There's a new scholarship that's been put in place for emerging Australian actors which will honor the memory of Heath Ledger.
The Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship will award recipients up to $10,000, and round-trip airfare from Australia, to pursue a career in the United States. Ledger was an Ambassador for AIF before his death in January. Current ambassadors include Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Naomi Watts.
A friend of Heath's Gregor Jordan is a part of the scholarship's five-member judging panel, and says, "Broke Aussie actors in LA form a tradition that goes all the way back to Errol Flynn. Heath was definitely part of that tradition and this scholarship is something he would have been proud to have his name associated with."
Heath's father Kim echoes his statement, saying, "We as a family are pleased with the establishment and progress of the AIF scholarship award named in honor of our much loved and generous son, Heath. As a result of this scholarship, a talented Australian actor will gain valuable assistance to support their personal goals, and an opportunity for recognition in the very tough US film industry."
Plans for the scholarship were first announced in June at AIF's 2008 Breakthrough Awards. The selected actor must be over 18 and be in the early stages of his or her career. Applications are available online and will be accepted from Oct. 1 to Nov. 28, with the first beneficiary to be announced by mid-February.