[Press Release by the AWG]
The Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) congratulates scriptwriter and Australian Writers Foundation President Geoffrey Atherden, who has been made a Member of the Order of Australia as part of the recent Australia Day Honours.
Atherden received the award in recognition of his service to the television industry as a scriptwriter, and to the advancement of writers for performance.
His career began by writing for the Architecture Revues while studying at Sydney University. By 1978 Atherden had stopped practising architecture in order to work exclusively as a writer and was one of the major contributing writers on iconic seventies television phenomenon, The Aunty Jack Show.
His best known television series is the now classic Mother and Son. Atherden has won numerous awards for this exceptional series (starring Garry McDonald and the late Ruth Cracknell) which continues to be shown around the world. His satire, BabaKiueria, was awarded a United Nations Media Peace award and his local government series, Grass Roots won 7 AFI awards.
Atherden has made a hugely significant contribution to the well being and advancement of writers for performance in Australia through his untiring work for, firstly, the Australian Writers’ Guild as President from 1994 to 1998 and more recently as the Chair of the Australian Writers’ Foundation, the charitable arm of the AWG, which he was instrumental in setting up and for which he remains a major driving force.
Through his work for the AWF Atherden has raised more than $1.3 million dedicated to raising the status, recognition and reward for performance writers. This work continues to add immeasurably to the opportunities available to writers for performance in this country