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Sydney, 16 October 2015 – Director and teacher Chris Edmund announced the winner of the Chris Edmund Scholarship last night to third-year Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) acting student, Shalom Brune-Franklin. Presented at WAAPA, the AUD$17,000 prize was provided through a collaboration with MasterCard and the Jackman Furness Foundation for Performing Arts (JFFPA).

The MasterCard Scholarship was named in honour of Edmund; a director, teacher, writer and painter. Edmund was Head of Directing, then Head of the Acting Department at WAAPA for 30 years and trained the likes of Hugh Jackman, Frances O’Connor and Jai Courtney.

In late 2014, MasterCard filmed Jackman surprising his former teacher in New York with the announcement of this AUD$17,000 Scholarship in his honour.

JFFPA Founding Patron and Australian Icon, Jack Thompson, expressed: “This scholarship provides an exciting opportunity to a WAAPA graduate who has shown exceptional aptitude for further mentoring and guidance in their chosen career path; at a time critical to their further development. It is apt that the scholarship should celebrate Chris Edmund, who has been inspirational and instrumental to the success of so many of WAAPA’s finest graduates of the Acting Department.”

The winner, Shalom Brune-Franklin, is a graduating WAAPA acting student who has displayed artistic excellence. Brune-Franklin was selected by an expert panel, made up of Edmund, WAAPA Alumni Lawrie Cullen-Tait and Stuart Halusz, Jack Thompson and the WAAPA Director Professor Julie Warn. The Chris Edmund Scholarship will support Brune-Franklin by ‘kick-starting’ her acting career, and MasterCard and JFFPA are looking forward to following her journey.

Sam Ahmed, Group Head, Marketing, Asia Pacific, MasterCard, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this scholarship, which provides a talented graduate with vital assistance, as they embark on their acting career. We hope that with this support, they will soon be providing priceless experiences to audiences across Australia, just as Chris’ former students continue to bring joy and delight to millions all over the world.”

About MasterCard
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About JFFPA:
The Jackman Furness Foundation for the Performing Arts (JFFPA), www.JFFPA.com, is a national foundation established by actors Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness to support the performing arts in Australia. The Foundation was launched on 17 May 2014 at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in Perth, where Hugh’s performance journey began. Hugh Jackman graduated from WAAPA in 1994 and since then, in a stellar career, has been entertaining audiences across the world.

The Foundation’s goal is to enable performing arts students to thrive in their art and lives, by supporting the development of their skills, knowledge, courage and awareness, through improving the quality of their educational experience.

The mission of the Foundation is to support the performing arts in Australia and the institutions that train Australia’s wealth of talent. JFFPA is particularly interested in supporting training which recognises, celebrates, develops and nurtures the unique skills and talents of Indigenous performance students.

Follow the announcement on Twitter @edmundscholars

Media Contacts:
Nichola Zed, JFFPA,+61 (0) 499 700 199,  nichola@JFFPA.com
May Ann Chaim, MasterCard, +65 6390 6510, mayann_chiam@mastercard.com
Heather-Ann Cody, Weber Shandwick, +61 2 9994 4414, HCody@webershandwick.com