of the toughest competitions in the eco-motoring world. Solar-powered vehicles come from all over the world to compete at the event, which runs for a fortnight and covers 3000km across the desert to Adelaide - all with no fuel.

22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)

October 28-30
Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Perth, Australia

Commonwealth leaders from more than 50 Commonwealth nations, up to 3,000 delegates and Queen Elizabeth II will travel to Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) where they will discuss global and Commonwealth issues and plan for the future. The event has been held every second year since 1949 and will celebrate the theme of "Building National Resilience, Building Global Resilience" in 2011. During CHOGM, an eight-day-long arts and culture festival called the Commonwealth Festival will provide an array of activities for locals and visitors. The Commonwealth Business Forum, Commonwealth People’s Forum, Commonwealth Youth Forum, and a selection of international sporting events will also be held concurrently.
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151st Melbourne Cup

November 1
Flemington Racecourse
Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne Cup is Australia's richest and most famous horse race. The "race that stops a nation" is the headlining event during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. The day is a public holiday for people living in Melbourne, while others around the nation take a break from their schedule to watch or listen to the race.
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25th ARIA Music Awards

November (tba on October 5)
Sydney, Australia

The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards (often to referred to as the ARIAs or ARIA Awards) is an annual event that awards Australian musicians for excellence and innovation across all genres of Australian music. Approximately 1 million people turn on their TVs to watch the ARIA Awards each year. The event includes performances by noted Australian musicians and the revealing of the Award winners across more than 30 award categories. Details about the 2011 ARIA Awards ceremony will be announced on October 5.
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15th Sculpture by the Sea

November 3-20
Bondi Beach
Sydney, Australia

Sculpture by the Sea is an annual exhibition that takes sculptures out of the gallery and onto the beach. Approximately 440,000 art lovers are attracted to the free cultural event where visitors can take a walk along the shore and contemplate over 100 contemporary artworks juxtaposed with Australia's natural surroundings. A virtual tour of the exhibition is available online. Since launching in Sydney, Sculpture by the Sea has expanded to include an annual exhibition at Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Western Australia (March 1-19, 2012) and a biennial exhibition in Aarhus, Denmark (June/July 2013).
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