23 JANUARY 2009

Speaking on the Australian beach where a year ago they bade farewell to their beloved brother with a wake, Heath Ledger's sisters expressed their pride in the actor's Oscar nomination for Batman flick The Dark Knight.

The family, led by his big sister Kate and half sisters, Ashleigh and Olivia, gathered on Thursday in one of the actor's favourite spots, Cottesloe Beach in Perth, to honour his memory.

"Although we would love to have him here with us, we are so proud and so excited on his behalf," said Ashleigh.

She added: "We will take this opportunity today to honour his wonderful life and take comfort in knowing Heath will continue to touch future generations through this amazing art form. What a wonderful legacy he's left for (us)."

They also had warm words for Michelle Williams, Heath's former fiancée and the mother of his daughter, three-year-old Mathilda. "She's doing an amazing job with 'our girl'," said Kate

Photo: Getty Images
A year after his death on January 22, The Dark Knight actor's family, led by sisters Kate (centre) and Ashleigh (centre left), gathered to remember his memory - speaking of their pride in his best supporting actor Oscar nod
The talented Australian is a favourite for the gong following his posthumous win at the Golden Globes and his Bafta and the Screen Actors Guild nominations