One of Australia’s best-loved and most respected actors, Noni Hazlehurst, has been confirmed to deliver the prestigious Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture at the opening session of the SPAA Conference on Wednesday, 14 November at 9:00am at the Sheraton Mirage on the Gold Coast.
‘Noni’s extensive career in all forms of Australian film and television is a tribute to her talent and perseverance. It’s not the easiest industry to work in continuously but Noni has managed to do so for over 32 years. And her influence extends way beyond her acting. Noni has been forthright on the role of Australian children’s television in shaping future generations of Australians. She is a deserving presenter of the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture,’ said Geoff Brown, SPAA Executive Director.
Hazlehurst’s impressive career has encompassed roles in feature film, television, radio and stage as well as writing, directing, presenting, recording, behind the scenes advocacy, public speaking and board membership. She has received numerous awards over this period, including four AFI Awards, two Logies and an AM for services to children’s television.
Hazlehurst made her performing début singing on the television talent quest New Faces in the early 70s. She won her heat. She went on to receive a BA majoring in Drama from Flinders University and immediately won guest roles on a number of Crawford Productions. In 1975 she was cast as a regular in their top rating adult drama, The Box. But it was as Lil Duggan, in Crawford’s long running series The Sullivans, that she made her mark with the Australian public.
During the 80s Hazlehurst had lead roles in many of the decade’s most outstanding television dramas, such as The Shiralee, Naked Under Capricorn, Nancy Wake and Waterfront. She also appeared in the feature films Fran and the iconic Monkey Grip, winning Best Actress AFI awards for her performances. In 1985 she directed a feature-length telemovie for the ABC, The Fish are Safe, for which she received an AFI nomination for Best Direction of a Telemovie.
Hazlehurst has played numerous roles on stage for Belvoir St and the STC in particular, including leading roles in Woman in Mind, Breath of Life, Navigating, The Man from Muckinupin and No Names, No Pack Drill.
Hazlehurst hosted and wrote for Better Homes and Gardens for 10 years, during which time the program won five Logie Awards. More recently she has appeared in the ABC telemovies Stepfather of the Bride and Curtin, and on film in Candy and Little Fish, for which she was awarded an AFI for Best Supporting Actress. She can currently be seen in Seven’s new police drama, City Homicide.
Aside from her distinguished dramatic roles, Hazlehurst is closely identified with the ABC’s longest running children’s series, Play School. She has been a member of the team for over 25 years, not only appearing in hundreds of episodes, but also performing in countless Play School concerts and writing a number of the series’ scripts.
Hazlehurst’s commitment to the Australian industry has seen her serve on a number of boards, including Film Australia, Belvoir Street and FLIC. She has been equally committed to the rights and well-being of children, and has acted as patron for organisations such as the Australian Theatre of the Deaf, The National Playgroup Association and Jannawi Family Protection Centre. Hazlehurst has been the National Ambassador for Barnardo’s for four years, the government initiative NETALERT, and for Children’s Week from 1994 to 2004. Earlier this year, Flinders University bestowed an Honorary PhD in recognition of her artistic achievements.
Noni Hazlehurst not only began her career at Hector Crawford’s renowned production company, but she shares with him a deep and enduring commitment to the local industry. Previous Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture speakers have included Noel Pearson, Hilary McPhee, Harold Mitchell, Dare Jennings, Sandra Levy and Peter Garrett.