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Geoffrey Rush named Australian of the Year

Ahead of the inaugural AACTA Awards, its President Geoffrey Rush is named Australian of the Year.

Geoffrey Rush has been named as Australian of the Year 2012.

The veteran actor was named ahead of seven other finalists by Prime Minister Julia Gillard
at Parliament House in Canberra last night.

The accolade comes ahead of the inaugural AACTA Awards, with Rush as President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.

He has a busy schedule this week, due to be in Los Angeles to host the AACTA International Awards Ceremony tomorrow, alongside Nicole Kidman and Guy Pearce, and then to return for the AACTA Awards Ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday.

Damian Trewhella, AFI / AACTA CEO, said, “Since his appointment as President of the Australian Academy in August 2011, Geoffrey Rush has demonstrated time and again his wholehearted professional and personal commitment to the Academy.

“His dedication to furthering the promotion and recognition of the Australian screen industry through his leadership role with the Australian Academy is nothing short of spectacular.

“On behalf of the AFI / AACTA, I congratulate Geoffrey, and wish him the best in his new role as Australian of the Year – a role in which he will no doubt further elevate the Australian screen industry as well as the Australian Academy.’’

Rush already has an Academy Award, a Tony Award, an Emmy Award, two Golden Globes, three BAFTAs, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Helpmann Award, two AFI Awards, an AFI Raymond Longford Award and an Australian Centenary Medal.

This year he celebrates 40 years in the Performing Arts.

26 Responses

  1. @Mike Retter sorry but i am totally against pokie reforms the reforms would kill the clubs and therefore stop a hell of a lot of money going to charitys like Chris Riley it would also spoil it for the 99% of people like me who enjoy a littile flutter on the pokies just because the 1% of idiots who are addicted there is already enough reforms on pokies as it is without adding more

  2. @Kenney, Umm, he lives in Camberwell.

    Many people from the Arts have been honoured as Ausralian of the Year. One thing a lot of people who read television or film blogs often forget just how much work actors such as Rush do on the stage, night after night. Rush has had considerable sucess on the silver screen as a part of a cash cow in Pirates. Good luck to him. To all the haters go and find another tall poppy to cut down why don’t you.

  3. So…being an EGOT makes you a natural selection for “Australian of the Year”? He wants to see a series on why people take boats to Australia. Umm…didn’t he watch SBS last month? Ah, that’s right, he doesn’t live in Australia.

  4. @Jas- Not “hate”, simply stating that there are far more worthy people than he to be “Australian of the Year”. John’s post says it all.
    Recognise him at your AFI/AACTA or whatever it is awards sure, but hardly more qualifying than many others for “Australian of the Year”. Then again, yes there was Alan Bond and some cricketer and other movie stars in years past.

  5. If you are not happy with the Aussie of the Year choice…get online and nominate your choice for next year…if you do not vote you cannot complain….
    And you should also read Mr. Rush’s bio before you comment about him with pre conceived ideas…

  6. Wow, so much hate. Why is a decades long contribution to the arts a bad thing not worthy of recognition? How is that not making a difference in providing a platform for young performers and artists in Australia? It’s not always a well-known face that wins, just look at the past several years.

  7. Sorry to say, i am with the other commenters – although i feel a bit ashamed in criticising it as i think Geoffrey Rush is one fine actor, and great representative of our industry to the world, but there are many more worthy recipients. As genuine a chap as he seems, and his wish to get young australians engaged with the performing arts – there are so many more pressing issues in this country – indigenous, mental health, the aged, – previous winners get 1 year to make a difference, and it still needs more. I am an AACTA member, and this is not one of the great years – shame, as there is so much being thrown at the inaugural awards. I hope Mr Rush aims high and makes a difference – big time!

  8. What a joke. There would be a thousand more worthy recipients.
    Just destroys the whole concept of this “award”.
    “This year he celebrates 40 years in the Performing Arts” (add “mostly overseas”).
    Australian films. Are they those points-fillers Nine and TEN run every December?
    That are so bad that they dare not run them in ratings periods?
    “AACTA”? Never heard of it. Had to look it up on Google.

  9. The Hollywood studios who cast him in their movies will appreciate us lifting his profile further. Meanwhile, Father Chris Riley struggles to cope with being inundated with more and more needy people.

  10. Love love love Geoffrey…however i do believe the recognition should be aimed at a person or persons who are making a difference to the comminuty or other peoples lives. Actors,sporting persons & the like are already honoured & awarded for what they do best. And sometimes way too much!
    I remember saying to family that it would be wonderful if The Morcombes from QLD were Aus of the yeat. Well they did get Qld’s of the year & that is well deserved after what they have endured & have put back into the community.

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