Sunday, March 24, 2024

"Expo Odyssey!" - Introducing John McGregor & World Expositions: 20th Anniversary of

This year marks the 2004-2024 20th anniversary of my World Expo '88 website at

Here read a brief overview of these halcyon years - starting with Expo 85 Tsukuba to 2025.

Expo Odyssey! John McGregor & World Expositions

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Reporting to the Press

31 October 2021

Dear Ahmed,

Many thanks for reaching out to me on this important topic.

As you know Dubai Expo 2020 - the MENA region's first World Exposition - is now in full swing with today marking its first month of operation.

Also co-inciding with this is the news from the Bureau of International Expositions Paris that five cities will bid for Expo 2030, Riyadh Saudi Arabia being one of them.

This is an interesting development as a winning Riyadh bid will further cement the MENA region's commitment to not only participating in, but the hosting of, a World's Fair.

In recent years the Saudi Arabia Pavilion at World Expositions have seen innovative architectural and exhibition contributions - a Saudi Arabian World's Fair will also be likely to impress.

It will also nicely tie in with Saudi Arabia's long-term strategic framework to reduce it's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism, through Saudi Vision 2030. 

Whilst it is not my position to comment on any preference for any individual city bid for 2030, I believe the Riyadh bid would further consolidate the region's commitment to the above.

Once again, thank you for contacting me.

With kind regards

John R McGregor
Celebrate 88!
- Celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 and Australia at World Expositions -

Queensland, Australia

Tel (+61) 0481 44 1988

PO BOX 1088 Nerang QLD 4211 AUSTRALIA

"It is a great and glorious end to bless the sons of man,
And meet for peace and doing good, in kindness, while we can;
It is a greater, and more blest, the human heart to raise
Up to the God who giveth all, with gratitude and praise."

Excerpt from prose by Martin Tupper Farquhar, on the 1851 London Crystal Palace Exhibition


On 31 Oct 2021 20:39, Ahmed adly wrote:
Dear Mr John


I hope you are fine

I am Ahmed Adly, a journalist from Q-Post, which is an Arab political website specializing in international affairs and political analysis,

I am preparing a report on Saudi Arabia's progress with a file to host the Expo in Riyadh 2030, and I am interested to get a comment from you about your opinion on this matter, and what the Expo in Saudi Arabia can provide from job opportunities and attract the Kingdom during the coming period, in addition to knowing your view on the extent to which companies benefit from the establishment Expo in Riyadh, and what are the difficulties that Saudi Arabia will face from your point of view and how they can be overcome.

I would be very grateful if you could answer my questions, thank you very much in advance

stay safe



Sunday, April 22, 2018

Australia to host Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020

Great news that Australia has decided to be represented at Expo 2020 Dubai.

We look forward to further updates as time progresses and to seeing a robust and cutting-edge Australia Pavilion - both in architecture and content at this landmark event.

Press Release from DFAT follows:

Australia to attend Expo 2020 Dubai

Joint media release

The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

25 March 2018

Today we announce that Australia will participate in the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from October 2020 to April 2021.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo hosted in the Middle East, and is expected to attract around 25 million visitors from over 180 countries.

The UAE is Australia’s largest trade and investment partner in the Middle East. Expo 2020 is an opportunity to showcase Australian culture, ingenuity and innovation and highlight the quality of our services sector and education system, agricultural products and credentials as a secure destination for investment.

Australia is a longstanding friend and partner of the UAE, and we are proud to be a part of the Dubai success story. Our connections are strong and growing. Almost 25,000 Australians live in the UAE, there are 350 Australian companies represented and over 130 flights a week connect the UAE and Australia.

The UAE is investing more than USD 9.4 billion in Expo 2020. Australian companies have already been successful in winning expo-related contracts, including in architecture, construction and logistics.

We look forward to promoting Australia on the world stage at Dubai Expo 2020. We will work to make the most of this opportunity to promote trade and two-way investment and to help Australian companies capitalise on opportunities in the UAE and the region more broadly.

Media enquiries

Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500

DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555


Original of this Press Release can be viewed here:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Australia at Dubai Expo 2020 - 1000 Days to Go

The Hon Andrew Laming MP
Member for Bowman
Federal Parliament of Australia

24 January 2018

Dear Mr Laming:

My name is John McGregor and I run an organisation that advocates for the legacy of Brisbane's World Expo 88 and representation of Australia at World Expositions - both as representative and host, entitled "Celebrate 88".

Today marks 1000 days till the commencement of Dubai Expo 2020, and despite voting for Dubai several years ago, it appears DFAT has yet to commit to any funding for an Australian Pavilion at Dubai.

Correspondingly, as my local federal Parliament member, I would be grateful if you could forward following message - sent to Austrade's Dubai office - also to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms Julie Bishop MP and Minister for Trade Mr Steven Ciobo MP - for their response.

With warm regards


Dear Sir/Madam:


As we enter into 1000 days to go before the commencement of Expo 2020, I believe now is the time to ramp up Australia's commitment to be represented with a Pavilion at Dubai.

As you no doubt know, Australia was one of the BIE member states that voted for Dubai to host Expo 2020, and our Minister for Foreign Affairs warmly welcomed Dubai's success in being selected to be the expo's host.

It is now time, I believe, to "walk the walk" and "talk the talk" and ramp up our congratulatory rhetoric and set aside funds for a Pavilion at Dubai.

Already Australia has seen two recent World's Fairs pass - Milano 2015 - and Astana 2017 - without representation by an Australia Pavilion.

We do not wish to rest on the laurels of our very successful Pavilions at Shanghai 2010 and Yeosu Korea 2012 and let our absences at Milan and Astana become a precedent for not being represented in Dubai.

As the first World Expo in the middle east, and as a worldwide microcosm of nations and corporations will be represented at Dubai - including our our own neighbour from across the ditch New Zealand - it is important for Australia to be at Dubai, to prove to the world that yes we are forward thinking and still relevant commercially, diplomatically, and personally on the world stage that being participants at a World Expo affords us.

I trust through this email to Austrade Dubai and to my local member Mr Andrew Laming MP, the Hon Ms Bishop MP and her counterpart in trade the Hon Mr Ciobo MP we can re-stoke our commitment to regional and international world peace, trade, diplomacy and personal exchange through an outstanding Pavilion at Dubai - connecting minds - and creating the future.

I would be grateful for your response.

Yours sincerely

John R McGregor
Celebrate 88!
- Celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 and Australia at World Expositions -

Queensland, Australia

"It is a great and glorious end to bless the sons of man,
And meet for peace and doing good, in kindness, while we can;
It is a greater, and more blest, the human heart to raise
Up to the God who giveth all, with gratitude and praise."

Excerpt from prose by Martin Tupper Farquhar, on the 1851 London Crystal Palace Exhibition

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 DFAT White Paper Submission

Dear Ministers:

Please find following my submission for the 2017 DFAT White Paper.

Yours sincerely

John McGregor
Celebrate 88
TEL 048181 3388


In the decade ahead Australia must pursue a robust foreign and trade policy that secures our place on the world stage as a prominent leader and producer of goods and services that represent cutting-edge capabilities.

With our diverse multicultural workforce, we already have so many innate advantages in trade on the global stage, more however needs to be done in promoting our goods and services in ways that further our nation-branding in timely and focussed means, and this is where our membership of the Bureau of International Expositions, and representation at and of hosting of World Expositions needs to be further maximised and delivered.

Too much of late, including glaring omissions at Milano 2015 and Astana 2017, Australia has missed it's opportunities for promotion at these pinnacle events, citing short-term "budget emergencies" or "financial constraints", effectively meaning that Australia is "not in business" at these microcosm world diplomacy and trade events.

We would not think of not sending a team to the Summer or Winter Olympics Games, citing "budgetary pressure", and yet, when there is the opportunity to further our key core assets on the world stage makes itself possible by representation at or at hosting of a World Expositions, we strangely believe that it is "not in our national best interest" to attend.

Too often, lack of a burgeoning trade relationship with the Exposition host nation is used as a excuse for not being represented with an Australian Pavilion at a Recognised or Registered Exposition.

But this is precisely the reason why we should attend - to boost trade and diplomatic relations with not only the host nation and region - but also with the myriad of other nations (and corporations) represented at the Expo also in terms of business deals made with visiting international corporate and national delegations to the Expo.

It is sincerely hoped that through regular representation at World Expositions, Australia can once again gain trade, business, and diplomatic momentum on the world stage, and that subsequent Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, can earmark from a early stage funding for upcoming Expositions, hence furthering our trade and diplomatic relations, and our membership of the BIE.

As an observer for Brisbane's World Expo 88 at three Assemblies of the BIE-led Assembly of Expo Cities and Regions, it would be an honour to speak further to the Commonwealth Government on ways in which "brand Australia" can re-assert itself on the World Expositions stage.

Our nation depends on it.

Yours sincerely

TEL 048181 3388

Monday, August 22, 2016

Australia at Dubai 2020

22 August 2016


Dear Minister:



My name is John McGregor and I live in your electorate, in Lawson St Southport.

I run a commemorative organisation for Brisbane's World Expo 88, entitled Celebrate 88, and hosted at, and we also look into advocacy for Australian representation at future World Expositions, including the upcoming Astana Expo 2017, and Dubai Expo 2020.

Although we have received official notification that Australia will not be at Astana 2017, we have yet to hear about Australia at Dubai 2020, a bid which Australia supported in its initial and concluding stages.

Representation at World Expositions enables Australia to promote it's important nation branding initiatives on the world stage, not only at the host city and host nation level, but also for trade and business delegations amongst other participating nations and corporations at the Expo.

Whilst Australia's lack of participation at Astana 2017 is disappointing, what would be even more disappointing is  being absent also from Dubai 2020.

Being represented at Dubai is an important fiscal priority for the Australian Government, and measures must be made now to ensure future budgets take this into account.

I would be grateful if you could forward this correspondence to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Ms Julie Bishop MP, whose portfolio responsibility lies for Australia at World Expositions, for her comment.

As always, Celebrate 88 fully supports an Australian presence at future World Expositions, we need not rest on our laurels of past Exposition Pavilion successes, but we need to work further towards future synergies of trade, commerce and diplomacy and their benefits for Australia as encapsulated by being represented.

I look forward to your response.

With cordial regards,

Celebrate 88
Progressing the World Expo 88 Vision

Friday, October 30, 2015

Response to Minister for Trade

30 October 2015

The Honourable Mr Andrew Robb MP
Minister for Trade
Commonwealth Government of Australia

Dear Minister:


Thank you for your letter of 13 October 2015 to my local Federal Member Mr Stuart Robert MP's office with regards to my representation to you regarding Australia at Milan World Expo 2015 and subsequent World Expositions.

I acknowledge your Department's response and the effort made to secure representation at Milan, however unsuccessful.

Every World Exposition is a one-off event, unique to the host city, unique to the world, and unique to that epoch and time. The theme of the Expo gives us a further opportunity to communicate Australia's objectives on the world stage.

Unfortunately, like any advertisement, it costs money to have a shop front, but we run into the danger of "advertising" that Australia is "closed for business", if we do not make the effort for a Pavilion at these pinnacle public diplomacy events.

But lack of Government funding should not be a stumbling block for no representation at a World's Fair, as the USA example (and others) shows.

Wouldn't it therefore, be far better that the portfolio for Australia at World Expositions be moved to Austrade where that agency would be better able to facilitate and promote Australian private enterprise representation and funding of an Australian Pavilion?

Whilst a fully private enterprise funded Australia Pavilion has, I believe, not been explored before, now, as Astana and Dubai, loom, maybe it is time to investigate such an approach.

And given the microcosm and myriad of business transactions which take place amongst international participants at a World Fair, I believe that geopolitical relations with the host nation, whilst important, need to be a second tier rationale for representation at an Expo, with the ability to network with the global community and articulate the Expo theme to Australia's advantage at a World's Fair to be the principal non-financial deciding factors.

Australia in its modern history has been a proud representative in World Exposition history, including hosting World Expositions in Sydney, Melbourne, and recently Brisbane 1988, with Australian representation at World Expositions being amongst the most awarded and memorable of any nation's Pavilions.

We need not however forget the important role of World Expositions in the peaceful promotion of global understanding and trade relations, objectives that Australia proudly also upholds, and we also need not run into the danger of "resting on our laurels".

Correspondingly, I ask that your Department, on behalf of the Australian nation, take into serious consideration the matters raised in this letter.

I await your response.

Yours sincerely

John R McGregor
Celebrate 88!
- Celebrating Brisbane's World Expo '88 and Australia at World Expositions -

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Co-host The World's Fair Podcast

 Tel +614384 89135

"It is a great and glorious end to bless the sons of man,
And meet for peace and doing good, in kindness, while we can;
It is a greater, and more blest, the human heart to raise
Up to the God who giveth all, with gratitude and praise."

Excerpt from prose by Martin Tupper Farquhar, on the 1851 London Crystal Palace Exhibition

Response from Minister for Trade