‘Bringing the world back home’ was an early strapline of Australia’s SBS network. In those early multicultural days, it emphasised that being Australian did not restrict you from being culturally plural. It had the unfortunate implication, however, that Australia was not actually part of ‘the world’. We stood apart. Zoom forward to Covid-struck 2021, and Australia desperately wants to stand apart. Bringing that world back home has proven quite a technical difficulty, in sport, business, culture, even family reunion. The Australian World Orchestra (AWO), inaugurated a decade ago to showcase the globe’s finest musicians with Australian allegiances, has struggled since its 2019 season. Skipping tragic 2020, it planned for a three-day, three-city sprint this week across Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne, with a condensed, fifty-two-piece orchestra mainly consisting of the finest players from Australia’s own orchestras. But Melbourne then fell by the wayside, and Victorian-based players were hurriedly airlifted out before last Thursday’s shutdown.