Tap dancing penguin helped by Australia's migration programme

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Amanda Vanstone, Australia's Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, had some nice things to say about the new movie Happy Feet, an animated film about a tap-dancing penguin.

Her desire to see the film went beyond the love for penguins with quick feet. The Australian company behind the film, Animal Logic, used the temporary skilled migration (457 visa) programme to bring in skilled workers to help in the creation of the film.

The 457 visa programme allows an employer in Australia to hire foreigners to fill needed positions. An employee on a 457 visa can work in Australia for a time between three months and four years.

According to Zoe Diamond, Animal Logic's human resources manager, bringing in highly specialized workers such as digital artists, animators, technical directors and software developers allows the company to position itself as a leader in the Australian world-wide visual effects, design and animation industry.

The movie is about Mumble, an Emperor penguin who is forced to leave his group of peers because he can't sing - an ability needed by the penguins to attract a soulmate. But he eventually finds happiness with a new group of friends through his ability to tap-dance.

"Our reputation as a successful migration country - embracing people from all walks of life - is something of which we can all be proud, and something I think Mumble would appreciate," says Vanstone.


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