Quirky items which are ‘uniquely Australian’ and given as gifts to foreign dignitaries have been listed in a catalogue as the government calls for new suppliers of homemade goods.
From akubra hats given to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and a tiny pair of Ugg boots for their unborn child, to RM Williams boots presented to Donald and Melania Trump, the variety of ‘goodwill’ presents has been revealed.
A tender calling for a new supplier of ‘Government Gifts for Official Presentation’ was put out this month, requesting items for ‘the supply of a range of uniquely Australian products’.
Prince Harry and Princess Meghan (pictured) were gifted with tiny Ugg boots and a soft toy joey for their baby when they visited Admiralty House in Sydney during their Royal tour to Australia in October
This Hand Blown Glass Koala (pictured) which is 5cm high and made in Queensland is an example of a gift on the online store that can be chosen by Australian ministers to gift to foreign dignitaries
A Didgeridoo (pictured, left) made in the Northern Territory is listed on the online store along with ‘Eucalyptus Gum Leaf Vodka’ (pictured, right)
Although Australia is not traditionally a gift giving country, the customs of other countries, good manners and goodwill may necessitate the presentation of gifts.
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet spokesman
‘A wide range of quality, Australian designed, manufactured and crafted goods, culturally appropriate and within the indicative price list,’ the tender description read.
A gift register for the past three years revealed some of the more unusual offerings including eucalyptus-flavoured vodka, platypus letter openers and watermelon-shaped bowls.
The tender request, listed on Aus Tenders reads: ‘The required services include the supply of a range of uniquely Australian products that are suitable for presentation as official gifts.’
Each gift is to be designed and made in Australia, as well as be ‘culturally appropriate’ for foreign dignitaries, according to the tender request issued by the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet.
Currently, a company named Intandem sources and supplies the products in a specific online store titled Official Gift Service where ministers can then choose and buy the gifts.
One product listed on the online gift register includes a platypus letter opener.
The pewter letter opener is just under 20cm long and it comes in a delicate ‘velvet pouch’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were given Akubra hats (pictured) that were hand crafted in Kempsey, New South Wales in October during their Royal Tour. Prince Harry received a ‘Cattleman’ style while the Duchess was presented with the ‘Milan’
What are some of the ‘official gifts’ on the online register?
- Indigenous art and Didgeridoos
- Akubra hats
- RM Williams boots
- Paspaley pearl necklaces
- Hand crafted timber products
- Penfolds Grange and locally produced vodka
- Hand blown glass and ceramics
- Sports jerseys
- Scarves and neck-ties
Another quirky gift includes a gum tree-patterned men’s tie made from a photograph which is printed onto the fabric and described as ‘wearable art.’
The neck tie also comes gifted in a specially designed wooden box with a sliding drawer, according to the product description.
A 500ml bottle of eucalyptus gum leaf vodka made at a Queensland distillery is on offer.
The award-winning vodka has a ‘strong native Australian botanical infusion’ according to the product description on the distiller’s site.
It reads: ‘Vibrant, medicinal aromas and flavours of eucalyptus oil and menthol mint with a silky, bone dry medium body and a long, penetrating aloe and pepper accented finish.’
Even a Didgeridoo made in the Northern Territory and hand-painted with natural earth pigments is listed on the online store for a staggering $920.
It is listed as a ‘special order’ according to the online store.
The gift site also features a large watermelon bowl (pictured) made of porcelain and priced at $185. The watermelon dish (pictured) has become an iconic piece after being used by celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Kylie Kwong
A book titled ‘Australia’s Empire’ is listed as a gift option on the online store
A red book emblazoned with the title ‘Images of Modern Evil’ doesn’t appear to be light reading for any foreign diplomat
The online store also features a large watermelon bowl made of porcelain, priced at $185.
The watermelon dish has become an iconic kitchen piece after being used by celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Kylie Kwong.
A red book emblazoned with the title ‘Images of Modern Evil’ doesn’t appear to be light reading for any foreign diplomat.
The book by artist Albert Tucker ‘offers a probing and power and powerful insight into the socio-political climate of World War II and its aftermath,’ according to the site.
A spokesman from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet told Daily Mail Australia that ministers give gifts to foreign dignitaries as a means of ‘goodwill.’
A pewter letter opener (pictured) which is just under 20cm long and can be gifted in a delicate ‘velvet pouch’ is listed on the online store
Daily Mail Australia can reveal the many bizarre gifts deemed ‘culturally appropriate’ for our foreign guests from eucalyptus-flavoured vodka (pictured) and quirky gum tree-patterned men’s ties
A Didgeridoo made in the Northern Territory and hand-painted with natural earth pigments is listed on the online store for $920. It is listed as a ‘special order’ on the site (pictured)
GUIDELINES TO OFFICIAL GIFTS FOR PRESENTATION
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has guidelines on the gifts Australian ministers can choose from the online store based on value and appropriateness of the gift for the level of recipient.
Heads of State/Heads of Government $500-$750
Government to Government up to $300
Senior Minister up to $250
Junior Ministers/Officials up to $150
Protocol up to $30
Drivers, security staff, up to $25
Source: Department of Prime Minister and cabinet
‘Although Australia is not traditionally a gift giving country, the customs of other countries, good manners and goodwill may necessitate the presentation of gifts.
‘Examples of the types of gifts presented to visiting dignitaries include Indigenous artworks and crafts, framed items of linked historical or cultural significance, hand crafted Australian timber products, ceramics and hand blown glass, Akubra hats, RM Williams boots, sporting items and jerseys, scarves and ties, and Australian books.’
When asked how gifts are chosen, the spokesman said, ‘The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet provides recommendations to the Prime Minister for official gifts.
‘Guidance on suitable gift options is also sought from our diplomatic missions overseas.’
He added: ‘When recommending options for official gifts for presentation, consideration is given to showcasing unique Australian products, flora or fauna, and historical and cultural links the recipient may share with Australia.’
According to the tender request, by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the products are to be Australian designed and made
In October, Prince Harry and Princess Meghan were gifted with tiny Ugg boots and a soft toy joey for their baby when they visited Admiralty House in Sydney during their Royal tour to Australia.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also given Akubra hats that were locally hand- crafted in Kempsey, New South Wales.
Prince Harry received a ‘Cattleman’ Akubra while the Duchess of Sussex was presented with the ‘Milan’ style.
What are previous gifts given to foreign dignitaries from the PM?
Scott Morrison presented the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with a children’s book by May Gibbs titled ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ to their future baby.
Donald and Melania Trump were gifted with RM Williams Boots from Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull in February. Lucy Turnbull also gave Melania Trump a navy silk scarf featuring native gum trees and birds.
Julia Gillard previously gave Barack Obama an Aussie Rules football and an iPod filled with Australian music including tunes by Midnight Oil.
Donald and Melania Trump were gifted with RM Williams Boots from Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull in February. Lucy Turnbull also hand-picked a scarf (pictured, right) with native Australian flora and fauna for Melania Trump