And the OSCAR goes to… AUSSIES in the 90th Academy Awards

by Julia Landberg, Arts Administrator & Drama Teacher at AP Studio

Alright, how many of you dream about receiving your very own Academy Award? I know I have, I even prepared a speech once when I was little and forced my sister to be the presenter. I even got to hold a real Oscar once! Well… It wasn’t mine. It belonged to Warner Brothers as a part of their studio tour in Los Angeles. So I’m still dreaming.

At this year’s 90th annual Academy Awards we had a few nominated Aussies and one win.


  • Margot Robbie: I, Tonya – Best Actress (Nominated)
  • Lee Smith: Dunkirk – Best Editing (Win)
  • Paul Machliss: Baby Driver – Best Editing (Nominated)
  • Derin Seale and Josh Lawson: The Eleven O’Clock – Best Live Action Short Film (Nominated)


Throughout the years we have had many nominees and wins. An impressive 51 Academy Awards from 174 nominations have been won by Australians. In such a competitive industry, it’s very exciting Australians are successful and appreciated for their hard work. But how do they get to hold their very own Oscar and not just one that’s a part of an, ahem, studio tour? Let’s take a look at some Aussie-to-Oscar journeys…


Catherine Martin holds the record for most awarded Australian with 4 wins and 6 nominations for films such as Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby. She is a costume designer, production designer, set designer and film producer who was taught how use a sewing machine at the age of 6 and she absolutely loved vintage clothing and making her own patterns. She attended NIDA and started her career off by collaborating with her fellow students, including director-husband Baz Lurhmann, by designing Australian plays. If you’re at drama school, network and get to know people – together you might form an Oscar-winning team of your own.

UNCUT interview with Catherine Martin, Costume and Production Set Designer of The Great Gatsby


Margot Robbie has become a household name, but did you know her family used to keep asking “when are you going to get a real job?” Starting out on Neighbours at 17yrs old, according to Robbie it was THE best training ground and that she will probably never do a job as hard as that. Robbie’s performance in Neighbours brought her to Hollywood, but it wasn’t smooth sailing from there. Her first job Pan Am was a flop, but Margot kept going and the hard work paid off, landing her breakthrough role in The Wolf of Wall Street. Now helming her own production company LuckyChap Entertainment, Robbie is an Oscar nominee and on Time Magazine’s list of ‘100 Most Influential People’.

An interview ABC did with Robbie, where she talks about her way from Neighbours to Hollywood.


Emile Sherman knows that if you want something in life, you better do it yourself and co-founded his production company See-Saw Films in 2008. Sherman, who was a graduate in both law and English literature, took advantage of his skills and helped bring to life a number of award-winning films such as Lion (six Oscar nominations). 2010’s multiple Academy Award winning The King’s Speech began its life simply as a field of interest for writer David Seidler, himself coping with a stammer since childhood, and was later turned into a screenplay. According to Sherman, it was a financial risk and not an obvious movie to make. But that gamble paid off, with Sherman showing us that, to make art, one has to be prepared to take risks and be bold.


Dreaming about that Oscar statuette doesn’t have to be a distant dream, it is very real and you can get there with hard work, passion and dedication. What steps can you take today to get yourself there?

It starts with you… and might end with you and Oscar.

Author details:

A graduate from WAAPA, Australia and Calle Flygare in Stockholm, Sweden, Julia Landberg is an actor and creator who specialises in performance making and devising. Arts administrator at AP Studio for the Full Time Program, Julia also runs children’s drama classes. Her stage credits include performances at His Majesty’s Theatre, The Blue Room Theatre, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fringe World as well as productions of The Sound of Music, Cabaret, The Miser and Alice in Wonderland in Sweden. Her first professional production was The Wizard of Oz when she was 10 and it was where her love and passion for theatre was born.

Photo: Stephen Heath