A documentary series portraying social and economic disadvantage in Australia will air for a second season on SBS.
By
SBS News

28 Apr 2016 - 10:31 AM  UPDATED 28 Apr 2016 - 11:52 AM

The second series of "Struggle Street" will be filmed in Queensland and Victoria with a focus on Australians from a diverse mix of backgrounds battling against the odds.

The first season of the documentary series, which aired in 2015, caused widespread controversy and a protest in Sydney.

SBS Television and Online Content Director, Marshall Heald, said the second series sought to continue the important national conversation started by series one.

"Struggle Street will seek to raise awareness and deepen our understanding of those of us in the community facing social and economic hardship through an honest reflection of what it’s like to be doing it tough in Australia today," he said.

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SBS Chief Content Officer, Helen Kellie, said the personal stories explored in the program reflected the challenges faced by a large portion of the population.

"There are 2.5 million people in Australia living below the poverty line. Some research points to the situation getting worse not better and this is a barrier to social cohesion," she said.

"But the statistics don’t allow us to connect with the real stories, in a way that Struggle Street does, to raise awareness about hardship."

Promotional material released ahead of the first series sparked protests outside the broadcaster’s Sydney office and condemnation from the mayor of Blacktown, Stephen Bali.

"People are in shock and awe at the moment, but if there's no action we've just destroyed the reputation of the suburb and nine families," he said.

"Struggle Street will seek to raise awareness and deepen our understanding of those of us in the community facing social and economic hardship through an honest reflection of what it’s like to be doing it tough in Australia today."

The first episode of series one attracted a record audience of 935,000 - the broadcaster's highest ever rating locally made show.

Funding for series two will come from Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

It will go to air in late 2017.

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