Our Migaloo becomes the star at games opening ceremony
WHEN Migaloo put the exclamation point on a phenomenal Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony it was a free advertisement for Fraser Coast's thriving whale-watching industry, but it is what he represented that mattered most to organisers.
Broadcast live to more than 1.5 billion people across the world and gracing the front page of major newspapers today, the image of Migaloo swimming above performers was one of the moments of the Games.
But Migaloo, the world's most recognisable white whale, represented much more than that.
David Zolkwer, the Project & Artistic Director for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, said Migaloo's unique character helped communicate the overall message of togetherness.
"The show is about how we're all connected," Mr Zolkwer said.
"At the time of Pangea, Australia and Antarctica were one place. Although they've drifted apart, for Migaloo, it's still one place for him.
"It's as simple as that, he was a symbol of that connectivity over hundreds of millions of years we drifted apart, but Antarctica and the reef are still one place for Migaloo.
"It was a narrative thread running all the way through, we are altogether, we are all connected, we all breathe the same air as Migaloo and we all drink the same water."
Channel 7's live broadcast peaked at 3.226 million Australian viewers, is estimated to have reached 6.6 million Australians, and was the most-watched opening ceremony in a decade.
Hervey Bay is known as the whale-watching capital of Australia, and is worth $90million to the local economy.