• Writer Nayuka Gorrie is written two episodes of the new children's show, Thalu (Facebook/Melbourne Writers Festival)Source: Facebook/Melbourne Writers Festival
With humour at the heart of new kids' series Thalu, comedy writer and social commentator, Nayuka Gorrie contributes amusing storylines for this unique kids' show.
Emily Nicol

20 Apr 2020 - 5:32 PM  UPDATED 20 Apr 2020 - 5:38 PM

Known for their sharp political and social commentary and comedic wit, Gunai, Gunditjmara Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta person, Nayuka Gorrie is one of Australia's most respected writers, with a loyal following for their funny, frank and very smart observations. 

While their contributions to ABC's Black Comedy sees them sketching provocative jokes from failed sex parties to sending up television morning shows, last year, Nayuka's writing talents took a seemingly unlikely shift into the children's space. However, Nayuka is adamant that "funny is funny", regardless of age.

Humour is at the heart of Thalu, a new live-action kids' series where adventure follows a group of cheeky young Indigenous children who are on a mission to save their community from a mysterious dust cloud and its evil inhabitants. 

The main cast of young ones are all first-time actors, whose natural talents come alive on-camera, but the supporting roles and cameos make this show a complete all-star cast. Elaine Crombie, Trevor Jamieson, Aaron McGrath, Gabe "Bushtucker Bunji" Willie are just some of the famous faces who are seen throughout the series. The same goes for behind the scenes, with award-winning actor Hunter Page-Lochard showcasing his directing talents, comedian David Woodhead writing several episodes and so too, Nayuka Gorrie.   

"[I was approached by] one of Thalu's producers Mark O'Toole who was from Black Comedy," they tell NITV. "And he was keen to get a particular voice, kind of comedic — which I'm sure is throughout the whole show — but in particular, it's what they were looking for."

Nayuka says that writing for a younger audience didn't require too much of a change in their original style.

"You kind of think a bit more laterally," they explain. "It's like thinking about accessibility, how to make the jokes accessible to young people, but it's not at all about 'dumbing it down' but just meeting people where they are at, it just really forces you to get creative."

Nayuka says they're most excited about seeing the particular characters they've written come alive on screen, having taken inspiration from community and blak comradery.  

"There are a few cameos, guest characters and it was really a lot of fun writing those, they are the voices of older people and it was fun writing this dialogue between all these blackfellas," they said.

"I think this is going to be something everyone can enjoy, and what I really love about it is that it's really quite original. It's fun and a bit Mad-Max style, in a dystopian world.

They've totally imagined a new world, which is really cool."


Thalu premieres Tonight, 6.30pm on NITV. Catch up is available on SBS On Demand.