Monday 06 March 2017

Ivanhoe graduate wins an Oscar for best sound mixing

Late last week Alumni Coordinator, Elise Dunstan, caught up with Merilyn Mackenzie-Knapp, about her son Robert Mackenzie winning an Oscar. Merilyn, dressed appropriately all in gold, told the most beautiful story.

Watching her son on stage win an Oscar for his work in Mel Gibson’s film, Hacksaw Ridge, was a dream come true for Merilyn. Her son Robert, who graduated from Ivanhoe in 1993, worked hard to succeed in a tough industry. Merilyn spoke of Robert being fascinated by the rhythm of music and sound from a young age. She recalled picking Robert up from childcare when he was little, where he would often appear with a mechanical music box tucked under his arm, so she went out and bought him one of his own, which played ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing (in perfect harmony). Robert loved the drums when he was at primary school, but Merilyn wanted him to learn to read music first, so he played the trombone before taking up the drums in Year 7. This lead to him starting a band a few years later, Afterglow, and they recorded a CD. Merilyn remembers an amazing school drum performance in which Robert and three others started to play one after the other in sequence. “It was a magnificent concert.”, she says.

After completing Year 12, Robert completed a sound engineering course, worked for a touring company and rigged sound for conferences before scoring a job with Roger Savage’s Soundfirm. Robert now freelances and has worked on many popular films including Moulin Rouge, Animal Kingdom and Lion. Merilyn says it has been a long road full of hard work and dedication, and watching Robert accept his Oscar on TV made it all worthwhile. She is over the moon and she said Robert is “pretty chuffed”.

Congratulations again to Robert Mackenzie on such an amazing achievement.