Every year I live in hope the Logies will add another female to the roll call. Every year I seem to be disappointed on that front.
Of the 30 honourees, we have 26 men, 3 shows and 1 female: Ruth Cracknell.
I suspect the honour won’t go to the wonderful Wendy Hughes if only because the decision has probably already been made by now. Note that last year it did not go to Peter Harvey, who passed away in early March, but to Brian Henderson.
I’ve decided to write on the topic now, so I am not seen as raining on the parade of whoever is inducted this year.
To win the honour, a name must be forwarded by a network.
The three shows inducted are Play School, Neighbours and Four Corners. No sign of Countdown, Prisoner or 60 Minutes. But a show has not been inducted since 2006, so it appears to be out of fashion.
Logies has also not inducted someone from behind the scenes since 2004 (Sam Chisholm) so I don’t fancy the chances of a writer (where is Reg Watson please?), director, producer or an exec. Foxtel also has no specific representation after nearly 20 years (Bill Collins is there but he has shared history).
I do think it’s pretty shameful that Daryl Somers isn’t there. Say what you like about his presenting style (I may even agree with some of your points), but for his contribution and body of work, Dazza really deserves to be there.
But it’s the gender imbalance I really can’t agree with. Are we seriously suggesting women have made such a minute contribution to television? Even sticking only with Logies preference for personalities, where are Jana Wendt, Judi Farr, Sigrid Thornton, Jacki Weaver, Maggie Tabberer, Noeline Brown, Caroline Jones, Maggie Dence and, yes, Wendy Hughes? I also wouldn’t argue with Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Denise Drysdale -both TV survivors.
Drysdale once told me she would give the honour to veteran Hazel Phillips.
But the one I would induct is Noni Hazlehurst.
Her acting credits extend all the way back to The Box in 1974, and include Matlock Police, Homicide, Division 4, The Sullivans, Waterfront, The Shiralee, Nancy Wake, Waiting at the Royal, Stepfather of the Bride, City Homicide, A Place to Call Home, The Broken Shore and Redfern Now.
Many of us grew up with her as a presenter on Play School with which she was associated with for 23 years. She also kicked off Better Homes and Gardens in 1995, continuing for 10 years.
But it is her advocacy work for children’s television behind the scenes that seals her as a choice for me. In 1995, she received an Order of Australia for services to children and children’s television.
Some years ago she told me, “…because I had such good teachers at Play School, they made me realise how important it was to have age-appropriate entertainment for children, and what a wasteland the media is generally for children who are of pre-school age.
“They are the most critical years of a child’s life on every level. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. It gave me an incredible focus on abuse in all its forms.”
Her advocacy extends beyond television to serving on a number of boards, including Film Australia, Belvoir Street and FLIC, acting as patron for organisations such as the Australian Theatre of the Deaf, The National Playgroup Association and Jannawi Family Protection Centre and serving as National Ambassador to Barnados Australia.
While Hazlehurst has a hit series in A Place to Call Home, the signs are ripe for TV Week to make the call.
That’s my vote, were I allowed to make one.
Who would you like to see inducted in 2014?