Trailblazer Award

Trailblazer Award

The AACTA Trailblazer Award highlights the achievements, abilities and successes of an Australian screen practitioner who inspires other with their portfolio of work.

First awarded to Rose Byrne at the 4th AACTA Awards in January 2015, the Award recognises the multi-disciplinary achievements of talented individuals, acknowledging their valuable contribution to promoting Australian screen excellence, both in Australia and abroad.

The AACTA Trailblazer Award is a discretionary award and is determined by the AFI | AACTA Board and President.

Isla Fisher - Trailblazer Award

6th AACTA Awards Presented by Foxtel

Australian actress Isla Fisher received the AACTA Trailblazer Award at the 6th AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel in Sydney on Wednesday 7 December 2016.

An AACTA Award and Logie nominated performer, Isla’s career spans film, television and stage around the globe. The self-described ‘comic-actress’, who is a strong advocate for comedic roles for women in Hollywood, is also an acclaimed dramatic actress and a successful author.

AFI | AACTA CEO, Damian Trewhella said:

“From her breakout roles in Home and Away and the international comedy Wedding Crashers to her critically acclaimed dramatic performances in The Great Gatsby and Nocturnal Animals, Isla has carved a diverse career we hope serves as an inspiration to other Australian performers.

We also recognise Isla’s influential role as a champion for female comic actresses – a cause she has advocated for over a decade and which marries with one of AACTA’s most important aims – to foster talented Australian screen practitioners who serve to mentor and inspire the next generation of Australians to pursue their craft to its full potential.”

Of the honour, Isla Fisher said:

“I’m so honoured to be recognised by the Australian Academy and my Australian peers as a trailblazer in film and television. That I am considered among those Australians who are inspiring the next generation of talent is a true honour. I’m looking forward to coming back to Sydney to accept the AACTA Trailblazer Award.”



Following roles in Australian TV series’ BAY COVE and PARADISE BEACH, Isla’s breakout role came in 1994 when she joined the cast of HOME AND AWAY as Shannon Reed. The role earned her a Silver Logie nomination for Most Popular Actress, and saw her appear alongside other up-and-coming Australian actors at the time including Melissa George, Heath Ledger, Kate Ritchie and Rachael Blake.

After leaving HOME AND AWAY in 1997, Isla went to study clown, mime and commedia dell’arte at L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She went on to appear in a number of stage productions, including the London Theatre production of Cosi and the musical Summer Holiday, alongside Darren Day.

Following roles in SCOOBY DOO (2002) and I HEART HUCKABEES (2004), her breakout Hollywood role came in American romantic comedy, WEDDING CRASHERS (2005) – for which she won the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance.

Isla went on to become a leading comedy actress in Hollywood, with international comedy hits including HOT ROD (2007), DEFINITELY, MAYBE (2008), CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC (2009), RANGO (2011), BACHELORETTE (2012), ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (2013) and THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY (2016), alongside her husband Sasha Baron Cohen.

Though predominately known for her comedy roles, Isla is also an acclaimed dramatic actress. She received an AACTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in THE GREAT GATSBY (2013), and was praised by critics for her performances in NOW YOU SEE ME (2013) and Tom Ford thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (2016), which won the Jury Grand Prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Isla is also an accomplished author, having published two teen novels with her mother at just 18: Bewitched and Seduced by Fame. She has co-written two scripts with Amy Poehler and her first children’s book, Marge in Charge, was released earlier this year.