When I finished high school in Sydney I decided to spend my summer vacation in central Australia helping to build houses in two communities there and if not for the urging of my father I might still be there.
I was captivated by the land and the people and felt so comfortable up there and actually spoke to my father about not coming back and forgoing the chance of university and spending my life on the land. Luckily he talked me into the taking up my place and from there; I discovered my love of performing.
During the filming of Australia in 2009, I was lucky enough to spend months in the Kimberley region with my family and it had a profound impact on us all. Particularly with my son Oscar. We were able to camp out for days, Oscar attended a local school during the day while I was filming and then at night we would sit around the camp fire with the local Indigenous families from the region who were also working on the film. It is an experience that Oscar and I will cherish and which taught us so much about their culture and connection to the land.
By Hollywood star and proud Australian, Hugh Jackman.