Jackman’s jump start for WAAPA student Shalom Brune-Franklin

Chris Edmund and Shalom Brune-Franklin.
Chris Edmund and Shalom Brune-Franklin.

THIRD year acting WAAPA student Shalom Brune-Franklin was awarded the inaugural Chris Edmund Scholarship last night.

The announcement was made following the class’s final performance of Macbeth at Roundhouse Theatre, where Brune-Franklin of Mullaloo starred as Lady Macbeth.

The $17,000 scholarship, made possible by the Jackman Furness Foundation for Performing Arts (JFFPA) and MasterCard, aims to kick-start the winning student’s acting career.

It was named in honour of Hugh Jackman’s former teacher Chris Edmund who taught at WAAPA for 30 years before more recently working as the pronouncer on The Great Australian Spelling Bee.

“I was so honoured to have the scholarship named after me while I am still alive,” Edmund said.

“It’s been two years since I left and this class was the last wonderful group of people who I auditioned and trained in their first year, so it’s such a thrill to be with them tonight.”

Edmund, WAAPA director Professor Julie Warn and JFFPA founding patron Jack Thompson were on the selection panel that had the difficult task of narrowing the field to three finalists before choosing Brune-Franklin.

“All were quite remarkable in the way they presented,” Edmund said.

“They were persuasive, touching and brilliant in the ways they said they would use this scholarship.”

Thompson, who was unable to attend the announcement, said the scholarship provided an exciting opportunity to a WAAPA graduate who had shown exceptional aptitude and gave further mentoring and guidance in their chosen career path at a time critical to their further development.