NITV marks National Reconciliation Week  

[by Navjot Kaur]

Image: supplied

NITV marks Reconciliation Week 2020 with a dedicated slate of programming inviting all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.


Starting May 25 and culminating on Mabo Day on June 3, the channel will air a selection of dedicated programming, premieres and news highlights to mark the historic annual event. This year’s theme In This Together – has never been more relevant reminding us, whether in a crisis or in reconciliation, we are all #InThisTogether.


Tanya Orman, NITV Channel Manager said, “This year is really special as we cross the 20-year mark since the Walk of Reconciliation, and it is important for us to reflect on the past two decades and take a note of how we have progressed as a nation. There could not have been a better reminder than the last couple of months that we all have a role to play as we inch forward as a successful nation, that we are all in this together. As Australia’s dedicated home to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content, we always feel pride in informing and educating Australians about our shared histories and achievements through extraordinary Indigenous stories of struggle, courage and celebration. We continue to do so with this year’s Reconciliation Week offerings”.


The special programming kicks off with Australia’s longest-running Indigenous current affairs program Living Black on Monday May 25 at 8.30pm where host Karla Grant speaks with Senator Patrick Dodson, the ‘Father of Reconciliation,’ about his life and career. Senator Dodson also reflects on the reconciliation process, was it worthwhile, did it achieve what it set out to do and where are we as a nation in terms of Treaty, Voice to Parliament and Truth-telling.


On Wednesday May 27 at 8.30pm, Rachael Hocking and John-Paul Janke from NITV’s flagship current affairs program The Point explore how, 20 years on, COVID-19 has brought a new dimension to Reconciliation Week. This will be followed by another special episode of Living Black on Thursday May 28 at 7.30pm to mark the 20th anniversary of the Walk of Reconciliation. The program pays tribute to the Reconciliation Movement, started 20 years ago when almost 300,000 Australians walked across bridges across the country including Sydney Harbour Bridge on May 28, 2000 to come together to support reconciliation and to explore and acknowledge the nation’s shared history.


In line with this year’s theme, NITV will also bring attention to the environment, its beauty and the issues. Kicking off with paying tribute to Country through Bamay on Saturday May 30 at 9pm. From the Torres Straits to Tasmania, and everywhere in between – Bamay is a showcase of Australia’s most stunning landscapes. This will be followed by a dedicated 8pm environmental slot from June 1 to 4. Fire Keepers of Kakadu¸ an Indigenous Australian documentary, follows the oldest surviving culture on Earth, the Bininj people of Kakadu, as they fight to preserve their 65,000-year-old practice of maintaining biodiversity and controlling the intense and dangerous bushfires of Australia, premieres on Monday June 1. Airing Tuesday June 2 is Warburdar Bununu: Water Shield¸ a landmark film co-produced by Borroloola elders, set in the late 70’s, to expose the threat to their homelands from mining development. Followed by Saving Seagrass, an exploration of the priceless environment of Roebuck Bay, Western Australia – the traditional lands of the Yawuru people – now under threat on many fronts, airing on Thursday June 4.


On June 3, NITV celebrates Mabo Day with both linear and On Demand offerings. WIK vs Queensland at 9.30pm on NITV gives a powerful insight into the High Court’s decision to grant native title to the Wik people in 1996 and the dramatic political and cultural fallout that followed. SBS On Demand will stream Mabo: Life of an Island Man¸ an award-winning documentary about the private and public stories of a man so passionate about his family and home that he fought an entire nation and its legal system.


This year NITV also celebrates the works of award-winning Indigenous filmmaker Warwick Thornton. Highlights include the world premiere of The Beach on Friday May 29 at 7.30pm in a special three-event TV event across NITV, SBS and SBS On Demand. The special slate include Sweet Country and Green Bush on Thursday May 28 at 8.30pm and 10.25pm respectively; The Point Special: Warwick Thornton at 10.30pm and The Payback at 10.45pm on Friday May 29; She Who Must Be Loved on Saturday May 30 at 7.35pm; and We Don’t Need a Map and The Point: Warwick Thornton is Here on Sunday May 31 at 8.05pm and 9.35pm respectively.


Viewers will be able to enjoy additional titles on SBS On Demand to stream anywhere, anytime including Milpirri – Winds of Change, Fantome Island¸ Willandra Wisdom Walk, Utopia, Vote Yes for Aborigines¸ When the River Runs Dry, Treetime Stories, Bamay, Thalu and Songlines on Screen.  


Join the conversation on social media #NITV #NRW2020 #InThisTogether


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