“This Sunday, every Aussie in the Shire get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and Wog bashing day.”

A text message sent to mobilise the rioters.As reprinted in the ACMA Investigative Report.

About the Project

On December 11, 2005 a riot occurred on Cronulla Beach in Sydney's south targeting men of ‘Middle Eastern appearance’.

Phrases like “100% Aussie Pride” were scrawled in the sand while slogans such as “We grew here you flew here” became a new source of national shame. In the following days, Lebanese-Australian youth rose up, responding swiftly in a series of retaliations.

Leading up to these events, 270,000 text messages were sent and received to mobilise the rioters and those who retaliated.

This interactive documentary explores these events. A 60-minute video is the springboard to explore a wall of content that adds further depth and perspective to the themes that fuelled the infamous Cronulla Riots.

Watch the untold stories. Investigate the themes. Explore the riots in an entirely new, immersive way.

Watch the documentary

SBS Northern Pictures Screen Australia



Producer/director/writer: Jaya Balendra
Director of Photography: Marden Dean
Editor: Melanie Annan
Line Producer: Jodi Donovan
Field Directors: Amy Ruse, Rebecca Vallis
Stills Photography: Andrew Quilty
Associate Producer: Glen Kalem
Production Coordinator: Danielle Vos
Sound Recordist: Daniel Miau
Development Researcher: Joseph Lurie
Archive Researcher: Naomi J Hall
Original Music: The Da's Office
Assistant Editor: Liam Rodden
Post Production & Online Facility: Definition Films
Post Production Supervisor: David Gross
Facilities Producer: Nichole Walkling
Online Editor: Ben Blick-Hodge
Colourist: Trish Cahill
Sound Designer: David White
Legal Advisor: Robert Reeve
Production Accountant: Bronwyn Speziale
Executive Producer: Sue Clothier

Original Interactive Concept, SBS Online

Art Direction, Design and Development: Matt Smith
Development: Ken Macleod, Harley Mellifont, Jason Murray
SBS Executive Producers/Commissioning Editors: Marshall Heald and John-Paul Marin
Producer: Kylie Boltin
Video Editing: Gilbert Gaddi, Simon Bowis, Sam Criniti, Rosie Jones, Nikki Stevens
Audio: SBS Broadcast Operations
Research: Nick Searle
Additional research: Kalinda Ashton, Christen Cornell, Bridget Curran, Kym Middleton
Legal: Sally McCausland
Paralegal: Katherine Leigh
Business Affairs: Alastair McKinnon
Subtitles: Jing Han, Andrew McCormick, Dalia Matar
Publicity: Jo'an Papadopoulos, Danielle Cesta, Natalie Dubois
Marketing: Ola Kay, Anna Doran
Social Media: Jordan Guiao

Contributor interviews:
Hassan Awada, Hiba Ayache, Craig Campbell, Jihad Diab, Nadim El Ghoul, Pat Grant, Mona Elmir Craig Greenhill, Lyn Harvey, Lee Howell, Ahmad Kamaledine, Mouhamed Kharboutli George Khouri, Diana Kontoprias, Mecca Laa Laa, Sam Nassir, Nemat Rifi, Andrew Quilty

Expert commentary:
Professor Kevin Dunn, Dean and Professor in Human Geography and Urban Studies, University of Western Sydney
challenging racism image
Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas APM, Field Operations, NSW Police Force
Professor Catharine Lumby, Macquarie University
Professor Greg Noble, University of Western Sydney
Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane

Freda Backes, Dr Sudheesh Bhasi, Sekneh Beckett, Brigid Delaney, Dr Nelia Nacima Hyndman-Rizk, Dr Anne Mansour, Kym Middleton, Rudi Soman, Joseph Wakim

Sweatshop Western Sydney Literacy Movement:
Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Luke Carman, Sherene Idriss, Mehal Krayem, Peter Polites

Audio Interviews:
Mohammad Diab, Rex Dupain, Joe Hildebrand, Bill Leak, Damien Murphy, Assoc/Professor Amanda Wise

Archive material:
New South Wales Police, Strike Force Neil: Cronulla Riots. Review of Police Response, Report and Recommendations volumes 1-4
Australian Communications and Media Authority Investigative Report No. 14185
The Max Dupain Exhibition Negative Archive
“Bondi Boys” 1996, “Tribe” 1997, “Women with Scarves” 2005 Copyright Rex Dupain courtesy Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney Australia
Pat Grant, “Waiting for Something to Happen”
SBS World News Australia
Fairfax Syndication
Craig Greenhill/Newspix
Bill Leak/Newspix
Vince O Farrell/Fairfax Syndication
Ron Tandberg/Fairfax Syndication
Dallas Kilponen/Fairfax Syndication
Getty Images
Harbour Radio Pty Ltd
@Agence France-Presse
The May Wehby Collection