The road to Waleed Aly’s phenomenally dignified speech at the Logies was a long and arduous one.
We have had to tolerate a lot of bad writing, delivered by people with no discernible comedic abilities, to get to what was perhaps the most anticipated Logie moment in recent history. We are Australians, so we never take our achievements seriously.
The Logies, and every other entertainment industry award, are routinely derided and undermined, because we are unable to believe in our talents. It is not only the tall poppy syndrome that rears its head at each of these occasions but also, we simply cannot ever believe that Aussies could be anywhere near as good as Hollywood, or our founding/invading fathers in Europe.
Author Suzy Wrong. Image source: supplied.
We have to stop cutting each other down. We have to learn to honour Australians in all industries the way we celebrate our sporting heroes. If we want our nation to progress in order that all of us may fulfill the greatest of our potentials, we have to encourage each other in the most enthusiastic ways possible, and we have to create role models so that our children can see what they could one day achieve.
"I think it's fair to say that I never anticipated that I'd win a Logie, not in a sort of, I thought I'd fall short kind of way... I couldn't conceive of this happening," Aly confessed during his speech.
Photo source: 9News
Waleed Aly, the most high-profile Muslim Australian man, winning this year's Gold Logie is exceptionally meaningful because our society is fractured, and we need symbols to show us that we can be better. We need to know that we value each Australian for their contribution, and acknowledge that we all have a part to play in making everyone's lives better on this fair land.
In Australia, we are uncomfortable associating success stories with religion, but Aly's faith is hugely relevant, because it is undeniable that we have all made Islam a big issue in how we talk about the way we live today. For the bigots among us who get a kick out of demonising all Muslims, Aly's sensational win drives home the fact that some of our best brains and biggest talents are indeed Muslim, and we have to remove the ceilings of discrimination imposed upon them. For all people of colour, who have had to whitewash our identities to get ahead in life, Aly's win is evidence that things will get better.