Exclusive: Noni Hazlehurst's call for change

Alicia Vrajlal

It's been two years since her iconic Logies Hall Of Fame speech, in which she advocated for more inclusion and equality in the television industry.

And as the #MeToo movement in Hollywood continues to gain momentum, Noni Hazlehurst is more determined than ever to encourage positive change.

"I’ve been saying this stuff for 30/40 years," the 64-year-old A Place To Call Home star tells Be, adding, "what’s important to me now is that we move forward".

Noni Hazlehurst calls for more inclusion and equality in the TV industry and beyond. Source: Getty

The Australian star says campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp, launched on the back of several sexual assault allegations in Hollywood, are now 'gathering pace' due to the internet.

"The fact that we are getting a platform now through technology and social media to directly connect with people rather than just giving a speech to a small audience, it’s gathering pace," she says.

She also believes women are more aware of their worth in this day and age.

"The fact that we’ve got these platforms now and that they’re resonating is because we know that this is a truth," she explains.

It's been two years since her iconic Logies Hall Of Fame speech, in which she advocated for more inclusion and equality in the television industry. Source: Getty

Like her 2016 Logies acceptance speech conveyed, Noni's message is not just advocating women's equality, but a greater respect for people from different walks of life.

"The world as we see on television is not the world as we live in," the former Play School star tells Be.

"You’re starting to see a few different ethnic varieties come through with ad’s occasionally, but it doesn’t reflect life as we know it and that’s just nonsense.

"You walk around most places in Australia and it’s not the reality [on TV], so inclusion is incredibly important, tolerance is incredibly important ," she continues.

"Connecting with each other and protecting each other is very important because we’re not getting those examples from the top down so we have to do it ourselves."

Two years ago Noni made headlines with her powerful words after being inducted into the Logies Hall Of Fame, and to this day, she uses that speech as an example to demonstrate the divisions in our society.

"When I did the Logies speech and I talked about how appalled I was that there was an encouragement of the view that Waleed Aly and Lee Lin Chin should not be eligible in some way to be nominated for gold," she recounts to Be.

Noni as Elizabeth in Foxtel’s A Place To Call Home Season 5. Source: Nick Wilson

"Again I think there’s this inevitable backlash, whether it’s to Me Too or whether it’s to gun control, there’s always people who are going to be frightened, that they’re somehow going to be compromised in some way if the world doesn’t reflect the way or look the way they want it to look."

"Well sorry, it doesn't and it isn't."

Noni's most recent TV role has been on A Place To Call Home, in which she plays Elizabeth Bligh, the strong matriarch of the Bligh family.

Proud of its "female centric" concept, Noni is looking forward to fans tuning in to the fifth season of the Foxtel series, which will be available on DVD on March 28.

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