Australia agenda: Perth Fashion Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival

Perth city will get all dressed up for the Perth Fashion Festival and Melbourne will turn on the spotlights for the city-wide multi-arts festival, the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

13th Perth Fashion Festival
September 21-27
Various locations
Perth, Australia

The Perth Fashion Festival (PFF) is Western Australia’s largest annual fashion event. It showcases a healthy mixture of local and national fashion design talent with both free and ticketed events. In 2011, 136 designers will showcase their fashion forward creations in 40 dazzling events. PFF is a niche event compared to its Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Sydney Fashion Festival counterparts but the festival is growing in both size and notoriety. More than 44,000 local and international visitors attended PFF in 2010.
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29th Melbourne Fringe Festival

September 21-October 9
Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne Fringe Festival is a city-wide celebration of independent creativity that traverses the boundaries of art, cinema, theater, dance, fashion and music. The three-week long open-access festival fosters Melbourne's thriving arts community, providing opportunities for both emerging and established artists to present their works in a range of locations across Melbourne. In 2009 more than 560,000 visitors came to the festival to see the works of 4,815 artists at 143 venues across the state.
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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.

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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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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