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Monday, 25 May 2009
Page: 4086


Mr GARRETT (Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts) (3:59 PM) —On indulgence: I rise to note two significant events in Australia’s cultural and film history that have taken place over the past week. The first is the news today that the film Samson and Delilah, directed by Warwick Thornton, has won the coveted Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. I know I join with all those in the House in offering our congratulations to Warwick Thornton and the cast and crew of the film. This film has had significant investment from the Indigenous film unit of Screen Australia, and I think it is a great testimony to the investment that that unit has made in Mr Thornton’s film. Having seen the film—it is powerful and at times harrowing—I can testify to the outstanding job that Warwick Thornton has done. This award is really significant and it will ensure that the film has a wider viewing audience. I certainly encourage all Australians to take up the opportunity to see Samson and Delilah. It received the audience award at this year’s Adelaide Film Festival and it is a film of great, powerful, moving images and performances.

I also take the opportunity to very briefly note the passing of eminent actor Bud Tingwell, a giant of the screen in Australia with performances ranging from a number of television series, including Homicide, to his performance in the film The Castle. Bud Tingwell was a mentor to many young actors. He was a continual presence in our television and screen industry for decades, particularly in the work that he did with Crawford Productions, and he will be sorely missed. I note as well his distinguished record as a Spitfire pilot in World War II. I was able to attend the service commemorating Bud Tingwell’s passing, along with many people from the television and entertainment industries. He was a generous man of good heart and a great actor, and his extraordinary service and wonderful personality, more than anything else, will be sorely missed.