Indigenous stories for Aussie kids premiering next month on ABC

As the mid-year school holidays kick in around the country, the ABC is thrilled to unveil an exciting collection of Indigenous programs and initiatives. 

From July 6, young Indigenous voices and stories will be seen and heard across ABC Kids, ABC ME and the Kids listen app, and in an Australian first, all ABC television and audio services for children will start the day with a traditional Acknowledgement of Country. 

From the adventurous animation series Little J & Big Cuz to bespoke interstitials provided by the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, there is something for Aussie kids of all ages across the ABC.

Libbie Doherty, ABC Children’s Head of Production said, “We are so very proud to present this exceptional body of work from Indigenous film makers across Australia. It’s bold and bright and tells an important story for all Australian children. This collection marks an important moment across all ABC Children’s TV and Audio Services where we start every day with an Acknowledgement of Country. We proudly present on ABC ME the hugely entertaining and highly original drama series Thalu, made in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, as well as the return of ABC Kids favourite Little J & Big Cuz which also includes in-language versions of a number of episodes. We also have an additional collection of fabulous supporting material from non-Indigenous teams such as Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors? episodes The Big Match and The Original Ghan.”

Programming Highlights

Little J & Big Cuz Series 2
Premieres on ABC Kids at 8.05am, Monday 6 July.

Little J & Big Cuz is a Logie Award-winning animated children’s series featuring the voices of Miranda Tapsell and Deborah Mailman. Little J, he’s five and Big Cuz, she’s nine.  They’re a couple of Indigenous Australian kids living with their Nanna and Old Dog. Little J and Big Cuz are busy with the ups and downs of playground and classroom.

There’s always something surprising going on whether it’s at school, in the backyard…  or beyond. The gaps in Nanna’s ramshackle fence lead to Saltwater, Desert and Freshwater Country.  With the help of Nanna and their teacher Ms Chen, Little J and Big Cuz are finding out all about culture, community and country.

Episodes of Little J & Big Cuz series 2 have been translated into Indigenous Languages, accompanied with English subtitles, to aid kids and families who are interested in learning a variety of languages including Noongar, Warlpiri, Palawa Kani, Torres Strait Creole, Djambarrpuyngu and Gija.

Premieres on ABC ME at 4pm, Monday 6 July.                                                                     

They’re young, funny and deadly and they’re on a mission to save the world! 

With  their  country under threat from a huge dust cloud and the mysterious Takers that lurk within, a group  of  Indigenous  kids  have  to  make  their  way  to  the  Thalu,  a  place  of  great  power, in order to stop the cloud before it destroys everything in its path. Along the way they encounter friends and foes alike as they search for eight sacred stones and a special key that will unlock the power of the Thalu and, they hope, stop the Takers in their tracks.

Shot on location in and around Roebourne in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, the series celebrates its people and culture. Thalu fuses traditional Ngarluma stories with the heroes’ journeys and offers lots of laughs for kids. Cast with local children, each character has been rewritten and renamed with input from the young cast member to reflect their personality, sense of humour, and of course, culture.

Thalu features an impressive Indigenous support cast including Elaine Crombie, Derik Lynch, Hunter-Page Lochard, Aaron McGrath, Tricia Morton-Thomas, Gabriel Willie and Trevor Jamieson.

Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors?
Available to watch now via the ABC ME app and on ABC iview

  • Cameleers – The Original “Ghan” Trains episode: Ezekiel and Nathaniel guide a camel train through Australia’s harsh desert country following the route taken in the early 1900s by teenage Afghan Aboriginal cameleer, William Satour.
  • Kadli – The Big Match episode: In 1823, 13-year-old Kadli was chosen as the best player of the match during a kaurna game of Parntu. Can modern day footballers Ray Ray and Jaikye match his skills to win the best and fairest title?

Play School: Hand in Hand
Available on ABC iview now – watch here

In this special clip, Rachael and Luke talk about racism and how we can all play a part in stopping it. Play School welcomes opportunities to discuss the importance of respect and kindness, and to encourage fair and equal treatment for everyone.

Indigenous Stories Collection
ABC iview will feature an online collection of stories from across the country, that celebrate the rich culture and language of Australia’s First Nations’ peoples. The collection will include Planet MITS, Grace Beside Me, Ready For This, Dream With Me, Move It Mob Style, Bushwhacked Bugs, What’s For Dinner, Shame, Advice to My 12-Year-Old Self, Create and Stacked!

ABC ME will premiere new interstitials from the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) alongside METV content from What It’s Like Being Aboriginal, What’s For Dinner and Dream With Me.


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