The Story of the Statuette
When the Australian Film Institute (AFI) took the significant step of establishing the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) in 2011, it also recognised the need for a new statuette - a striking piece which would suitably reflect the highest accolade awarded for screen excellence in Australia; an AACTA Award.
At the heart of the design was the need to create a statuette which was distinguished and timeless, reflecting the prestige and heritage of the Awards (which date back to 1953 under the AFI), but which was above all distinctly Australian.
The design also stipulated that the statuette must incorporate the shape of the Southern Cross constellation - a series of five stars visible only from the Southern Hemisphere. Given its navigational function, the Southern Cross has been associated with Australia from its earliest days.
Based on another important design brief - the need to reflect the human spirit celebrated by the AACTA Awards - the vision was to craft a human silhouette based on the shape of the Southern Cross constellation.
Having received many impressive interpretations of the design from some of Australia's leading artists and sculptures, one concept clearly best reflected the design brief - that submitted by the multi-award winning sculptor, Ron Gomboc.
Adding to its distinctly Australian nature, the statuette has in part been crafted from Australian tiger iron, a gemstone which is mined in Western Australia and which captures the colours of the Australian Outback.
Utilising an Australian gemstone for the base of the Award statuette also reflects the 'home grown' talent of AACTA Award honorees, and each piece of tiger iron will be individually cut, reflecting the unique talent and contribution to the industry of every AACTA Award recipient.
The body of the statuette is cast in 22 karat gold, reflecting the glamour and prestige of the AACTA Awards.
The new statuette will make its debut at the inaugural AACTA Awards in January 2012.