Speakers Profile - Shane Jacobson

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Shane Jacobson is one of the busiest actors and presenters in Australia.

Best known for his work in film, television and theatre, he's also a song and dance man, author, screen writer, creative director, producer, executive producer, motorsport enthusiast, father of four, MC and an ambassador for many worthy organisations and charities.

Performing has always been an important part of Shane’s life. It all began in amateur theatre at the age of 10 and he hasn’t stopped since. His quick wit and gift for characterisation cemented his early success, with gigs in stand-up comedy, as a TV audience “warm-up guy” and as radio character “Sergio” leading on to an impressive list of appearances in music videos, TV commercials and short films.

But it was his role as the character Kenny Smyth in 2006 that brought him wide recognition both at home and internationally. Shane won a string of awards for Kenny, including the prestigious AFI Award for Best Actor and, together with his brother and director CLAYTON JACOBSON, the 2006 IF Awards for Best Feature Film and Best Script and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Original Screenplay. Kenny wasn’t just a critical success – it grossed almost $8 million at the Australian box office, making it the highest grossing Australian film in three years, and also became the highest selling Australian DVD release ever.

Kenny opened the door on Shane’s feature film career and his subsequent credits include Newcastle (2008), Cactus (2008) with BRYAN BROWN, Charlie & Boots (2009) with PAUL HOGAN, the animated Santa’s Apprentice (2010) as the voice of Santa, Surviving Georgia (2011) with PIA MIRANDA and HOLLY VALANCE, Hollywood blockbuster The Bourne Legacy (2012) with JEREMY RENNER, RACHEL WEISZ and EDWARD NORTON, the hugely popular Oddball (2015) with SARAH SNOOK, ALAN TUDYK and DEBORAH MAILMAN, and the highly acclaimed The Dressmaker (2015) with KATE WINSLET, JUDY DAVIS, LIAM HEMSWORTH and HUGO WEAVING.

Shane’s stage career has been just as successful. The role of ‘Nicely Nicely’ in the 2008 revival of the musical Guys and Dolls with LISA McCUNE, IAN STENLAKE, MARINA PRIOR, GARRY McDONALD and MAGDA SZUBANSKI, earned Shane a Helpmann Award for Best Male in a Supporting Role, and he's entertained thousands of theatre goers with roles in The Drowsy Chaperone (2010) with GEOFFREY RUSH, ROBYN NEVIN and RHONDA BURCHMORE, QI Live (2011) with STEPHEN FRY, 8 The Play (2012) with RACHEL GRIFFITHS, Shane Warne – The Musical (2013) with EDDIE PERFECT and LISA McCUNE, and Mother & Son (2014) with NOELINE BROWN and DARREN GILSHENAN.

His TV appearances have been numerous and varied. From host and presenter of the Australian Film Institute Awards (2010), Top Gear Australia (2010, 2011), The Great Australian Bake Off (2013) and The Logies (2015), to starring turns in telemovies Beaconsfield (2012) with LACHY HULME, The Mystery of the Hansom Cab (2012) with JOHN WATERS and Jack Irish (2012, 2013) with GUY PEARCE and BARRY HUMPHRIES, to roles in TV series like Kenny’s World (2007), The Time of Our Lives (2012, 2014), Fat Tony & Co (2014), Open Slather (2015) and Jack Irish (2016).

Shane can, and does, turn his hand to just about anything. As an author he has penned automotive pieces for Drive and his 2014 autobiography The Long Road to Overnight Success became an instant hit and number 1 bestseller. As a producer he’s brought shows like Rock Soldiers (2011) and Hangin’ with Hoges (2014) to the screen. He’s been seen hosting events and programs like the Australian Motoring Festival, Top Gear Live, Friday Night Crack Up, The Living Room and Manspace, for which he is also the Executive Producer. As a singer he’s a regular guest at the annual Carols by Candlelight and fronted 2015’s sellout show A Night Out with Shane Jacobson and The Melbourne Ska Orchestra.

Amongst this incredible body of work Shane has always found time for people and causes close to his heart. He is, or has been, the patron or ambassador for HeartKids Australia, Scouts Victoria, Indian Motorcycles, Docklands Film Studios, Polaris Offroad Vehicles, Australian Side by Side Racing Championships, HMAS Canberra, Get Reading, Entertainment Assist, The Mirabel Foundation, Variety and Parkinson’s Victoria.