NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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Suzie Miller awarded prestigious David Williamson Prize at the AWGIES

Playwright Suzie Miller (Playwrights, 2000) and her critically acclaimed one-woman play Prima Facie has taken out the two highest honours at the Australian Writers’ Guild’s annual AWGIE Awards, winning the 2020 Major Award and the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre. The awards celebrate the very best in Australian stage and screen writing.

Suzie received $20,000 while the commissioning company, Griffin Theatre Company, received $80,000 to commission, develop and program a new Australian work. The one-woman show was directed by NIDA alumna Lee Lewis (Directing, 2003) and starred Sheridan Harbridge (Acting, 2006) in a story of a lawyer who is sexually assaulted when a date goes horribly wrong.

NIDA also congratulates alumna Beatrix Christian (Playwrights Studio, 1990) with Ben Lawrence, for taking out the Best Feature Film (Original) award for Hearts and Bones. The thought-provoking film of friendship, war and understanding stars Hugo Weaving (Acting, 1981), with costume designer Rita Carmody (Design, 2007) and set dresser Jacqui Schofield (Design, 2013).

Hosted by Bjorn Stewart, the AWGIES were broadcast on YouTube due to COVID restrictions. President Shane Brennan cited COVID, tax restrictions and local content quota changes as major impacts for writers in Australia. 'Support for writers is critical to the survival of this industry,' he said.

Alumni nominations include:

Best Feature Film, Ally Burnham (Writing for Performance, 2016) for Unsound.

Best Television (Series), Belinda Chayko (Playwrights Studio, 1985) for Stateless.

Best Theatre for Young Audience, Candice Bowers (Acting, 2001) for One the Bear.

Best Music Theatre, Alana Valentine (Playwrights Studio, 1989) for Flight Memory.

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