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SBS gives viewers a first look at First Contact 2 | @SBS

ProgrammingKevin Perry

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SBS has released a new trailer providing viewers an extended preview of the highly anticipated observational documentary First Contact.

The network has also confirmed details for a range of content and programming exploring the issues and themes arising in the new season of First Contact, to extend, deepen and provide a greater context for a national conversation on Indigenous issues in Australia.

At the centre of the discussion, over three consecutive nights beginning Tuesday November 29, 8.30pm, broadcast simultaneously on SBS and NITV, is the return of Logie-award winning series First Contact. In this second season, six well-known Australians are immersed into Aboriginal Australia for the first time as they embark on a 28-day journey.

The participants represent the six out of 10 Australians who have had little or no contact with the nation’s First People*. They are singer-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia, ex-One Nation politician David Oldfield, TV personality Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson, comedian Tom Ballard, former Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris and actress Nicki Wendt.

Led by host Ray Martin, the six travel across Australia on a journey that is confronting, emotional and at times uplifting. Over the course of the series they witness first-hand the impact of alcoholism in remote Aboriginal communities, meet with traditional owners on ancestral land, and conflict arises as they tackle constitutional recognition. Tensions flare over differing opinions on the rural housing crisis and strongly held beliefs are challenged as the participants meet members of the Stolen Generation. As the experience intensifies, they discover what life is like for the thousands of Indigenous people in prison. The group meets inspiring people, witnesses the resilience of communities and hears the hopes and aspirations of young Aboriginal Australians.

Produced by Blackfella Films (Deep Water, Redfern Now, Mabo, First Australians) with major investment from Screen Australia and SBS in association with Film Victoria, the first season of the program sparked national debate and discussion when it aired in 2014, and this second season is certain to deepen the discussion.

NITV Channel Manager Tanya Denning-Orman said:

“NITV is at the heart of the debates facing Indigenous Australians, and First Contact is the kind of show which sparks those important discussions which need to happen in Australia today. I’m really proud of the NITV and SBS content which adds to the Indigenous perspective and gives further context around the issues raised in First Contact.”


First Contact: The Reunion – 9.30pm, Thursday 1 December on SBS

The debates sparked on First Contact will be re-ignited as Natalie Imbruglia, Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson, David Oldfield, Nicki Wendt, Tom Ballard and Renae Ayris reunite for the first time since taking the journey into Aboriginal Australia for a panel discussion in front of a studio audience, directly after episode three at 9.30pm on SBS. Join Guest Host Rhoda Roberts (Head of Indigenous Programming at the Sydney Opera House) as she asks how the journey has affected their lives.



The Point – 8pm, Tuesday 29 November – Thursday 1 December on NITV

From Tuesday 29 November, NITV’s unique news and current affairs show, The Point, will be broadcast at the special new time of 8pm, prior to the First Contact broadcast. Each night the agenda-setting program will prepare audiences for the topics presented in First Contact with feature stories and analysis.


Awaken special: First Response – 9.30pm, Tuesday 29 November on NITV

Straight after the first episode of First Contact, NITV’s flagship current affairs program Awaken delves deeper into the issues raised when journalist Catherine Liddle asks some of Australia’s best thinkers for their first responses to seeing the show.

On this special panel, Catherine is joined by Lydia Miller, Executive Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts at the Australia Council, award winning author and playwright Thomas Keneally, Black Comedy icon and writer Aaron Fa’aoso, leading academic Shane Houston and Shireen Morris from the Cape York Institute.


Servant or Slave – 9.30pm, Wednesday 30 November on NITV

Following the second episode of First Contact, Servant or Slave gives audiences more of the story behind the women who were forced into domestic servitude. This documentary follows the lives of five Aboriginal women who were stolen from their families and trained to be domestic servants to be assimilated into mainstream Australian society. The women give captivating firsthand accounts of officially sanctioned enslavement, revealing the true intent of the government policy of ‘protection’ prevalent throughout the twentieth century.


SBS On Demand

As a part of SBS’s commitment to helping all Australians better understand the issues the series explores, First Contact will be available with Chinese and Arabic subtitles on SBS On Demand from Tuesday 29 November, for Mandarin, Cantonese and Arabic speaking communities.


Virtual Reality

SBS presents First Contact VR, a 360° video using stereoscopic 3D technology to place the viewer face-to-face with a diverse group of Indigenous Australians. The eight contributors speak about what being Indigenous means to them and their personal experiences and challenges. Offering viewers the chance to make ‘first contact’ with Australia’s First Peoples, the VR experience features interviews with Aunty Millie Ingram, Nakkiah Lui, Jenny Munro, Mi-kaisha Masella, Bruce Pascoe, Shane Phillips, Wesley Enoch, and James Saunders, and will be available on the SBS VR app from Tuesday 29 November.


Classroom resources through SBS Outreach

SBS’s Outreach allows teachers to take their students on an immersive journey with the First Contact season 2 classroom resources, for a deeper understanding of Aboriginal Australia.

Produced in partnership with Reconciliation Australia, the classroom resources, linking short clips from the series with the English, History and Media Arts Curriculum years 9-12 will be available online at SBS Learn from December 1st. A free classroom poster and info pack will be sent to every secondary school in Australia as the series goes to air. SBS is also producing a set of resources around the NITV documentary Servant or Slave linked to the English, History and Aboriginal Studies Curriculum for years 9-12.



SBS Online in collaboration with Reconciliation Australia presents a behind the scenes photo gallery diary from First Contact host and acclaimed photographer Ray Martin, and a quiz testing just how much you know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


SBS Radio

In the lead up to First Contact, SBS Radio will continue the conversation and further explore Indigenous issues through a series of features covering topics including closing the gap with Indigenous Australia, as well as informative facts on First Nations people.