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FOXTEL and AFTRS today announced Trudi Houston Refshauge as the recipient of this year’s $20,000 Foxtel Screenwriting Scholarship for Diverse and Under-represented Students.

The scholarship has been awarded over the past three years to develop Australian screenwriting talent, with a focus on diversity.

Trudi Houston Refshauge lives and works from a cattle property in regional NSW and is, by her own definition, as a regional woman in her 50s, from a group underrepresented in the screen industry.

The Scholarship will enable her to complete the AFTRS Master of Arts Screen: Screenwriting.

Trudi commenced her Masters this year and she may also have the opportunity to undertake a work attachment at Foxtel.

While working on her family’s property at Woodstock in the Central West of NSW, Trudi has also focused on developing her writing skills. She won the Banjo Patterson Short Story Writers Competition and was lauded by her lecturers as one of the best online students they had taught when completing an AFTRS Open screenwriting course.

The purpose of the Foxtel Screenwriting Scholarship for Diverse and Under-represented Students is to expand and enrich AFTRS’ student community by recognising and supporting an outstanding Master of Arts Screen: Screenwriting student, selected on the basis of merit from eligible students from diverse cultural, ethnic or socioeconomic backgrounds, or from otherwise underrepresented minority groups.

Carly Heaton, Foxtel’s Executive in charge of drama production, said, “Foxtel believes that building a thriving and vibrant media, arts and film environment in Australia demands investing in a rich diversity of talented Australians drawn from every corner of every community. Through our relationship with AFTRS, we are able to expand that diversity and support a new generation of screenwriters through the Foxtel Screenwriting Scholarship for Diverse and Under-represented Students. We are delighted to award Trudi with this year’s scholarship and look forward to seeing her talents grow.”

Nell Greenwood, AFTRS Director of Curriculum and Student Registrar said, “Trudi shows exceptional writing talent and, with her wealth of life experience, she is keen to write stories for more mature female audiences and to offer perspectives that represent both regional and rural Australia.”