• Season 5 of ‘Untold Australia’. (SBS)Source: SBS
This summer, SBS takes you on a journey with three incredibly powerful and uplifting documentaries in the brand-new season of Untold Australia.
SBS Guide

22 Dec 2020 - 6:02 PM  UPDATED 25 Jan 2021 - 4:54 PM

From a group of Australians fighting to find overcome their stutters to a year in the life of three drag queens and a visit to the iconic outback town of Birdsville, the new season of Untold Australia again showcases gripping stories from across the nation.

This is the fifth season of the series, which has previously shared engaging and thought-provoking tales including Outback Rabbis and Love Me As I Am (catch up on these and more in seasons three and four, streaming now at SBS On Demand).

This new season of the critically acclaimed documentary collection premieres on Tuesday 5 January with Stutter School.

Stuttering affects one in 100 Australians. Most of us don’t think twice about asking someone for directions or ordering a meal, but what if the words just won’t come out? This documentary follows four brave Australian stutterers, the youngest aged just 12 and the oldest 64, on a once-in-a-lifetime make-or-break journey to find their voice. Over four confronting, intensive and emotionally charged days, they will be pushed to breaking point. Will they succeed? And how could it transform their lives?

Next on Tuesday 12 January at 8.30pm is Birdsville or Bust which follows the story of the isolated and iconic Australian outback town of Birdsville. The town’s population of just over 100 people mushrooms twice a year with a flood of almost 20,000 partygoers who transform this quiet outpost. For one weekend in September the dusty desert hosts The Birdsville Races, dubbed ‘The Melbourne Cup of the Outback’, and for three days in July there’s The Big Red Bash, billed as the world’s most remote music festival, but what happens when the tourists depart, the mercury hits 49.5 degrees Celsius and an army of flies occupies this remote town?

The series culminates on Tuesday 19 January at 8.30pm with a year in the lives of three fabulous drag queens as they confront major personal challenges on Bowled Over. Nine years ago, an eclectic troupe of drag queens rescued North Ipswich Bowls Club from financial ruin, thanks largely to the spectacular success of the monthly drag show – Taboo. This charming, inspiring story centres on three drag queens – Crystal Heart, wanda dparke, and 12-year-old Candy Featherbottom – who are now having to save themselves, their careers and their dreams.


SBS Head of Documentaries, Joseph Maxwell said: “SBS is so proud to showcase this diverse strand of single documentaries. Each documentary gives remarkable and intimate access to worlds and people that many Australians rarely encounter.”

Stutter School  is produced for SBS by Southern Pictures with principal production investment from Screen Australia. Birdsville or Bust and Bowled Over are produced for SBS by Mint Pictures and Flickchicks respectively with principal production investment from Screen Australia and with funding from Screen Queensland.

See Stutter School Tuesday, 5 January, 8.30pm on SBS and Sunday, 10 January, 10.10pm on SBS VICELAND; Birdsville or Bust Tuesday, 12 January, 8.30pm on SBS and Sunday, 17 January, 10.10pm on SBS VICELAND; Bowled Over Tuesday, 19 January, 8.30pm on SBS and Sunday, 24 January, 10.10pm on SBS VICELAND


Untold Australia S5 is available on SBS On Demand, with the option to watch the episodes in a variety of subtitled languages: Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Korean and Vietnamese.


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