Kerry O’Brien has used his Logies Hall of Fame induction speech to call out a lack of progress on reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, describing it as a “glaring gap in this nation’s story”.
The veteran ABC journalist said Australians were “mostly ignorant” of the country’s rich and ancient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
He called out the “awful racism” driving the soaring Indigenous prison population, before urging politicians to take action on the Uluru Statement From the Heart.
“We all have an opportunity together in this term of the federal parliament to make a genuine effort to understand and support what is embodied in the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Uluru statement represents no threat to any individual in any corner of this country and certainly no threat to the integrity of parliament. And if you are told that, don’t you believe it.
“On the contrary, it will add much to the integrity of our nation.
“We like to be seen as one nation made up of many parts. Now it is time to prove it.”
The speech came on a night when First Nations actors, producers and directors were well-represented on the red carpet.
Deborah Mailman took out most popular actress, while ABC series Mystery Road starring Mailman, Aaron Pedersen and Wayne Blair got the gong for most popular drama program.
Mystery Road director Rachel Perkins said it was heartening to see mainstream audiences embrace a show with an Indigenous storyline at its heart.
"We think that people aren’t up for shows that comment on Australia or really scratch the surface, and Mystery Road did that but it just shows you that Australians are out there - they’re smart, they’re interested and they’ll embrace a show if it’s good quality," she told said.
Ms Perkins said the win was a "great endorsement" of Australian screen funding bodies' commitment to investing in Indigenous talent.
Foxtel prison saga Wentworth snagged the most outstanding drama series award.
SBS took home most outstanding sports coverage for its 2018 World Cup broadcast, while NITV’s Grace Beside Me was nominated for the second year running for most outstanding children’s program, but lost out to the ABC’s Bluey.
Tom Gleeson won the Gold Logie after a controversial mock campaign that included attack ads aimed at his opponents.
"There has been a lot of concern that I'm turning this award into a joke. But what you are forgetting is I'm a comedian. I love jokes," said the ABC star in an acceptance speech that received a mixed reception from the audience.