|Congratulations to Geoffrey Rush who was named 2012 Australian of the Year at an Awards Ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra, on Wednesday evening 25 January.
He was lauded for his 40-year acting career, his award-winning performances in movies such as SHINE and THE KING'S SPEECH, and for his role in mentoring young actors.
The Australia Day Council said Rush had achieved the "rare international distinction" of winning an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy. He also has three Australian Film Institute honours, three British Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, and four Screen Actors' Guild Awards.
Rush was inducted into the ranks of Australia's elite performers last year with a prestigious Helpmann Award.
Accepting the award, Rush said he was proud to be an Australian.
"This is a great honour for a performing artist in theatre and film," he said. "I feel sure my that colleagues will see this as an endorsement of our national story of creativity. "We've grown in less than two generations from a relative wasteland into a unique species of native tree that only the soil of this rich country can cultivate."