Ellen DeGeneres Taking Talk Show to Australia in March
Oprah’s “Ultimate Australian Adventure” may not have initially driven tourists Down Under in the high numbers predicted by Tourism Australia (the situation has since improved), but it appears that her travels did inspire another US television personality to visit the country.
Spunky talk show host Ellen DeGeneres will take The Ellen DeGeneres Show to Melbourne and Sydney this March to film several segments that will air to her global audience in April.
The visit, announced by the 13-time Emmy Award winner during the taping of her January 11segment, will be co-sponsored by Australian vitamin company Swisse Wellness and Qantas Airways. Swisse will launch 15 of its most popular products in Walgreens stores across the US next month as part of its global expansion initiative.
“Ellen represents our healthy and happy culture and celebrates life every day – key pillars of our wonderful Australian company,” said Swisse Wellness CEO Radek Sali in a company statement.
“There is no doubt bringing Ellen to Australia and signing Australia’s own Nicole Kidman as the global face of our brand will go down in history as watershed moments for our company. It is a benchmark way to launch our brand globally.”
Kidman, who also appeared on the show that day, urged Ellen to add the outback town of Kununurra, Western Australia – where Kidman’s film Australia was shot – to her list of destinations.
Though Ellen fans will not accompany her on the trip, the 400-person studio audience present during the segment’s taping received an airline ticket from Qantas for travel to Sydney or Melbourne anytime in the next 12 months, with six nights’ accommodation at a four-star hotel included. (Turns out Ellen’s birthday is on Australia Day and she felt everyone deserved a gift.)
Despite being married to Australian actress Portia de Rossi since 2008, Ellen has never visited Australia.
View her announcement here:
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.