The history of flight is filled with danger and glamour, social injustice and opportunity. Just as it brought people together, air travel also revealed the disparities in our society.
Over three weeks, Australia Come Fly With Me will celebrate the turbulent history of Australians in the air. 2020 marks 100 years of civil aviation in this country at a time when the industry is facing its biggest challenge.
Hosted by much-loved actor Justine Clarke, the three-part series is a collision of pop culture, the history of flight and the great shifts in Australian life that flying enabled. The opportunities and tensions created by air travel form the context for struggles between sexes, sexualities and cultures that reflect and foreshadow changes that would follow on the ground.
In exploring the struggles of women, Indigenous Australians, gay men and migrants to find a place in the skies, Justine hears the stories of flight attendants and pilots who broke through major barriers to work in aviation. The series is brought to life by a rich photographic archive of aircraft, people and exotic destinations, inviting us to take a trip into the past from a fresh perspective.
“Australia Come Fly With Me has been an eye-opening, exhilarating series to be part of. I loved learning about the daredevils and dreamers who made flying possible – pilots who risked their lives, women who refused to accept the status quo and migrants who were making this country home,” said Clarke. “I hope this series informs and inspires Australians in equal measure.”
Taking a heart-warming look at one of Australia’s most diverse, ambitious and important industries, the series also explores what COVID-19’s lasting effect on our love affair with flight might be. In a time of relative isolation, it shines a light on the desire within us all to connect.
As SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald, said: “Flying connected us with each other and the world, and this series will remind Australians how it has shaped our nation.”
Watch the trailer here:
Australia Come Fly With Me airs over three weeks from Wednesday 14 October at 8.30pm on SBS. The series will be subtitled in Simplified Chinese and Arabic, and added to the subtitled collection at SBS On Demand, available immediately after its premiere. It will also be available with audio description on the live television broadcast.
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