On Friday, ACA Wheelhouse, saw Australian entertainment royalty Leah Purcell present her multi award winning Aussie film, The Drovers Wife, in an exclusive screening for ACA students.

Followed by a live Q&A, hosted by our very own Troy Harrison, our current Actors Centre Australia students across the Degree, Foundation and Accessible Acting Programs were invited to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity, learning from one of Australia’s leading storytellers…

Chester Lenihan, an ACA second year degree student said “Leah has a wealth of knowledge and experience in creating exhilarating and invigorating work, whether that be on the stage or behind the camera. Amongst other things, hearing in details Leah’s journey from childhood to where she is today was incredibly inspiring. Learning the process behind how Leah approaches directing a film was eye opening in terms of what top film makers look for and demand in actors.”

Leah Purcell AM is one of Australia’s leading actors, writers, and directors with award-winning roles across all mediums. She is a proud Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri woman from QLD.

The Drover’s Wife The Legend Of Molly Johnsonis Leah’s debut feature film which premiered at SXSW as part of their Narrative Spotlight programme in March 2021.  The film is directed by and written by Leah, co-produced by her production company Oombarra Productions, and sees Leah star in the leading role of Molly Johnson. Her previous adaptations of The Drover’s Wife include the multi-award winning theatrical play which was a sell-out success at Belvoir St Theatre, and the novel which is currently available through Penguin Random House. – Creative Representation

Eva Paterson, who is one of our Accessible Acting students, support workers added “The movie was so powerful, confronting on many levels for me, I’m the same age as Leah and felt every aspect with her, felt it as a mother, felt it as a woman, felt it as a person that is extremely emotional and one that is deeply ashamed of how women and first nations people were treated, not long before I was born.   I really enjoyed Leah’s openness and willingness to answer the questions and share her experience, both acting and life.”

“I learned so much about navigating the Australian industry, and the intricacies and challenges of self-generation of work in Australia. It was also very insightful hearing about Leah’s acting approach and philosophy to storytelling.” Said Lara Harriman (first year degree student), “A few pieces of advice that have stuck with me are to be proactive in my career, multifaceted in my skills, and not be afraid to tell stories that are important to me.”
Michael Paterson (accessible acting student) added “The cinematography and acting was amazing.  I really appreciated Leah coming and talking to us”. “Keep trying” was the one piece of advice Leah gave, that really stuck with him.
We are so grateful to Leah who so generously gave her time to share her story with our students and look forward to bringing our students more of these exclusive industry events in the future.
– ACA Wheelhouse
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