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The scholarship is open to any emerging Australian actor, offering the opportunity to further their career internationally with professional development opportunities in the United States, and provides over $20,000 in prizes for the winner. 

Applications are now open and will be available until April 21, 2015. The winning recipient will be announced at a special Heath Ledger Scholarship dinner in Los Angeles in early June, 2015, with the winner in attendance. 

Please view the Rules and Regulations before applying

Check out what Heath Ledger Scholarship winners Cody Fern, James Mackay and Anna McGahan, and recent runner up, Charlotte Best, have to say about the scholarship: 


Established in 2008 in memory of Australian actor Heath Ledger, who served as an ambassador for the organization, the scholarship includes a return flight to Los Angeles on Virgin Australia, a 7-day California trip from Visit California, a two year scholarship to attend acting classes at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre in Los Angeles, $5,000 worth of visa and immigration services from Raynor & Associates U.S. Immigration Lawyers, a complimentary lifetime membership to StarNow, and $10,000 cash, affording talented young Aussies the opportunity to establish themselves in the heart of the entertainment industry, and reach an international audience.

Two runners up will also receive return flights to Los Angeles on Virgin Australia, and new for 2015, a scholarship to attend Masterclasses at Screenwise Film & TV School for actors in Sydney.

Kim Ledger, Heath’s father and Patron of the Heath Ledger Scholarship program said, “On behalf of Heath’s family we wish to formally invite applications for participation in the HLS for 2015 and welcome aspiring young actors to potentially expose their skills to the film industry in Los Angeles, USA."

"I have been privileged to spend time with last year’s wonderful recipient Cody Fern and learn of his amazing new journey and wish the winner this year, a similar experience," Ledger added.

Previous Recipients

Previous recipients of the scholarship include Cody Fern (The Last Time I Saw Richard), James Mackay (The Dressmaker, The Tomorrow People), Anna McGahan (Anzac Girls, House Husbands), Ryan Corr (The Water Diviner, Wolf Creek 2), Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows, The Rewrite) and Oliver Ackland (Party Tricks, Blinder).


Benefactors to the program include the Ledger family, Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Alex O'Loughlin, Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Phil Noyce and Baz Luhrmann.

Cody Fern

Winner of the scholarship last year, Cody Fern stated, "The opportunities and support offered through the Heath Ledger Scholarship have been truly life changing, the benefits of which continue to have a profound impact on both my personal and professional life. It has been a privilege and a great honour to be part of such an incredible legacy and I cannot thank Australians in Film and the Ledger family enough."


Australians in Film (AiF) have garnered a stellar line up of judges to award this year’s AiF Heath Ledger Scholarship created to foster the education and career development of young Australian actors within the United States.

Participating on the judging panel are Australian actors Rose Byrne (Damages, The Internship, Neighbors) and Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Dark Knight Rises), American actor, writer and producer Vince Vaughn (True Detective, The Internship, The Break-Up), executive producer Adam Schroeder (Zoolander, Sleepy Hollow, Clueless), directors Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here, By Way of Helena) and Gregor Jordan (Ned Kelly, Two Hands), Australian-based casting director, Ann Fay (Anzac Girls, Packed to the Rafters) and Emmy award winning casting director, Laray Mayfield (Fight Club, Gone Girl, House of Cards, The Social Network).

Some past judges have included actors Colin FarrellMiranda OttoJude LawRachel Griffiths and Wes Bentley, director Catherine Hardwicke, Head of Casting at Dreamworks, Leslee Feldman, manager Will Ward, casting director Nikki Barrett, talent agent Steve Alexander, Vice President of Feature Casting at Walt Disney Studios, Randi Hiller and Warner Bros. President of Production, Greg Silverman.

A message from our President

Australians in Film President, Simonne Overend, said, “The scholarship is made possible thanks to the continued support and commitment from the Ledger family and repeat sponsors, especially Virgin Australia, Visit California, Screenwise, Ausfilm and Stella Adler Acting Academy. Any emerging Aussie actor may apply and we look forward to helping the winner and runners up realise their dreams by equipping them with tools to try and break a notoriously competitive international market."

Before you apply:

 Read the rules and regulations

How to apply

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Apply for the 2015 Heath Ledger Scholarship for emerging actors

Australians in Film 2015 Heath Ledger Scholarship

Presenting Sponsors

AiF's Agency of Record

Distinguished Sponsors


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Australians in Film
Raleigh Studios
5300 Melrose Avenue
Suite #649
Hollywood, CA 90038

Phone: 310 452 5939
Fax: 323 446 8724



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