Australia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 as a one-off participation (like Morocco in 1980) because of the 60th contest held and Australians are dedicated Eurovision fans. The nation has been broadcasting the contest since 1983.
Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang were sent as commentators for the first time in 2009 and covered every contest for SBS until 2016. Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey succeeded them in 2017.
Artists either born or have resided in Australia have made great contributions to the contest in the past: most notably Olivia Newton-John (United Kingdom 1974), Gina G (United Kingdom 1996), and Johnny Logan (2-time winner for Ireland in 1980 and 1987). In 2014, Jessica Mauboy performed as part of the second semi-final interval act, showcasing the Australians' love for the contest over the years.
2015 Guest participation
As the guest for 2015, the EBU decided to give Australia a direct qualification to the final along with hosts Austria and the Big Five. This was done in fairness to the 33 remaining countries allocated to the semifinals, allowing them an equal shot to qualify for the final on their own merit.
Normally, Australia wouldn't be allowed to enter because the country doesn't fulfill the criteria of being in the European Broadcasting Area or an active EBU member (their broadcaster, SBS, is an associate EBU member).
If Australia had won the contest in 2015, it wouldn't have been held in Australia. SBS would have chosen an EBU member country to hold the 2016 contest and acted as co-host alongside the chosen country's main broadcaster. As well, Australia would have returned to defend their title.
2016 and beyond
Due to massive positive feedback from fans and media, the EBU extended the invitation to Australia to participate again in 2016, however they would have to try and qualify from the semifinals. They succeeded, winning the second semifinal and finishing second overall in the grand final, winning the jury vote.
SBS accepted NTU's invitation to return for the 2017 contest in Kiev under the same participation rule from 2016 and secured another top 10 placing.
It is uncertain whether RTP will issue an invitation for Australia to compete in 2018, however current head of delegation Paul Clarke is exploring the option of staging a national selection process to choose future entries. The 2015 rule in the case of an Australian victory would still apply.
|2015||Guy Sebastian||Tonight Again||English||5||196||Automatically allowed to qualify|
|2016||Dami Im||Sound of Silence||2||511||1||330|
|2017||Isaiah Firebrace||Don't Come Easy||9||173||6||160|