There was a lot of love for SBS programming at the 60th annual Logie Awards last night, with Little J & Big Cuz and Safe Harbour's Hazem Shammas going home as major award winners.
NITV won its first ever TV Week Logie, for Little J & Big Cuz in the Most Outstanding Children's Program category. The series is the first ever animated TV series to focus on indigenous Australian culture.
The show features the voices of some of the country’s most prominent Indigenous talent, Miranda Tapsell, (Little J) Deborah Mailman (Big Cuz), Aaron Fa’Aoso (Old Dog) and Ningali Lawford-Wolf (Nanna); The show follows five year old Little J and his cousin, nine-year old Big Cuz, as they explore themes of Indigenous identity, connection to country, traditional knowledge and cultural practices.
"This is so incredible. this is the first contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander animated series," Tapsell said, in accepting the award. "We are just so excited for it to be recognised, for the important role that it plays in children's television, for our mob and for all of you too."
Watch Little J & Big Cuz
In another major victory for SBS, Hazem Shammas won the award for Most Outstanding Supporting Actor for his unforgettable turn in Safe Harbour. The new father confessed to being "slightly distracted this evening”, as he took tot he stage to accept his award.
“I want to take a quick moment to just send a thank you to my beautiful family," Shammas began. "We’ve just welcomed a brand new baby boy into the world. He’s about nine weeks premature and while my heart is there, I wanted to send my thank yous to the amazing nurses at the NICU ward at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Randwick. You guys are the real heroes, thank you.”
Shammas thanked his wife for her support, and then spoke of the themes addressed in the provocative drama. As a Palestinian-born Australian with parents who moved to Australia in search of a better life, Shammas praised the show's ability to tackle divisive social issues.
[It’s] the fragility and the preciousness of life that makes me realise now how amazing something like ‘Safe Harbour’ is,” Mr Shammas said.