Everything we commission in SBS Documentaries must reflect our Charter and explore multicultural Australia. Our Charter makes us distinctive and gives us a clear vision, this vision is enhanced by 4 key values: To provoke debate, push boundaries, surprise audiences, and inspire change. This ensures bold and distinctive documentaries that would only play on SBS.  We only commission hour long documentaries, either as singles or series.


We are actively looking for big bold series and singles that explore Australia's multicultural history. We'd encourage alternative forms of exploring this history be that through drama, a presenter, oral history or living history. We encourage fresh and innovative ways to bring the past to life. Scale, ambition and relevance are vital as we explore how our diverse and multicultural past is central to the makeup of Australia today.  

We are focusing on medical stories and health issues that have cutting edge science and strong relevance to all Australians, and we must ensure diversity on screen, be that expert talent or any other contributors. Co-productions are always of interest to SBS, and typically science is a genre when co-productions are most common. For these, through necessity, we may expand our remit beyond issues of social cohesion in Australia if it is cost effective. This makes it all the more important for our science documentaries to embody our commissioning values, and ensure that they are truly distinctive.

Contemporary Documentaries
We are looking for creatively ambitious ideas that are big in scale that get us into contemporary issues of social cohesion in a memorable way. This can be anything from high concept constructed ideas, to observational documentaries.

Indigenous Documentaries
We are looking for documentaries that tackle big subjects and can make a difference. One quality which is important is to find a way of surprising audiences in terms of the story, and we would encourage innovative approaches to storytelling. 

Is Australia Racist?
Date my Race
First Contact Season 2
Untold Australia: Strictly Jewish

Diversity Talent Escalator
SBS and the screen agencies are collaborating to fund a new Diversity Talent Escalator to secure genuine,  flexible, on-the-job, paid learning and immersion for emerging screen practitioners from diverse backgrounds on ALL SBS commissioned programs including documentary, factual entertainment, food, comedy and/or drama programs.

Aside from practical training, the scheme will provide vital networking opportunities, hands-on experience/credit, and increase the chance of securing further work with other companies in the screen sector.

To find out more, contact your Commissioning Editor.

Working With Us

Guidelines & information for producing a show for SBS.

SBS Producer Guidelines

SBS has developed the SBS Producer Compliance Guidelines for factual material in commissioned content.

Get My Program on SBS

SBS invites distributors and producers of completed programs to submit them for consideration for potential acquisition.

Our Team

John Godfrey

John Godfrey

Head of Unscripted

Chris Irvine

Chris Irvine

Head of Commercial and Production

Joseph Maxwell

Joseph Maxwell

Head of Documentaries

Heather Oxenham

Heather Oxenham

Production Supervisor

Leigh Humberdross

Production Coordinator