• Go Back to Where You Came From (SBS)Source: SBS
A big part of the network's mission is to start a conversation about topics that might not get coverage elsewhere. Here are all the times SBS got the nation talking this year...
Genevieve Dwyer

17 Dec 2015 - 5:32 PM  UPDATED 18 Dec 2015 - 10:21 AM

Go Back to Where You Came From

2015 gave Australian’s the third season of Go Back to Where You Came From, and probably the show’s most controversial contestant yet. Kim Vuga.

“Australia is under attack. We already have the terrorists here. We are already living amongst the enemy,” said Kim.

Kim refused to be persuaded by the experience of following in the footsteps of a refugee, and unsurprisingly, she provoked a strong reaction from viewers. Following the airing of the show the Townsville grandmother has announced that she will run for the Senate in the next federal election and continue to advocate her hardline anti-immigration stance.



Insight never fails in its mission to tackle the big issues and never shies away from controversial topics. 2015 has seen the Walkley award winning Jenny Brockie play host to issues from Ice addiction, shark attacks, choosing to live without kids, obsessions, matchmaking, sexual harassment, trusting robots and most recently: cousins who fall in love with each other.


Struggle Street

Struggle Street was met with a strong reaction by all who viewed its portrayal of life on the poverty line via several families in Sydney’s Mount Druitt. It addressed the many issues this community has to deal with on a daily basis: mental health issues, drug abuse, financial strain and homelessness.

Some of the mixed reactions to what was shown:

Clearly everyone was keen to watch though as it drew in a record-breaking crowd. While some were angered by the show, ultimately it did succeed in reflecting a part of the population that is often overlooked and rarely portrayed on our television screens. Even Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali, initially angered by what he called an “unfair” portrayal of his constituents, conceded that the show did shed much need light on the issues faced by many families.

"Once again last night there wasn't too much in-depth analysis, but it did raise [issues in] people's personal lives and it also showed how people are … overcoming adversity,” he told reporters at a press conference following the show’s airing.


The Principal

Set in a multicultural high school in Sydney’s tough western suburbs, this SBS drama was widely acclaimed for its gripping storyline and terrific performances. Most importantly though was the fact that it tackled issues that other shows are afraid to touch: violence, drug abuse, sexuality and the radicalization of young people in Australia.

Subsequently it was met with great praise from viewers:


Lee Lin Chin

How could Lee Lin NOT get people talking, really? Take her fashion sense, which blew everyone out of the water at this year’s Logies.

Karl Stefanovic sure can’t stop talking about her:

Then there was that time she campaigned to be Taylor Swift’s guest star onstage during her recent Aussie tour:

Somewhat IDIOTICALLY, Tay-Tay did not oblige, and the people of Australia were left disappointed.


Kebab Kings

Kebab Kings showed just how a local kebab shop can is really the perfect encapsulation of a diverse and multicultural Australia, and it’s messy, messy nightlife. It got many fans talking as they couldn’t help but join in on the ‘kebabble’ too!



2015 of course marked the first time that Australia was able not only to watch the Eurovision Song Contest but also to participate with our very own entrant Guy Sebastian. We voted too!

And it clearly paid off, as SBS declared it the ‘most successful Eurovision EVER’ with over 4.2million Australians tuning in to watch at least part of the contest. People around the country even held their own Eurovision viewing parties and got into the spirit of things:

Now we’ve got 2016 to look forward to, after it was revealed that Australia will be participating again next year!