Australian Biography: David Williamson


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2008, 26 Minutes. Exempt from classification.

David Williamson is Australia’s most successful and prolific playwright.

Born in Melbourne in 1942, writer David Williamson studied mechanical engineering, then lectured in thermodynamics and studied social psychology before discarding academic life.
After his early successes in Melbourne, he moved to Sydney and rose to prominence in the 1970s, becoming Australia’s most successful playwright. For 35 years, audiences have flocked to theatres and cinemas to see his depiction of contemporary Australian life. David’s prolific work encompasses film, television and the theatre and focuses on themes of politics, loyalty and family in contemporary urban Australia.
After writing a play every year for 35 years, in 2005, he announced his retirement from main-stage productions. He was recently instrumental in the founding of a cultural festival in Noosa, Queensland, where he now spends most of his time.
In this interview he describes the journey from engineer to teacher to playwright, his obsession with writing, the themes and ideas which fascinate him and the way in which he draws on life for his stories and characters.

A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Free Teachers’ Notes - Download here

NB The Australian Biography series (1-11) are only available for sale within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.


Director: Rod Freedman

Year: 2008

Running Time: 26 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum links: English; Drama; Media; History; Theatre and Performance Studies; SOSE/HSIE and Writing for Performance.


Voices on the Page

SKU 200600501
Brand Film Australia

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