Wayne Blair

Wayne Blair (born 28 November 1971) is an Aboriginal Australian writer, actor and director, seen most recently on both sides of the camera in Redfern Now. He is also the director of the highly successful feature film The Sapphires.

Wayne Blair
Wayne Blair.jpg
Born (1971-11-28) 28 November 1971 (age 49)
Alma materCQ University
OccupationTelevision and film director, writer, actor

Early lifeEdit

Blair was born in Taree to Julie and Bob Blair. He has two older sisters, Janet and Mandy. Though he was born in Taree, he describes himself as a Batjala, Mununjali, Wakkawakka man.[1]

Bob Blair was a soldier, so the young Wayne moved around. While Blair was still young, his father was posted to Woodside in South Australia, then when Wayne was a teenager his family was sent to Rockhampton. In Rockhampton he excelled at cricket and rugby, then later became interested in acting and dancing at school. Blair had a job as a tour guide at Rockhampton's Dreamtime Cultural Centre, where he was also one of the dancers. He went on to do a marketing degree at CQUniversity Australia, though his elective subjects included Comic Drama and Australian Drama. He briefly went to Sydney to play rugby league for the Canterbury Bulldogs under-21s.[2] After a failed audition for NIDA in 1992, he eventually did a three-year course at the Queensland University of Technology in acting.[3]

Career highlightsEdit

Blair's first recorded on-screen appearance was in a 1997 Australian TV film called The Tower. The following year he appeared on All Saints and Wildside. He has also appeared in Water Rats and Fireflies. 1998 was also the year he was one of the first four film makers to be mentored under the Metro Screen Indigenous Mentor Scheme for which he made a short film called Fade 2 Black. Ten years later he was to become a mentor himself under the same scheme.[4]

Blair starred in the original stage production of Tony Briggs's play, The Sapphires in 2005.[5] This play was later turned into a filmscript to be directed by Blair.

In 2007 he starred as Othello for Bell Shakespeare, a show that toured Australia with stops at Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra as well as other cities. He also directed three episodes of Lockie Leonard with a further four in 2010.

In 2008 Blair directed all thirteen episodes of the Australian children's TV series Double Trouble, about twin Indigenous girls separated at birth. In 2009 he wrote an episode of the second season of The Circuit. 2010 saw Blair direct four episodes of the Australian-British children's supernatural comedy TV series, Dead Gorgeous. He directed British-Jamaican Debbie Tucker Green's play Dirty Butterfly and co-directed the biographical play, Namatjira, with Scott Rankin who also wrote the play, both plays at Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre.[6] He was also chosen in the same year as one of the stars of the Sydney Theatre Company's revival of Sam Shepard's True West, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.[7]

Wayne Blair was awarded the Bob Maza Fellowship for 2011 by Screen Australia to provide opportunities for career development.[8] 2012 was a big year which saw the making of his hit film, The Sapphires, which brought him recognition around the world with a very positive response at Cannes.[2] Later in the year he starred in three episodes of the ABC's TV drama series, Redfern Now and directed another of the episodes. To finish the year Blair was included in Variety Magazine's top ten directors to watch in 2013.[9]



Year Title Credit Role Notes
2020 Rams Lionel
2019 Top End Wedding Director
2018 Emu Runner Jay Jay
2015 Septembers of Shiraz Director
2013 Notes Thanks Short film
The Turning Max
2012 The Sapphires Director
Wish You Were Here Willis
2011 X: Night of Vengeance Bob
The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg
2009 Blessed James Parker
Ralph Writer Short film
2005 The Djarn Djarns Director and Writer Wayne the Compare
2002 Black Talk Director
2001 Mullet James


Year Title Credit Role Notes
2021 Aftertaste Brett ABC Series
2020 Mystery Road – Series 2, Season 2, 3, 4 Director ABC Series
2018 Mystery Road – Series 1 Larry Dime ABC Series
2017 The Letdown Father Whyman ABC Series
Dirty Dancing Director Television film
2013 The Broken Shore Bobby Walshe TV Movie
The Elegant Gentleman's Guide to Knife Fighting Director 3 episodes
The Gods of Wheat Street Mini-series
2 episodes
2012–2013 Redfern Now Director and Writer Aaron Davis Directed 2 episodes
Wrote 1 episode
Acted in 5 episodes
2010 Dead Gorgeous Director 4 episodes
2009 The Circuit Writer Mini-series
1 episode
2008 Double Trouble Director 13 episodes
2007–2010 Lockie Leonard Director and Writer Directed 8 episodes
Wrote 1 episode
2007 Jackie Jackie Koori Salesman TV Movie
2006 Small Claims: The Reunion Det. Lacey
2004 Small Claims Det. Snr. Const. Lacey
Fireflies Wayne Patterson Season 1, Episode 5
2000 Water Rats Ridley Winter Season 5, Episode 25
1998 Wildside Wes Season 1, Episode 34
All Saints Kenny Baxter Season 1, Episode 21
1997 The Tower DJ Dan TV Movie


Blair was nominated for Best Screenplay in a Short Film in 2005, at the AFI Awards for his work on The Djarn Djarns. In 2012, he was nominated for Best Direction for his film, The Sapphires.


  1. ^ "'In the Frame' Wayne Blair". ABC. 10 July 2011. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b Garry Maddox (3 August 2012). "Jewels in the festival crown". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  3. ^ For most of the information in this paragraph: "'In the Frame' Wayne Blair". ABC. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  4. ^ Erin Free (1 June 2008). "Mentoring success". Film Ink. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  5. ^ "From stage to screen". Hopscotch. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Wayne Blair". The Yellow Agency. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  7. ^ Jason Blake (4 November 2010). "Casting adds bite to feuding brothers". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Wayne Blair awarded the 2011 Bob Maza Fellowship". Screen Australia. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  9. ^ Peter Debruge (7 December 2012). "Variety announces 10 Directors to Watch". Variety Magazine. Retrieved 5 January 2013.

External linksEdit