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Cast of ground-breaking coming-of-age children’s series Barrumbi Kids revealed

[by Hannah Lambert]


Barrumbi Kids: Gordon (Finn Treacy), Dahlia (Caitlin Hordern) and Tomias (Nick-Bonson). Image: supplied

National Indigenous Television (NITV) is proud to announce the cast of the ground-breaking coming-of-age children’s series Barrumbi Kids. Featuring talented and diverse young actors and award-winning screen stalwarts, the 10-episode live action series premieres on NITV later this year.  


Barrumbi Kids stars Nick Bonson (12) and Caitlin Hordern (14) in their debut acting roles, with Sherona Tiati, Zeallion Andrew, Ronan Bonson also making their debut.  

Supporting cast members include ARIA Award-winning Justine Clarke (Play School, The Justine Clarke Show!), 2021 AACTA Award nominee Jacob Junior Nayinggul (High Ground), Frances Djulibing (Ten Canoes, Operation Buffalo), Adrienne Pickering (Rake, House of Bond), Christopher Sommers (The Water Diviner, Unfinished Sky), Sophie Emberson-Bain (Aquaman, Harrow, Neighbours), Finn Treacy (Ten Pound Poms), Serene Yunupingu (Mystery Road: Origin), Penelope Thomas, Stephen Mahy and Scott Hall.   

Barrumbi Kids tells the story of two children Tomias (Nick Bonson) and Dahlia (Caitlin Hordern) - best friends growing up in a remote Northern Territory community. Through fishing, hunting and schooling, the children learn about themselves, each other and living in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures. 


The heart-warming series was filmed in Beswick (Wugularr), Barunga, Katherine and Bitter Springs on the lands of the Jawoyn, Dogoman, Wardaman and Mangarrayi peoples in the Northern Territory. 


Marissa McDowell, Acting Head of Commissions NITV, said: “We are thrilled to be working with talented, up-and-coming actors like Nick and Caitlin, as well as big names like Justine Clarke to bring Barrumbi Kids to life.  


“NITV creates ground-breaking children’s programming that explores diversity and celebrates the stories and culture of our mob to share with all Australians. Just like the wildly celebrated animated series Little J & Big Cuz, Barrumbi Kids plays an integral part in creating more representation on screen and giving Aboriginal kids a national platform to see their own faces and hear their own voices – something that is so important for our mob. An honourable mention to Kyas Hepworth, former NITV Head of Commissions, who helped bring this flagship series to screens.” 


Barrumbi Kids is co-produced by Danielle MacLean (True Colours, Mystery Road, Grace Beside Me, Little J & Big Cuz, Redfern Now) of Tamarind Tree Pictures, Monica O’Brien (Muster Dogs and Drop Dead Weird) of Ambience Entertainment and Julia Morris (Finding Maawirrangga, Around the World in 80 Dishes with Manu Feildel), and is based on the popular book series by Territory author Leonie Norrington.  


Danielle MacLean, Monica O’Brien and Julia Morris, producers of Barrumbi Kids, said: “Barrumbi Kids has been many years in the making with elders past and present, Djilpin Arts and Beswick community members. Creating this series with our First Nations partners, Esther Bulumbara, Frankie Lane, Revonna Lane and Scott Hall has been an incredible experience. Their contribution to story and cultural guidance allowed us to authentically bring to life the stories of the fun and mischief experienced while growing up on Country. Their children and grandchildren will watch this series and yell out with big smiles of pride and joy – ‘Hey that’s me, that’s my family and my Culture!’”  


Grainne Brunsdon, Screen Australia’s Head of Content, said, “We are excited for this charming series to premiere on NITV. With adventurous, cheeky characters and clever scripts, Barrumbi Kids is set to delight young viewers and importantly give children living in remote communities the chance to see their lives and experiences represented onscreen.”  


Bernadette O’Mahony, Head of Content at the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF), said, “Barrumbi Kids is a delightful coming-of-age story, full of fun, action, humour and heart. With the spectacular locations and a delightful young cast, this series captures the essence and joy of friendship and the sense of freedom and adventure that comes with growing up in a remote Top End community.” 


Barrumbi Kids is a Tamarind Tree Pictures and Ambience Entertainment production for NITV. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with NITV, Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), Screen Territory and Screen Queensland.   


Barrumbi Kids premieres on NITV later this year.  


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