Academy Award winner comes to Warrnambool

IT isn't often that an Academy Award winner comes to dinner in Warrnambool much less one at a high school filled with hundreds of students and parents.

But in a major coup, Emmanuel College has tagged Australian Academy Award-winning director Adam Elliot as a key note speaker for the evening of inspiration alumni dinner.

Emmanuel College principal Philip Morrison said excitement was building in the lead-up to the appearance by the critically-acclaimed independent filmmaker, who received an Oscar for his 2003 animated short film Harvey Krumpet.

"I'm really looking forward to hearing his story he's always happy to be out there and interacting," Mr Morrison said.

"I can't remember the last time we had an Academy Award winner in Warrnambool."

Elliot, from Melbourne, shot to fame in 2004 after claiming the Oscar for his stop motion animation.

The Academy Award winner will arrive in Warrnambool next month to offer an animated insight into life and success.

Previous speakers at the annual college event have included former Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland and alumni comedian Dave Hughes.

The filmmaker will also share the floor with six Emmanuel College alumni, including Australian army Sergeant Sean Lanigan, a recipient of the medal for gallantry for his courage under fire in Afghanistan.

The medal is the second highest military award.

While the event is open to the public, Mr Morrison hoped the high calibre of speakers would inspire students.

Other alumni speaking throughout the evening include former Warrnambool City Council mayor David Atkinson OAM, performer Gorgi Coghlan, Mind Australia director Judith Earles, Sinclair and Wilson partner Felicity Melican, and Geelong Falcons manager Michael Turner.

Despite the appearance of the high-profile filmmaker, Mr Morrison said the evening was also about highlighting the work of local alumni in the south-west.

"It doesn't mean that they are better than anyone else, they're ordinary people who have gone on to do extraordinary things," Mr Morrison said. "We try to get a balance of genders across a whole range of areas ultimately this is about trying to get our students inspired.

"I think it's a very worthwhile experience."

The Emmanuel College Evening of Inspiration will be held at the junior campus hall on November 10. Reservations for the public event can be made though www.trybooking.com

s.mccomish@standard.fairfax.com.au

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