Geoffrey Rush named Australian of the Year

Oscar winning actor Geoffrey Rush has been named Australian of the Year, in recognition for his work on and off screen, and for his commitment to the local arts scene.

The Shine and Pirates of the Caribbean star was presented with the accolade by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Canberra.

Rush had this to say about the intrinsic creative, playful culture in Oz:

“We told that at any given moment we are no further than a few metres away from spider – this statistic is now also true for the arts. Unfortunately, like spiders, it means we can be invisible – some people, too many, don’t know we’re there. But I know that hard-wired into every Australian from every background we love acting the goat, taking the mickey, cracking a joke, spinning a yarn.”

Rush was last year named President of the newly-formed Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), and is set to host its first awards’ ceremony on Tuesday 31 January. As if that weren’t enough, he is up for Best Actor (The Eye of the Storm).

Discuss: Congrats Geoffrey!

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