David Wenham receives ACU honorary doctorate

David Wenham, the star of the ABC's acclaimed television mini-series about East Timor's bid for independence, yesterday received an honorary doctorate from the Australian Catholic University.

The Age reports David Wenham plays an Australian police officer whose life is irrevocably changed when he volunteers for the UN mission in Timor, in a three-hour series, Answered By Fire, that begins on the ABC on Sunday night.

Receiving an honorary doctorate from the Australian Catholic University yesterday at the Melbourne Town Hall, Wenham said that renewed fighting in East Timor is unfortunate and that he felt for the East Timorese.

"Whatever's happening, it is extremely unfortunate because one would have hoped the continuing of their transition to independence would have been a little bit smoother for a little bit longer," he said.

Wenham said he was particularly concerned for the safety of a cast member, East Timorese actor Jose De Costa, who was now working with the Dili international school.

"He brings a wonderful richness to the story and, of course, he and many others involved in the production, has experienced first-hand the trauma of East Timor's struggle for independence," Wenham said.

"The people of East Timor are not rich, yet they, too, have a remarkable dignity.

"They've suffered loss ... most have to cope with the death in dreadful circumstances of a family friend, a family member, a friend of someone known to them. Yet they live on in the belief in their own worth instilled in them by their incredible faith and a keen sense of justice."

Wenham received the Doctor of the University (honoris causa) for his outstanding contribution to the arts. His strong commitment to social and environmental issues was also acknowledged.

Honorary Doctor Wenham honours a young nation's strength (The Age 26/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
ACU National
Answered By Fire (ABC TV Sunday 8:30 pm)
Susan Crennan (Wikipedia)

ACU degree for Wiggles (CathNews 10/4/06)

East Timor conflict worries actor Wenham (National Nine News/Australian Associated Press 25/5/06)
ACU National Honours David Wenham (Australian Catholic University 25/5/06)
ACU National honours Justice Susan Crennan (Australian Catholic University 25/5/06)

26 May 2006