NITV honours National Reconciliation Week 2017 with special programming line-up

19 May 2017

News Release

NITV will be honouring National Reconciliation Week 2017 with an extensive programming line-up and a broad scope of national on air coverage. This year also marks the 50th year anniversary of the 1967 Referendum on 27 May, and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision on 3 June; both significant milestones will be highlighted in NITV’s week of specialised programming.

Reconciliation Week is marked annually from 27 May – 3 June and acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. The week initiates an effort to break down the barriers between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, aiming to build positive and respectful relationships.

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said “As we reach milestone anniversaries this year the channel delivers an extra special slate of content that acknowledges the achievements of our reconciliation journey, how far we have come as well as highlight the challenges still ahead of us as a nation.”

2017’s theme for National Reconciliation Week is ‘Let’s take the next steps’.

Leading up to and during Reconciliation Week NITV has curated a selection of programming reflecting on the themes of forgiveness and unity. 

News & Current Affairs:

The Point presenter, Natalie Ahmat and NITV News will be in Central Australia from the 22-26 May to bring viewers coverage from the Referendum Council Gathering in Mutitjulu. Coverage will be aired nightly on NITV News Monday - Friday at 7.20pm and The Point at 9pm Monday - Thursday.

On Friday 26 May, The Point Special will include coverage of the closing ceremony and outcomes of the Referendum Council Gathering.

The Point will be live from Townsville on Friday 2 June with a cross to Torres Strait Islands ahead of nationwide Mabo Day celebrations.

Premiering on NITV:

From the Western Frontier - Premiering
Season 3, Episode 1, Monday 22 May 7.30pm

Back for its third season, From the Western Frontier features the work of emerging Indigenous Western Australian writers and directors. This third instalment examines the legacy of the Stolen Generations policies through the eyes of young Aboriginal women.

In this episode, prominent Nyungar artist Sandra Hill helps her granddaughter Meeka find her cultural identity.

Young and Black - Premiering
Wednesday 24 May, 8.30pm

Presenter, Laura Murphy-Oates speaks to four prominent Australians as they unpack the uncomfortable truths of being an Indigenous millennial. Laura asks personal and taboo questions about identity, racism, sex and everything in between.

From talking kissing cousins and stereotypes with comedian Nakkiah Lui, to life as an aspiring Liberal politician, and a sister’s struggle to save her brother from the hell of Don Dale.

50 years after the birth of the reconciliation movement, this generation of Indigenous youth were supposed to inherit a very different Australia – but what has changed, and what's still the same?

Carry the Flag - Premiering
Monday 29 May, 8.30pm

Commissioned by NITV this powerful documentary tracks the creation of the Torres Strait flag and the significant story stitched into a few pieces of coloured fabric. The design of Bernard Namok Snr created meaning for a nation of people once invisible to the mainland of Australia.

29th May 2017 is the 25th anniversary of the day that the flag was officially presented to the people of the Torres Strait. It is a father/son story. Bernard is our guide, pride mixes with sadness at the loss of his father but the rise of the Torres Strait Island flag.

Special Program Highlights:
Case 442
Sunday 21 May, 7.30pm

Frank Byrne was forcibly removed from his mother Maudie at the age of five, after 60 years, Frank finally found her amongst the patient case records of Perth’s Claremont Mental institute where she was incarcerated and eventually buried in a pauper’s grave.

Case 442 intimately follows Frank’s painful struggle and the final laying to rest of his mother. An emotionally moving story highlighting an unbreakable mother-son bond and why government removal policies have left so many Australians like Frank with a scarred and fragmented identity.

Message from Mungo
Sunday 21 May, 8.30pm

Lake Mungo is an ancient Pleistocene lake-bed in south-western New South Wales, and is one of the world’s richest archaeological sites. Message from Mungo focuses on the interface over the last 40 years between the scientists and the Indigenous communities who identify with the land and with the human remains revealed at the site. This interface has often been deeply troubled and contentious, but within the conflict and its gradual resolution lies a moving story of the progressive empowerment of the traditional custodians of the area.

The film tells a new story that has not been represented in print or film before, told entirely by actual participants from both the science and Indigenous perspectives. It was made over an eight year period and included extensive consultation with members of the Indigenous communities at Mungo.

Lousy Little Sixpence
Monday 22 May, 8.00pm

A 1983 Australian documentary which details the early years of the Stolen Generations and the struggle of Indigenous Australians against the Aboriginal Protection Board in the 1930s.

In Australia in 1909, in the state of New South Wales, the Aboriginal Protection Board planned to break up Aboriginal communities by forcibly removing their children and hiring them out as servants to white employers.

In the mid-1930s, the Aboriginal people began to organise, and to fight, the Aboriginal Protection Board. Through old newsreels, archive film, photographs and interviews with Elders, this documentary weaves a moving account of a hidden history, the early struggle for Aboriginal land rights and self-determination.

The Apology
Friday 26 May, 7.00pm

Since its inception in 1901, through to the 1960s, successive parliaments, through their legislation and administration, participated in the forced removal of children from their mothers, creating what has commonly become known as the Stolen Generations.

Many of the Stolen Generations are alive today, many of those children are still trying to reunite with their families, and many still bear the scars of lives forever torn from their language, their traditions and their stories. All agreed that a time had come for healing: a healing and reconciliation born of an apology, acceptance and forgiveness.

The Apology captures the anticipation on a thousand faces as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivers the apology, and then the spontaneous outpouring of emotion all around the country.

Vote Yes for Aborigines
Saturday 27 May, 6.30pm
Vote Yes for Aborigines presents documents the political milestone that overturned Australian constitutional law to allow Aboriginal people to be counted as Australian citizens in their own country.

Covering over 100 years leading up to the referendum, director and Indigenous Yorta Yorta woman Frances Peters-Little revisits those involved with the 1967 Referendum and the social attitudes and influences that led to the event.

More than just marking a time in history, Vote Yes for Aborigines interrogates the success of the Referendum and addresses current debates about what is meant by Australian citizenship and values and how they relate, if at all, to Aboriginal history, identity and culture

Beyond Sorry
Saturday 27 May, 7.30pm

As a young girl, Aggie Abbott hid and watched as her cousin Zita Wallace was stolen from their traditional Aboriginal community while Aggie herself was not. They were both ‘half-caste’ kids.

Aggie and Zita were separated for over fifty years. Zita Wallace, now 64, has decided to reconstruct her identity, her life and her history. With Aggie as her guide, Zita is learning everything she needs to know about being a traditional Aboriginal woman.

David Vadiveloo’s moving documentary reveals the complex pressures that come to bear when an urban Aboriginal woman tries to return to the family she was taken from as a child. It is an intimate story of cultural conflict, remarkable courage and generosity, of the ties that bind us to our kin, and of two women from the same land trying hard to reconcile two very different worlds

Mabo: Life of an Island Man
Sunday 28 May, 8.30pm

A man ahead of his time, Eddie Koiki Mabo, left an indelible legacy to the people of Australia, reshaping the landscape and opening up possibilities that many never dreamed of. Mabo: Life of An Island Man is the AFI Award winning film about the gently spoken public and private man and his inspirational triumph of justice in one of the most important developments in Australian history.

Born on Murray Island in the Torres Strait, Eddie Mabo tragically lived most of his life in exile. It was not until June 3 1992, six months after his death, that the entire island community welcomed him home, after the High Court of Australia upheld his claim that Murray Islanders held "native title" to three islands within the region - successfully challenging the notion of terra nullius, which asserted that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders did not have a system of legal ownership predating white settlement.

Both controversial and captivating, filmmaker Trevor Graham delves deep into the life of a devoted and passionate family man, investigating the dynamic person who would challenge the Australian socio-political climate and fight for change every step of the way, forever ensuring his place on Murray Island and in Australian history.

After Mabo
Sunday 4 June, 8.30pm

After Mabo was filmed during 1996 and 1997 and provides the most relevant 'snapshot' from that period of the land justice issue as it unravelled over an eighteen month period. The film dispels many of the myths about native title and exposes the real political and economic agenda behind John Howard's 'Ten Point Plan'. After Mabo takes viewers behind the doors as Indigenous representatives attempt to fight the amendments in the media, in the bush and in the halls of Parliament House, Canberra.

Included in the film is respected Indigenous figures including Noel Pearson, Peter Yu, Pat Dodson and filmmaker Richard Frankland, speaking first-hand about land justice and the threat that the proposed Howard Amendments had to their land and their rights.