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Living Black, the longest-running Indigenous current affairs program in Australia, celebrates its 20th anniversary

[by Hannah Lambert]


Karla Grant. Image: supplied

A brand new, 13-episode season of the ground-breaking current affairs program Living Black premieres on National Indigenous Television (NITV) on Monday 17 April at 8.30pm and will be encored on SBS on Tuesday 18 April at 10.30pm. Now in its 30th season, Living Black is Australia’s longest-running Indigenous current affairs program.


Join Walkley award-winning presenter, producer and journalist Karla Grant as she interviews some of Australia’s most prominent First Nations peoples in the program’s 20th year. Living Black continues to investigate critical national and international issues through a unique First Nations lens, through compelling stories told predominantly by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Living Black begins its new season with a special one-hour episode featuring a panel discussion with high-profile guests. This includes Independent Senators Lidia Thorpe and Jacqui Lambie, former Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt, Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine, NRL great Dean Widders, actor and producer Aaron Fa’Aoso and lawyer, academic and land rights activist Noel Pearson. All feature in an in-depth discussion about the upcoming Voice to Parliament Referendum and celebrate the historic Living Black series milestone.


The remaining episodes of Living Black air weekly on Mondays with the iconic sit-down format that audiences know and love.


Season 30 guests include the Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney, soprano, composer and educator Professor Deborah Cheetham AO, human rights and health advocate Pat Anderson AO, Play School presenter and stage and screen actor Luke Carroll, American patriarch Michael Brown Sr alongside filmmaker Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, singer, songwriter and actor Christine Anu, Bangarra Dance Theatre Artistic Director Frances Rings and more.


This 30th season also includes a powerful investigation, uncovering serious cases of abuse of Indigenous families and their fight for justice, with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.


Presenter, producer, journalist and Western Arrernte woman, Karla Grant, said: “I am incredibly proud of our talented team who have broken so many stories over the years – from regional communities requiring support during the COVID-19 pandemic, to revelations about Indigenous art theft, Living Black continues to be a platform for telling important stories from our First Nations peoples, highlighting voices that need to be heard.


“I’m looking forward to many more years of Living Black, and this new season will be incredibly memorable.”


SBS Director of Indigenous Content and Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman, Tanya Denning-Orman, said: “We are so proud of the work that Karla has done with the network over the past two decades. From ICAM to Living Black, Karla and her colleagues have won multiple awards for their incredible efforts. Through the program, Karla and the team continue to tell stories that would otherwise remain untold – giving voice to the otherwise voiceless.


“Karla is an incomparable and formidable force; Living Black is a pillar of the NITV channel and it’s also a continued service to all Australians as part of SBS. Stories that shine a light on disadvantage and injustice are at the core of Living Black, as are celebrations of Black excellence. Thank you, Karla and team, for your tireless effort, your relentless approach and your never-ending commitment.”


Episode 1
In a special one-hour panel discussion with high-profile guests, Karla covers a pressing issue currently facing all Australians, with a focus on First Nations people – the Referendum on a Voice to Parliament. Karla is joined by Noel Pearson, Senators Lidia Thorpe and Jacqui Lambie, Ken Wyatt, Karen Mundine, Dean Widders and Aaron Fa'Aoso. The episode also features a special performance by The Stiff Gins.


Episode 2
Karla Grant sits down with the Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney for an in-depth interview about the upcoming Voice to Parliament Referendum. Minister Burney will unpack the Referendum question, how the Voice will work, who will advise on the Voice and more.


Episode 3
He’s played a doctor on Home and Away and starred in numerous plays including At What Cost and Black Cockatoo, but Luke Carroll’s greatest role has been educating our children as the first Indigenous recurring male host on Play School. How did the established actor with no formal training go on to represent mob as one of our most recognisable actors? Karla Grant speaks with Luke about being a child actor, why onscreen representation matters, and how he hopes he made his late mother proud.


Watch Living Black weekly from Monday 17 April at 8.30pm on NITV and on SBS from Tuesday 18 April at 10.30pm. Living Black will also be available to stream on SBS On Demand.


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