Indigenous Australian stories told through local film and television productions have been duly recognised at the 60th AACTA and AFI Awards, with Sweet Country taking out six awards in total and the top prize for Best Film.
Warwick Thornton won Best Direction for the film which he shot in just 22 days using mostly locals from Alice Springs, while starring actor Hamilton Morris took out Best Lead Actor.
Taking aim at the political climate in Australia Thornton wore a blue ribbon at the Sydney ceremony in support of the children detained on Manus Island and Nauru.
"Justice isn't served until we grow up as a country," Thornton said during his acceptance speech.
"My family have been looking after boat people for 200 years, why are we doing this again."
"Why is society being so childish."
Aaron Pedersen star of television series Mystery Road - which took out three awards on the night - said he was pleased the industry was slowly embracing a wider variety of roles.
"People should just be storytellers and that's how they should be treated and cast, it shouldn't matter what you look like," Pedersen told AAP.
"It's good to see roles that reflect a diverse range of people."
Earlier, Nicole Kidman and Simon Baker won trophies for best supporting actress and actor respectively.
For his directorial debut Baker adapted the classic Tim Winton novel Breath saying it was a story he knew well.
"I personally really understood the story growing up in similar circumstances on the coast, I had a lot of mentors while i was trying to understand who I was and what kind of man I wanted to be," Baker told AAP.
Kidman won for her role in Boy Erased adapted from Garrard Conley's memoir about his forced stay at a conversion therapy camp.
She worked closely with Garrard's mother Martha while learning the part.
"The thing about Martha she is so open and so willing to admit her mistakes because she didn't realise what she was doing and I think that's what makes her story so amazing," Nicole Kidman told AAP.
Other big winners included seventeen-year-old Angourie Rice for her lead role in Ladies In Black, while Joel Edgerton won Best Adapted Screenplay for Boy Erased.
Tributes poured in for Bryan Brown who was honoured for his outstanding contribution to Australian cinema with the Longford Lyell Award.
Via video message Sigourney Weaver spoke about their time on-set filming Gorillas In The Mist while Cocktail co-star Tom Cruise sent a personal message praising the veteran actor as a "national treasure" while ex-wife Kidman watched on.