• The Point co-hosts John Paul Janke and Narelda Jacobs will present the Sunrise Ceremony, a special event reflecting the significance of January 26. (SBS)Source: SBS
National Indigenous Television (NITV) and SBS invite communities to deepen their understanding of January 26 and what it means to be Australian through the upcoming programming slate, 'Always Was, Always Will Be'.
NITV Staff Writers

8 Jan 2021 - 4:36 PM  UPDATED 25 Jan 2021 - 12:33 PM

NITV’s January 26 special event, Sunrise Ceremony will invite audiences to enhance their understanding of Australia’s past, present and future as the dawn rises, while acknowledging and embracing a shared future.

Hosted by NITV’s John Paul Janke and featuring Network 10 presenter Narelda Jacobs, the program will feature a range of guests, including Guyala Bayles, and public figures such as Kerry O’Brien, plus incredible musical performances from artists including Electric Fields and Troy Cassar-Daley.

The event will be simulcast across NITV, SBS and Channel 10 from 6am on Tuesday, January 26, as well as live on SBS On Demand.


It's happening all week

Dedicated programs, special events, premieres and news highlights will air across both NITV and SBS from January 19-26 with a focus on encouraging greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.

Director of Indigenous Content at SBS, Tanya Denning-Orman, said NITV — Australia's national Indigenous broadcaster — provides a vital platform for First Nations voices, truth-telling, and inspiration for all Australians.

“January 26 continues to be a time of reflection and healing for our communities, and as the nation marks the day, NITV and SBS play a unique role in bringing all Australians — regardless of their background — together, through an honest and respectful conversation about our nation’s identity and the impact of history on our lives today.

“This year, once again, we’re inviting all Australians to join us to take part in this discussion, as we explore and reflect, and encourage an understanding of Australia’s past, present and potential for the future.” 

"This year, once again, we’re inviting all Australians to join us to take part in this discussion"

Something completely new and very exciting! 

Inspired by an immense year of worldwide activism and attention on race relations, NITV is proud to launch The Whole Table in collaboration with the Sydney Theatre Company.

Premiering on Wednesday, January 20 at 8.30pm, the three-part special will feature a round table discussion exploring Indigenous issues faced in the arts around the world. Hosted by Shari Sebbens (The Sapphires, Top End Wedding, Redfern Now), and helmed by panellists Wesley Enoch, Nakkiah Lui and Rhoda Roberts, each episode will invite different guests to the table to debate and better understand Indigenous affairs in the arts. Academy Award winner Taika Waititi and renowned actor Miranda Tapsell lead the list of significant guests that will join the panellists throughout each episode.


Healing before January 26 

On Monday, January 25, join NITV for 24-hours of reflection and healing on the Day of Mourning.

As the sun sets, audiences are invited to tune into The Point: Vigil Special, live from Barangaroo, Gadigal Country, in partnership with Sydney Festival. 

Marking the return of NITV’s flagship current affairs program for 2021, host Rachael Hocking will lead a conversation with a panel of Indigenous and multicultural guests about the stories that define us as Australians and how we move forward as a unified nation honouring and respecting the true history of our country. The Point: Vigil Special will broadcast live from 7.30pm on NITV, NITV Facebook Live and SBS On Demand. From 8.30-10.30pm, stay tuned for live rolling coverage of The Vigil on NITV, Facebook and SBS On Demand.

Slow TV will then return to NITV throughout the night in the form of Bamay II. From 10.30pm-3:30am, viewers can enjoy a bird’s eye view of some of Australia's most stunning landscapes — from the Snowy Mountains to the Whitsundays. Accompanied by factoids, Bamay II pays tribute to that which gives us life: Country. The Slow TV spectacular will be repeated in HD on SBS from 10.30pm on Sunday, January 31.


DAY 26.

On January 26, following the Sunrise Ceremony, rolling news coverage from every corner of the country will be hosted via NITV News on-air and via Facebook Live, culminating in a wrap program NITV News: Day 26 at 7.30pm.

From 8.30pm, Warwick Thornton’s masterpiece The Beach will return to NITV and SBS. Join the filmmaker as he gives up life in the fast lane to go it alone on an isolated beach in one of the most beautiful yet brutal environments in the world, to see if he can transform and heal his life.


What's happening across the SBS network

SBS On Demand will host Australian content on the SBS On Demand homepage on Tuesday, January 26, as well as an ‘Australian Made’ curated collection of programs, selected by playwright and artistic director Wesley Enoch. From Tuesday, January 26, newly subtitled episodes of First Australians will be available and translated into five languages: Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Hindi and Korean, in order to make the program more accessible to multicultural communities.

In the lead up to January 26, NITV Online’s Take It Blak podcast will host a conversation on the issues and topics that surround the day. Hosted by Jack Latimore, listeners will have the chance to hear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander opinions and analysis around one of the most contentious days in the calendar.

Throughout the week, NITV Radio will be interviewing incredible talent from across the Always Was, Always Will Be programming slate including Troy Cassar-Daley, Shari Sebbens and Adam Manovic (Head of Entertainment, Events & Creative, NITV).

SBS World Movies will air Tudawali on Tuesday, January 26 at 9.30pm. Starring Ernie Dingo, the film provides an insight into the life of the first Indigenous Australian film star, and how he became an iconic actor in the Australian film industry.

SBS Food will host a marathon of On Country Kitchen from 8.30am-4.00pm. Join Aboriginal chef Mark Olive and comedian Derek Nannup as they fuse native bush ingredients with contemporary cooking, to create mouth-watering dishes and simple cooking tips from our own backyard.

SBS Sport will place a spotlight on stories celebrating Indigenous Paralympians, as well as collaborating with the NBL to produce a series of conversations for its NBL: Next Generation program with the first Indigenous Australian to play in the NBA, Torres Strait Islander man Nate Jawai, highlighting conversations with the next generation of Indigenous Australian basketball players.

SBS Learn will support teachers across the country and encourage engagement with the conversations around January 26 by providing trusted resources and learning opportunities. New resources that explore The Point and Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky (in partnership with the Maritime Museum) will be released. These add to extensive teacher resources exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, cultures and histories on SBS Learn.

As NITV shines a light on Australia’s shared history through stories of strength, resilience, survival and celebration throughout the week, on the channel, audiences will find inspiring and thought-provoking films and documentaries include Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country, Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky and SBS' Australia in Colour

NITV’s award-winning news and current affairs programs will return in the week leading up to January 26. Hosted by Natalie Ahmat, Nula (NITV's weekly news in review program) will return on Friday, January 22.

Karla Grant will be joined by Australian lawyer, academic, land rights activist and founder of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, Noel Pearson on Living Black at 7.30pm on Monday, January 25.


Join the conversation on social media #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe.