Multi award-winning actress Deborah Mailman will return to NITV in the New Year for season two of Little J and Big Cuz.
The Logie award-winning children series follows the lives of two kids, their nanna, and dog as they learn about culture, the importance of community and saltwater, desert and freshwater country.
The series has also been a vital tool in the classroom in efforts to demystifying culture for non-Indigenous kids.
Deborah Mailman, who voices Big Cuz, told NITV News the show is “cheeky” but also shows the diversity of counties in Australia.
“I love that it’s entertaining. I love that it’s about two Indigenous kids and we are watching their adventures and them growing up in the world and that they are being taught what it means to be on country,” she said.
“And this show shows the diversity of what country means.”
The series also aims to teach kids vital life lessons and how to emotionally deal with tough situations.
“It’s great to see teamwork, kids exploring their emotions and really not having the answer for it but trying to find those answers,” Ms Mailman said.
“It’s hard when you are kids. The world is big, and often you don’t know how to respond to things… and I think the show does it in a sensitive way.”
Ms Mailman said the show is an opportunity to shine a positive light on “Indigenous Australia” and that it “has not just resonated with our own mob but across classrooms and with all kids”.
“It allows our kids to grow up seeing themselves on screen or at least having some relationship to these kids and these stories… it knows how to speak to a wider audience,” she said.
“I can’t speak enough with how amazing [the show] is for us in this country… there was not one show that showed the experience of what it was like being an Indigenous kid and now this show is it.”
Season one of the series first aired on NITV in 2017 and was translated into six Indigenous languages.
More languages, including Noongar and Warlpiri, will be included as part of season two.
Episode 13 of the season will be in honour of the late Ningalia Lawford-Wolf who passed away in August this year.
Ms Lawford-Wolf voiced Nanna in both season one and two of the series. Her family have stated that her “career was a big part of who she was, and she would have wanted to continue to share her work”.
Ms Mailman said the family have given permission for producers to continue using the voice of Ms Lawford-Wolf for season three, but Ms Mailman is unsure of how that is yet to be executed.
Other First Nations actors featured in the series include Miranda Tapsell as Little J and Aaron Fa’aoso as Old Dog.
Little J & Big Cuz will premiere on NITV on Friday 10 January, airing weekly. Episodes will be available on SBS On Demand and NITV’s interactive Little J & Big Cuz webpage immediately after broadcast.