Waleed Aly cleaned up last night at the annual Logie Awards by winning the Silver Logie for Best Presenter and taking home the prestigious Gold Logie for his work on The Project.
He made headlines for his powerful and moving Gold Logie acceptance speech, which in Aly’s classic presenting style, addressed important issues, particularly highlighting Australia’s diversity, with humour and intelligence.
“This is happening,” said Aly.
“Finally a male presenter on commercial TV has won the Gold Logie!” he joked.
On a more serious note, he went on to acknowledge his fellow nominees and talk about the picture that they give of a diverse Australia.
“I think it’s really important to celebrate the extraordinary talents, contributions and achievements of my fellow nominees tonight,” said Aly. “Each nominee brilliantly distills some separate piece of Australia, and I think it’s a fantastic thing that that can be a symbol on this night in this way.
“If you step back and look at all those pieces assembled, it is a truly spectacular mosaic, and we should really be celebrating that fact.”
He also gave a heart-warming thanks to his wife, who had supported him along the way and who he even believed would have his job if she were in that field.
“Anyone who knows her knows that she changes you and she makes people better. They don’t give statuettes to people like that, but one day they might just give her a statue.”
Finally, he closed the speech by telling a heartbreaking story of a friend in the media industry that had told him how important it was that Waleed Aly won the award.
“Someone in this room came up to me, introduced themselves, and said to me: ‘I really hope you win. My name’s Mustafa… but I can’t use that name because I won’t get a job'” explained Aly.
“If tonight means anything, it’s that the Australian public, as far as they’re concerned… there’s absolutely no reason why that can’t change.”
Well deserved, Waleed!
You can watch the full speech here: