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Hall of Fame has gender imbalance

Ruth Cracknell is the sole female inductee in the Logie Hall of Fame, sitting alongside 23 men and 3 TV shows. Why are our women so overlooked?

Next year when it’s time for nominations for the Logie Hall of Fame award, our industry could do no worse than offer up some female names for consideration.

Just one female is named amongst the list of 23 males and 3 shows (Neighbours, Play School, Four Corners).

That honour went to Ruth Cracknell in 2001.

On Sunday night TV Tonight asked some of our stars what they thought of this anomaly.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley said, “I think it’s great to celebrate everybody in television, when it’s timely. Hall of Fame is for the people who have put in so many years and are perhaps at their twilight.”

Denise Drysdale said, “I’d vote for Hazel Phillips. She won a Logie in 1967.”

Phillips performed in The Mavis Bramston Show and Beauty & the Beast in the 1960s. She last performed in Mortified in 2007. Similarly, Maggie Dence appeared in The Mavis Bramston Show and is still working.

Drysdale politely declined herself for contention saying, “I don’t really think I’ve done enough.”

Amongst other potential candidates TV Tonight would like to see up for industry discussion are:

Noni Hazlehurst, Margaret Pomeranz, Jana Wendt, Judith McGrath, Maggie Tabberer, Julia Blake, Noeline Brown, Jane Turner & Gina Riley, Sandra Levy, Kim Vecera, Posie Graeme-Evans, Patricia Edgar, Penny Chapman…..to name a few.

Prisoner
deserves to be on the list for what it achieved for Australian actresses.

The Hall of Fame award is jury voted following nominations from networks. It’s time our networks diversified their submission lists.

Hall of Fame inductees
* 1984 – Hector Crawford
* 1985 – Ken G. Hall
* 1986 – Neil Davis
* 1987 – Paul Hogan
* 1988 – Bert Newton
* 1989 – Bryan Brown
* 1990 – Johnny Young
* 1991 – James Davern
* 1992 – Four Corners, ABC TV
* 1993 – Reg Grundy
* 1994 – Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell
* 1995 – Jack Thompson
* 1996 – Maurie Fields
* 1997 – Garry McDonald
* 1998 – Graham Kennedy
* 1999 – Mike Walsh
* 2000 – Bruce Gyngell
* 2001 – Ruth Cracknell
* 2002 – Mike Willesee
* 2003 – Don Lane
* 2004 – Sam Chisholm
* 2005 – Neighbours, Network Ten
* 2006 – Play School, ABC TV
* 2007 – Steve Irwin
* 2008 – John Clarke
* 2009 – Bill Collins
* 2010 – Brian Naylor

24 Responses

  1. Jane Turner & Gina Riley in the hall of fame? oh puh-lease!

    and to ‘newtatse’ suggesting “On a far serious note, Hillsong Television deserves to be on the list for what it has achieved for Australian Christianity.”
    What a load of tripe, surley we want to reward those who do good for the industry. not fundamental nutbags

  2. I totally agree that there has been gender bias in the Logies Hall of Fame. Maggie Tabberer has proved with her longevity and consistant evidence of style and talent that she is a worthy recipient….especially as she has retired this year and such an honour would be fitting cap to a great career. Let Hillsong get Christian awards and Australian television practitioners get television awards.

  3. If i had to choose 5 worthy females to be induted into the Hall Of Fame, it would be from he following:
    – Kerri-Anne Kennerley (daytime tv queen)
    – Denise Drysdanle (Variety hosthess)
    – Ann Sanders (seven news newsreader)
    – Sandra Sully (Ten News Newsreader, but no as respected by many)
    – Noni Hazlehusrt (hostess and actress)

  4. Chris is mostly right, the lists that are put in front of juries can be really uninspiring. This is because only the TV networks can nominate people for Hall of Fame – so of course they put up only people they have some sort of relationship with – mostly old blokes. There’s no facility for judges or other industry peers to nominate people/shows for Hall of Fame – in much the same way as the networks have to choose which shows and performers they’ll put forward for nomination in industry categories. Industry categories (and Hall of Fame) would be far more credible if there was an academy of voters rather than tiny groups of judges. And maybe that’d get some women on the list!

  5. My top five women for the Logies HOF:

    -Melody Welsh-Illife: First female newsreader for Nine in Brisbane (possibly even first in Australia), back in 1964 (also introducing the male-female newsreading duo) , and actually received a Logie for that achievement, from her peers.

    -Jackie McDonald: Queensland’s finest daughter, and has won 12 Logies, all for QLD, and is still going in the industry today.

    -Jana Wendt: The best female current affairs reporter in this country (after rising from a newsreading position), and later hosting ACA, as well as winning a Gold Logie, which was unique, as she was the first recipient to be absent on the night of the awards.

    Kerri-Anne Kennerley: approaching fifty years in the business, she grew up around. From GMA to Midday, to “Kerrianne”, she can still handle the heat.

    Denise Drysdale: Well over fifty years in the industry, a dual Gold Logie winner, and a legacy that cannot be matched, as the female second banana, to Ernie Sigley, Hey Hey with Daryl Somers, the mid 90’s IMT revival, with Frankie J Holden, and now being the elder stateswoman for 10’s The Circle.

  6. Can’t believe Prisoner Still hasn’t been inducted.
    One of the few shows where character names like the Freak, Franky, Doreen, Bea and Vinegar tits, live on !
    The induction of Prisoner would also help with the lack of females inducted into the hall of fame.

  7. Wow. I am shocked by this list. Australian television is a deeply misogynistic place. It’s too scary. Where are the female producers and executives who have contributed so much? Pilloried, ignored and overlooked.

  8. I never understood why Home and Away wasn’t inducted a couple years ago. Neighbours was inducted on their 20th year on air, and while perhaps it’s success stories may be a little more obvious, some very famous people got their beginning on H&A and it is still a very successful show.

  9. Great item, David – food for thought. I consider myself somewhat knowledgable on the Australian tv landscape – but wouldn’t consider any of the women listed as deserving of Hall of fame contenders. Longevity and substantial contribution are for me determining factors, and although i have not always liked her – Kerri Anne seems a contender. Jana perhaps.

    Prisoner would, as I have previously said, be a great induction – but is a recogntiion on many ingredients, actresses just one of its achievements. Denise recommends Hazel Phillips – I only just remember her – she left the tv landscape decades ago.

    I would love to see more women in the Hall, i feel that the disproportionate number is a reflection more on the fact that major roles and presenters that endure seem to be more male focused. Ruth Cracknell you might argue is no more worthy than a Rebecca Gibney, Georgie Parker, Clauda Karvan – she was just so much older – but her body of tv work was not that large – but her presence and talent were huge! Judith McGrath should have received more than 1 Logie nomination in her 11 year run in All Saints, and her long runs in Prisoner and A country Practice. But does she have the aura of a Ruth Cracknell – arguable and subjective. I am keen to hear other names and opinions. Thanks for the thread.

  10. Doesn’t it what! And there are plenty of women out there who have done more than the likes of Bill Collins etc. Sure it was time to honour Brian Naylor but we could have just easily have honoured Lyn Bayonas postumously too. This is a symptom of how women are seen in the television industry and how they see themselves! Why don’t Denise Drysdale and KAK think they deserve the honour? They, along with people like Noni, Maggie Dence, Jana Wendt , Lorraine Baylie,Jackie McDonald and Penny Cook have broken through glass ceilings! And Rachel Ward (although not Australian born) has done just as much for Australian television as her husband!!!

  11. I think that the Logies need to be a more industry based awards and need to look more carefully at it’s hall of fame for those that have contributed to the tv medium no matter what network – free to air or pay and respect those with a Hall of Fame who have contributed over many years male or female. Maybe there needs to be a split that we occassionally award a Hall of Fame to a program seperate to the Hall of Fame for someones contibution to the industry no matter in what area. As you mentioned there are people like Penny Chapman there are also people like Peter Faiman but then there are survivors who have entertained us for ever like Kerri Anne but it should not be regarded as those that are in their twighlight years or on death’s door.

    It would be interesting to know who makes the final decision on who gets this award. Better yet, who actually gets to vote on any of the industry awards this program has. Too much fan based not enough industry based. Been respected by peers may open up the programs and people that are nominated instead of the standard home and away/packed to the rafters cast we see rolled out year after year.

  12. Caroline Jones and Geraldine Doogue would be obvious choices.

    On a far serious note, Hillsong Television deserves to be on the list for what it has achieved for Australian Christianity.

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