First Contact is a major SBS television event hosted by legendary journalist Ray Martin.
Martin takes a group of six non-Indigenous Australians with strong opinions about Indigenous people and immerses them into Aboriginal Australia for the first time.
The six – Jasmine, Bo-dene, Trent, Alice, Sandy and Marcus – are tested in extraordinary situations, their beliefs are confronted and their emotions pushed to the limit.
Reconciliation Australia Research shows that more than six out of 10 people who call Australia home have had little or no contact with the nation’s first people. This group represents that six out of 10.
Broadcast simultaneously on SBS ONE and NITV over three consecutive nights, First Contact is a dramatic three-part documentary series that is sure to promote debate and discussion.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said: “SBS is incredibly proud of First Contact. It is the sort of series you simply wouldn’t see made by any other Australian television network and goes to the heart of our Charter in exploring the diversity of our nation and delving deeper into the issues that shape who we are.”
SBS Director of Television Tony Iffland said: “Following on from the great successes we’ve had with First Australians, Go Back To Where You Came From, and Once Upon A Time In Cabramatta, First Contact is the latest provocative program in SBS’s history of bringing Australian audiences programs which contribute meaningfully to the conversation about what it means to be Australian today.
“We are excited to be working together with our national Indigenous broadcaster, NITV, to further widen the discussion of these important issues.
“The six participants are hosted by Indigenous families right across Australia and will have their preconceptions and views challenged. The journey is at times testing, but also incredibly heart-warming. Underneath it all lies an exploration of the divide that still exists between Aboriginal Australians and the rest of the nation.”
First Contact will reveal Aboriginal Australia – its beauty, culture, history and tradition, its problems and its hope.
Produced by Blackfella Films (Redfern Now, Mabo), First Contact will broadcast over three nights from Tuesday 18 November, simulcast each night at 8.30pm on SBS ONE and NITV, and replayed at 9.30pm on SBS 2.
To celebrate this major network event, both SBS ONE and NITV have commissioned complementary Insight and Awaken specials hosted by Stan Grant.
SBS ONE will broadcast the special live Insight episode following the final episode of First Contact at 9.30pm on Thursday 20 November, reuniting the six participants after their life changing journey.
NITV will broadcast two Awaken specials on November 18 and 19 at 9.30pm, offering a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding the divide between non-Indigenous and Indigenous people.