Charmaine Bingwa – 2019 winner
The 2019 winner of the HLS, the Australian-Zimbabwean, West Australian-born Bingwa created her own award-winning series Little Sista. But it was watching Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance in Brokeback Mountain (2005) that left a significant personal impact on the talented star.
“It’s a real honour – to have my name associated with Heath’s is incredible. When I saw him in Brokeback Mountain all those years ago, his performance was just so profound. He had said he wanted the character to be so imbued with pain … and seeing the character so vividly portraying a life not fully lived inspired me to come out as gay and to have the confidence to fully live my life. It just really inspired me to be myself and to go after my dreams and [showed me] that it’s okay for me to love whoever I want to love and that risk is better than to live a life not fulfilled.
“The current issues at the moment with reflecting diversity on screen is really personal to me – as a female, as a person of colour, as a person who is outwardly gay, it’s quite a challenge when you don’t see your story reflected on screen. That’s one of the things that drives me … The most powerful currency you have is the impact you have on other people, and I think Heath epitomises that.”