Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush has been appointed president of the new Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (Aacta) to "celebrate screen excellence" Down Under.
The King's Speech star helped to launch the Academy in Sydney on Thursday (18Aug11) and announced that the inaugural Aacta Awards would take place at the Sydney Opera House in January (12).
During the launch, Rush also unveiled a gold statuette, featuring a base made of polished tiger iron, which will be presented to the winners of Australia's version of the BaftAs next year (12).
The veteran actor said he was "honoured to represent our industry" and insisted it was time to celebrate "the brilliance and originality" of Aussie talent.
He added, "(Aacta will) galvanise the craft and talent this country endlessly produces."