SBS and NITV’s NAIDOC Week 2023 line-up

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SBS is celebrating National NAIDOC Week 2023 across the network with a huge programming line-up, along with extensive multiplatform and multilingual coverage, celebrating the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. From 2-9 July, stories and moments will bring Australians together, and explore this year’s National NAIDOC Week theme, For Our Elders.

SBS and NITV’s impressive NAIDOC Week offering includes the return of Going Places with Ernie Dingo for a new season of the unique travel seriesPremiering on NITV and SBS on Saturday 8 July at 7.30pm, Aaron Fa’Aoso, Network 10’s Narelda Jacobs OAM, Rae Johnston and Bianca Hunt join Ernie Dingo to help explore the continent and dive into the entertaining stories of everyday, passionate locals who call these places home.

During the week, NITV will also premiere the thrilling vampire drama Firebite, directed by Warwick Thornton and starring Rob Collins, in its free-to-air television debut, from Thursday 6 July at 9.30pm, also available on SBS On Demand.

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Rounding out the week, SBS is proud to broadcast the first SBS Elder in Residence Oration, presented by Widjabul Wia-bal woman from the Bundjalung Nation, Rhoda Roberts AO, on Sunday 9 July at 7.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand. Appointed as SBS’s inaugural Elder in Residence in 2020, Roberts is an eminent community and industry leader. revered and celebrated as a pioneer in the arts and creative sector.

SBS’s unique ability to connect the newest Australians with the world’s oldest living culture will also be amplified during NAIDOC Week, with news and stories in more than 60 languages across the SBS Audio network, as well as SBS News in Mandarin and SBS News in Arabic on SBS WorldWatch and SBS On Demand.

There’s also a range of documentaries, movies and news and current affairs across the wider network, and teaching resources available to help students of all ages learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. The SBS Learn resource will be available for all teachers to download online. 

Tanya Denning-Orman, a proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman and Director of Indigenous Content at SBS, said: “In a year when putting First Nations voices front and centre is so important, we are inviting all Australians to come and watch, listen, learn and be inspired through our special NAIDOC Week line-up.

“Each year, SBS brings communities together in a celebration of Blak excellence during NAIDOC Week, and in 2023 we’re excited to once again present programming and coverage that champions First Nations stories, and shares the history, knowledges and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in more than 60 languages across the SBS network. We’re also celebrating the trailblazers and cultural knowledge holders that empower and guide us every day, in recognition of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, ‘For Our Elders’.”

NITV’s week of programming celebrates the theme of Elders and those people that have inspired the next generations. with a selection of Living Black: The Icons, nightly at 5pm. This includes conversations with Archie Roach, Patrick Dodson, Ernie Dingo, Wilma Reading, Pat Anderson, Linda Burney and Ken Wyatt and an episode titled ‘Strong Women’.

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Highlights of the multiplatform offering across the SBS network include:

Going Places with Ernie Dingo
Airing weekly from Saturday 8 July at 7.30pm from on NITV and SBS, and on SBS On Demand

More than a travel show, Going Places with Ernie Dingo is a documentary program with heart, featuring the wonderful everyday people of Australia and the unique connections they have with the places they call home. Going Places returns for a fifth season with 12 episodes, showcasing more spectacular locations and characters than ever before.

After travelling the country solo many times over, Ernie Dingo is joined by Aaron Fa’AosoNarelda JacobsRae Johnston and Bianca Hunt, and each episode features three locations:

  • Episode one: Pemberton, Bamaga, Broken Hill
    Ernie explores the ancient forests and shifting sand dunes of Pemberton, Bianca breaks into the drag queen scene of Broken Hill and Aaron’s language and dance is put to the test back home in Bamaga.
  • Episode two: Bay of Fires, Fremantle, Healesville
    Rae sets out on foot to traverse Tasmania’s Bay of Fires, Ernie catches up with the founder of Freo’s famed cappuccino strip and Narelda meets a Sapphire empowering Aboriginal youth.
  • Episode three: Fitzroy Crossing, Bellenden Ker, Inverloch
    Ernie cruises the ancient waterways of Danggu Gorge, Aaron catches up with a talented woodcarver in Queensland’s sugarcane country and Narelda tries her hand at natural horsemanship in regional Victoria. 

Airing weekly from Thursday July 6 at 9.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand

An eight-part drama from Warwick Thornton, the prolific writer-director-cinematographer, Firebite is set in a remote mining town in the middle of the South Australian desert. When the Vampire King (Callan Mulvey) arrives to the last colonial stronghold in a remote Australian mining town, it’s up to two Aboriginal renegades – Tyson (Rob Collins) and Shanika (Shantae Barnes-Cowan) – to stop the Vampire King and end the bloody 230-year war for land and power.

National NAIDOC Week Award Ceremony
Saturday 1 July at 7.30pm simulcast on NITV

Broadcast from Meanjin Brisbane, the ceremony will be hosted by the award-winning star of Mystery Road: Origin, proud Nyikina man, actor, writer, and producer, Mark Coles Smith and multi award-winning singer/songwriter, Casey Donovan. NITV will simulcast the ABC’s broadcast of the Awards.

Monday 3 July to Thursday 6 July at 6.30pm on NITV

The latest news from the oldest living culture, join Mudburra and Wagadagam woman Natalie Ahmat and the team of NITV journalists for stories from an Indigenous perspective.

Living Black
Monday 3 July at 8.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand

Singer, songwriter and actor Christine Anu is interviewed by Walkley Award-winning host and executive producer Karla Grant in this episode of Living Black, the longest-running Indigenous current affairs program on Australian screens. Christine Anu is a veteran of the Australian music industry, having performed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, to Uluru with NITV in both 2012 and 2022. Now, Christine shares her remarkable journey to stardom.

The Point: Referendum Road Trip
Tuesdays at 7.30pm on NITV, 10.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand

The home of First Nations perspectives, this season will inform all Australians in the lead up to the Referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Hosted by proud Wuthathi and Meriam man John Paul Janke and Whadjuk Noongar woman Narelda Jacobsthe episode premiering on Tuesday 4 July will explore the big issues in regional Queensland, as part of the season’s road trip throughout Australia, sharing voices from communities, engaging in debate and providing insightful analysis about the Referendum.

Over the Black Dot
Tuesdays at 8.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand

The weekly rugby league analysis program featuring legendary NRL player and proud Anaiwan man Dean Widders, Dual International Timana Tahu, and Bo de la Cruz, who is a proud descendant of the Gudjula and Erubian people and a multi-award-winning Touch, Rugby Union and Rugby League player, continues. Covering game highlights championing First Nations achievements in the sport, this episode will also celebrate NAIDOC Week.

Yokayi Footy
Wednesdays at 8.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand

The weekly AFL show which celebrates First Nations talent with bold yarns, powerful monologues, compelling community stories and exclusive interviews with Indigenous AFL players will also celebrate NAIDOC Week. Produced in partnership with AFL Studios and Typecast Entertainment, Yokayi Footyis hosted by former Richmond and Collingwood player and proud Mineng and Yinggarda man, Andrew Krakouer, and proud Warumungu/Yawuru woman and fitness professional Megan Waters.

Fridays at 3pm on SBS and 5.30pm on NITV

Recapping the biggest stories of the week, join Mudburra and Wagadagam woman Natalie Ahmat and the NITV News team as they share the latest news from an Indigenous perspective. The world nula means “here, there, or everywhere” in the Dharug language.

The SBS Elder in Residence Oration presented by Rhoda Roberts AO
Sunday 9 July at 7.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand

A member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul/Wieybal clan of Northern NSW and South East Queensland, Rhoda Roberts AO is a revered and celebrated pioneer in the arts and creative sector, and an eminent community and industry leader. A celebrated performer, producer, creative director and arts executive, in 2016, Roberts was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the performing arts, through her leadership and advocacy in promoting contemporary Indigenous cultures. Throughout her expansive career, she has championed the power of connection through cultural expression, and through her work helps all Australians to celebrate the richness of First Nations cultures. With this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, For Our Elders, SBS is proud to have Roberts present its first SBS Elder in Residence Oration, highlighting the importance of the continued practice of teaching and sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

SBS Audio will feature First Nations stories broadcast across more than 60 multilingual programs, including interviews and talkback with community Elders and emerging leaders. Across every program and podcast, a special SBS theme featuring the yidaki and clapsticks will also be played.

NITV Radio, the SBS Audio service which explores news, events and issues that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, will also produce a radio news feature and digital story on the Voice Referendum as part of its NAIDOC Week coverage.

NITV’s Goodways vodcast continues premiering episodes fortnightly on Fridays. The video podcast is full of laughs and banter, bringing together NITV’s First Nations digital team, yarning about life, love, and everything in between. Goodways is available on the NITV websiteNITV YouTubeSpotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Throughout the week, SBS Food is proud to present NAIDOC themed episodes of The Cook Up. Torres Strait Islander chef Nornie Bero will guest host five episodes with additional guests including Gail MaboKristy DickinsonMatty Mills and more. The team will chat through bush tucker and family favourite feeds. SBS Food will have new recipes available online and will spotlight articles and first-person Indigenous food stories during the week.

SBS On Demand will feature a curated collection of programming within the NITV channel page. Sitting within this collection is Living Black: the icons, Who Do You Think You Are with Casey Donovan and Troy Cassar-DaleyCharacters of BroomeGurrumulShe Who Must Be LovedNingla NaThe Ripple EffectSongkeepers and Sing About this Country. There will also be a special Guest Curates collection available from Rhoda Roberts AO.

SBS World Movies will host a curated collection of acclaimed Australian cinema telling First Nations stories. The Flood, Sweet Country, Bran Nue Dae, The Furnace and Top End Wedding will each air at 9.30pm, Monday 3 July to Friday 7 July and are also available on SBS On Demand.

SBS Learn will publish its fifth National NAIDOC Week curriculum-aligned education resource. This popular online teaching guide features NAIDOC-themed activities, discussions and clips to enable teachers to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into primary and secondary classrooms, year-round. The resource is authored by proud Yankunyjatjara and Wirangu woman Shelley Ware, marking Shelley’s fifth SBS Learn NAIDOC Week resource.

SBS Learn will also publish for secondary students a celebration of 20 years of flagship NITV current affairs program Living Black, with a new teaching resource featuring Elders from across the continent being interviewed by Karla Grant. This resource also features worksheets and classroom activities linked to the Living Black clips, including materials in English, Arabic and Simplified Chinese as part of SBS’s commitment to sharing First Nations stories and perspectives in multiple languages.

SBS’s National NAIDOC Week project proudly continues the work set out in SBS’s Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan 2022-2026. This Plan outlines SBS’s commitment to reflecting, exploring and embedding First Nations stories, knowledges, cultures and languages across the network, and to connecting the oldest continuous culture on Earth with the newest Australians.

Kicking off the week of celebration, the NATIONAL NAIDOC WEEK AWARDS returns to NITV for the 11thyear, with a simulcast of the ABC live broadcast of the ceremony on Saturday July 1 at 7.30pmMark Coles Smith and Casey Donovan will host the awards ceremony.

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Rachel Harris
Rachel Harris
Hello! I'm Rachel, a passionate website designer by day, and a dedicated TV enthusiast by night. My TV tastes are as diverse, ranging from heartwarming Disney movies with my children to the heart-pounding suspense of psychological thrillers. Let's not forget my love for cooking shows, where I find inspiration in culinary adventures. Join me as I share insights and excitement about the world of Australian television on this platform.

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