Australian of the Year Awards 2012

Congratulations to Geoffrey Rush, who has been announced as this year’s Australian of the Year. The honour tops off a tremendous 12 months for Geoffrey with the success of The King’s Speech and his 60th birthday all reasons to celebrate.

Far from using the award to promote his already stellar acting career, Rush has said he will use his high-profile role within the arts to help take the hysteria out of the asylum debate. He believes that Australian writers should be telling the stories of asylum seekers to help the Australian public realise why they risk their lives to get to this country. Gay marriage and climate change are also topics he would be keen to see tackled by the arts movement in Australia.

Congratulations also go to Senior Australian of the Year, Northern Territory elder Laurie Baymarrwangga for promoting her culture.

Do you think actors should use their profiles to promote issues they feel strongly about? Or should they leave politics to the politicians?