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Big Mob Brekky's Shahni Wellington and Ryan Liddle
Big Mob Brekky's Shahni Wellington and Ryan Liddle

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Heal Country! NAIDOC returns to NITV and across the SBS network in 2021

  • For the third year running, SBS is the official National NAIDOC Principal Media Partner and official Education Partner
  • Australian television premiere of docu-comedy History Bites Back
  • Australia’s only Indigenous television breakfast program, Big Mob Brekky, returns to NITV and SBS
  • SBS Radio to share the Uluru Statement from the Heart in-language for Australia’s diverse communities
  • NAIDOC educational resources available through SBS Learn
  • NAIDOC will be celebrated across all SBS channels and platforms, including an exclusive NAIDOC collection available to stream on SBS On Demand

To watch a preview of NAIDOC on NITV and the SBS network, click here.  

UPDATE: Changes to planned events as a result of COVID-19 developments have impacted NITV and SBS’s  programming schedule. Please visit sbs.com.au/guide for up-to-date programming information, and visit sbs.com.au/nitv for news and developments. 

All Australians are invited to celebrate NAIDOC 2021 with a week-long dedicated schedule on National Indigenous Television (NITV), and a range of programming and content across the SBS network, celebrating and reflecting on the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Inspired by the 2021 NAIDOC theme, Heal Country!, the slate focuses on the strength and survival of the oldest continuing cultures on the planet, from Saturday 3 July to Sunday 11 July.

This year’s multiplatform offering includes the exclusive broadcast of the 2021 National NAIDOC Awards*, the return of Australia’s only all-Indigenous breakfast television program, the premiere of docu-comedy History Bites Back, as well as a range of documentaries, movies, news and current affairs programs and features across the network. Educational resources through SBS Learn will also be made available to schools nationally to encourage students to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and history.

Director of Indigenous Content at SBS, Tanya Denning-Orman, said: “We are excited to once again be bringing Australians together to celebrate the achievements of our First Nations Peoples, encourage a deeper understanding of our shared history, embrace First Nations culture and knowledge for Australia’s future, for NAIDOC in 2021.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with the National NAIDOC Committee as the Principal Media Partner and official Education Partner, and look forward to delivering an offering across NITV and the SBS network bringing a range of perspectives to all corners of Australia, championing First Nations voices and faces, and sharing stories that inspire, instil pride and lead to greater understanding and inclusion in this country.

“Our NAIDOC offering across the network continues to grow and reach more Australians each year. It’s central to SBS’s important role in the media landscape as a space to share stories of First Nations cultures, communities and conversations with all Australians, with NITV at the heart of the network providing a trusted platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and experiences.”

The NAIDOC Awards kick off the week, returning for 2021 after a 2020 hiatus. Tune in to NITV from 6:30pm on Saturday 3 July to catch all the stars on the red carpet, before the National NAIDOC Awards air live on NITV and SBS VICELAND from 7:00pm. The Awards recognise individuals who have contributed their talents, expertise, knowledge and lives to the First Peoples of this land. The NAIDOC Awards Aftershow follows from 9:00pm – Bianca Hunt, Tyrone Pynor and Gilbert McAdam will wrap up the night, featuring interviews with the NAIDOC Award winners, as well as all the memorable moments from the ceremony. At 9:30pm, The NAIDOC Award Winners Stories 2021 will give viewers an insight into the incredible lives and achievements of the NAIDOC Award winners.

Following The NAIDOC Award Winners Stories 2021 is the premiere of the third instalment of Bamay on NITV at 10:00pm. The slow TV experience will explore the Central Desert region from a bird’s eye view in a feast for the eyes, alongside informative factoids.

From Monday 5 July, Shahni Wellington and Ryan Liddle will be returning to helm Big Mob Brekky, Australia’s only all-Indigenous television breakfast program. Last year, the program broke new ground in Australian TV, and this year it will return to NITV and SBS at 7:30am each weekday of NAIDOC week. Audiences can look forward to big laughs, big news stories and big yarns. Viewers can catch up on SBS VICELAND at 12:00pm as well as on SBS On Demand.

On Sunday 11 July at 8:30pm, History Bites Back premieres on NITV and SBS VICELAND. Directed, written and presented by Trisha Morton-Thomas (Occupation Native, The Song Keepers, Total Control) alongside Craig Anderson (Black Comedy, Occupation Native, Red Christmas), and starring Steven Oliver (Black Comedy, Faboriginal, Looky Looky, Here Comes Cooky) and Elaine Crombie (Nowhere Boys, Top End Wedding, Top of the Lake). The cast come together to bite back at negative social media comments and steer the conversation towards the historical context of the fortunes and misfortunes of Indigenous Australians – from social security, citizenship and equal wages to nuclear bombs and civil actions.

At 8:30pm on Monday 5 July, NITV’s current affairs program Living Black, hosted by Karla Grant, will investigate what happens when ancient stone tools are discovered in our own backyards and asks if they should be placed back on Country or put on display for reconciliation and education.

Over on SBS at 7:30pm Tuesday 6 July, Who Do You Think You Are? will explore Uncle Jack Charles’ history. Venerated actor and survivor of the Stolen Generations, Uncle Jack will uncover details of the father he never knew and make connections that will complete the jigsaw of his paternal family. His mother’s ancestral journey will take Jack to Tasmania, where he will discover a dark history and maternal ancestors whose resilience resonates with his own fighting spirit.

From Monday to Friday, 6:00pm to 9:30pm, NITV will showcase the beauty of our land and seas through a number of documentaries that act as a heavy reminder of what must be protected for future generations, tying into the NAIDOC theme of Heal Country! The powerful programming includes Talking Language, Utopia Generations and Saving Seagrass.

From Sunday 4 July at 9:30pm each night, NITV will air a selection of powerful dramas, including The Tracker, Samson & Delilah, Sweet Country, Manganinnie and Tudawali. Notably, on Friday 9 July, NITV and SBS World Movies will premiere Goldstone in a simulcast across the channels.

SBS On Demand will have First Australians and Going Places with Ernie Dingo (season four) available with subtitles in five languages: Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Korean and Hindi, as well as hosting a NAIDOC-themed Australian movie collection. Additionally, Warwick Thornton’s masterpiece, Sweet Country, will be made available with subtitles in Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Korean.

Throughout the week, SBS Food is proud to present NAIDOC themed episodes of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw. Adam will welcome an array of guests from Monday to Friday at 7:00pm, including Mark Olive, Rae Johnston, Marcus Poa, Jodan Perry, Nyoka Hrabinsky and Jayde Harris. Adam and his guests will chat through bush tucker, native meats and family favourite feeds.

SBS Food will also host Strait to the Plate and On Country Kitchen marathons, with Strait to the Plate – exploring and celebrating Torres Strait Islander cuisine and culture – airing from 11:30am to 2pm on Saturday 10 July, and On Country Kitchen – in which chef Mark Olive and comedian Derek Nannup fuse native bush ingredients with contemporary cooking- from 9:30am to 2:00pm on Sunday 10 July.

SBS World Movies will host a curated collection of acclaimed Australian cinema telling First Nations stories. Rabbit Proof Fence, Jasper Jones, Ten Canoes, Samson & Delilah and Goldstone will each air at 9:30pm, Monday 5 July to Friday 9 July.

SBS and NITV will also be launching an immersive storytelling experience with The Wake – an artistic installation that enables audiences to authentically connect with a subject matter and discover unexpected truths. Directed by Adrian Wills and produced by Anusha Duray, The Wake is an exploration of the issues facing Indigenous people from a variety of backgrounds, touching on the themes of birth, death and love. On display at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide, four writer-performers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage share deeply personal and vivid recollections through an interactive display. Starring Shari Sebbens, Matty Mills, Sani Townson and Yvonne Weldon, audiences are offered an insight into their precious and sometimes hilarious customs and rituals.

SBS Radio will once again be engaging Australia’s diverse multicultural communities with content across its language services.

SBS Radio – in consultation with the Uluru Dialogue, Indigenous Law Centre UNSW – is sharing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in various languages. For the first time, it will be shared in more than 20 Aboriginal languages, from communities in the Northern Territory and from Northern Western Australia, as part of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in Your Language podcast collection which also includes the Statement translated and read aloud in more than 60 languages from Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities, shared as part of SBS Radio’s NAIDOC Week offering last year, and which will continue to grow as a unique and important resource for all Australians as more First Nations languages are translated. In addition to this audio collection, this year SBS Radio is also sharing the Statement, translated across the extensive selection of languages, as videos, and is also providing a video in Auslan (Australian Sign Language) to support the inclusion of Australians who are deaf or hard of hearing, in the dialogue.

NITV Radio, the SBS Radio service which explores news, event and issues that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, will also feature a special two-part series on palawa kani, the Aboriginal language taught and spoken in Tasmania, as part of its NAIDOC Week coverage.

SBS Learn is the Official Education Partner of NAIDOC Week 2021. An Indigenous-designed classroom resource has been developed for the third consecutive year of this partnership. Curriculum-aligned for primary and secondary students, this resource features NAIDOC-themed activities, discussions and clips which support Australian teachers to explore and include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in classrooms, year-round. The NAIDOC Week resources will be available in print and online, and distributed to schools nationally. This project is supported by a variety of First Nations resources available via SBS’s dedicated website for teachers, SBS Learn – a trusted, accessible portal for sophisticated learning materials linked to SBS programs.

Join the conversation #NAIDOC2021

 

*The National NAIDOC Committee has announced that the NAIDOC Awards ceremony are unfortunately cancelled, considering the changing and widespread impacts of COVID-19. Read their announcement. 

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