What do Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, and Baz Luhrmann have in common? Well, aside from their curiously similarly sounding last names, these three worked together in the 2008 historical romance film Australia. But not only that: First and foremost, all three of them are citizens of Australia. Indeed, Australia is quite famous for its steady stream of exports that eventually become popular Hollywood talents, with the aforementioned trio among the most successful and best-known all over the world. To be sure, it’s not just in the crowded sphere of mainstream entertainment where Australians excel, as there are also numerous Aussies achieving great heights in other significant fields. One case in point happens to be another commonality shared by Kidman, Jackman, and Luhrmann. Her name is Catherine Nelson.
Catherine Nelson worked as a compositor in the film Australia, among other credits including the third Harry Potter film and Moulin Rouge (also starring Kidman and directed by Luhrmann). But now she devotes most of her time to developing a new artistic technique, whereby she combines elements of digital visual effects, painting, and photography. The result is a body of work that has been said to be an embodiment of a call to action toward caring for the environment, an effort that has garnered international attention and critical acclaim. It’s only fitting then that Nelson be featured in the premier issue of Australia Unlimited.
Australia Unlimited is a free iPad Newsstand magazine app borne out of a desire to establish and maintain a global reputation that is in sync with the true spirit of contemporary Australian culture—a culture of creativity and activity. The app, which takes its name from the brand identity agreed upon by the Australian Government-commissioned initiative called Building Brand Australia Program, offers free monthly issues (subscription auto-renews until cancelled) containing engaging profiles of Australians who have done something so significant as to bring about change in a positive way, whether locally or globally. One such profile is that of Catherine Nelson, visual artist and proud Australian.
Among the Australians who have been profiled across the three issues so far of Australia Unlimited are Jenny Orchard, the development director of a non-profit organization that distributes books and builds schools in Asia and Africa, and Brian Schmidt, one of the winners of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics. From these two examples alone, in addition to that of Nelson, one can already picture the quality of the magazine’s subject and content. Australia Unlimited is indeed filled with translucent writing and evocative photography, which, unsurprisingly, are turned out by award-winning writers and photographers.
But in a platform where content is reduced to naught when its manner of presentation is rife with mediocrity, Australia Unlimited is fortunately designed with the specific format and idiosyncrasies of the iPad in mind. This can be observed in the magazine’s simple navigation methods. Basically, swiping on the screen horizontally brings into view the adjacent article, while swiping vertically scrolls the current article. Tapping anywhere calls up the page navigator as well as the main menu, which has tabs for the cover page, contents page, saved bookmarks, downloaded issues, issues yet to be downloaded, and the help screen. Slide shows and videos are also included from time to time, adding more interactivity to an already superb app with a great cause, at no cost.
And a new issue is coming out today! Grab it!!
We rate this app 4.5 out of 5 stars.