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 (The United Kingdom 1974), Gina G (The 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, along with voting privileges in both semis. 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 fulfil the criteria of being in the European Broadcasting Area or an active EBU member (their broadcaster, SBS, is an associate EBU member).
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.
RTP invited Australia to participate in Lisbon in 2018, which was confirmed on 24 August 2017.
On 1 October 2018, SBS accepted the invitation from IPBC (KAN) to participate in Tel Aviv in 2019. For the first time, the country will have a national selection to choose their entry. On 12 Feburary 2019, the EBU gave SBS a five-year guarantee, locking in Australian participation in the contest until at least 2023.
The Aussie Rule
In the event of an Australian victory, the following year's contest would not be held in Australia. Instead, SBS would choose a EBU member country (more than likely a member of the Big Five) and work alongside its main broadcaster as a co-host, as well as given the chance to defend its title. This rule was introduced upon its guest participation in 2015 and will remain as long as Australia is invited to participate.
|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|
|2018||Jessica Mauboy||We Got Love||20||99||4||212|
|2019||Kate Miller-Heidke||Zero Gravity||9||284||1||280|