• Rachael Hocking, Natalie Ahmat, and Kris Flanders. (NITV)Source: NITV
In 2016, NITV embarked on a bold new strategy: placing news and current affairs at the heart of its schedule, in order to lead the news agenda from an Indigenous perspective. These were some of the most influential stories that shaped the year.
NITV Staff Writer

The Point
15 Dec 2016 - 12:21 PM  UPDATED 29 Mar 2017 - 11:40 AM

Every night, The Point viewers see it all; the highs, the lows, the heartwarming stories and the serious issues facing Indigenous Australians.

In 2016, we put to air 122 feature stories, more than 250 interviews in 122 episodes. At the end of each show, our usual sign-off: analysis and context, as 'that's The Point'.

Throughout the year, we've gone from the local community centre to remote homelands. We've challenged perceptions, celebrated achievements and led debate.

When looking back at the year that was, it is difficult to 'cherry pick' our best stories, but here are some of our most influential yarns, in broadcast order.

Story: Turnbull in tears
Reporter: Stan Grant
Date of Broadcast: 29 February 2016

The Point started with a bang. Our first episode was a string of 'firsts': an exclusive interview with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - one that left him in tears.

Mr Turnbull cried as he recalled an old recording of a lullaby sung in the Ngunawal language. This is the language Malcolm Turnbull spoke in the parliament as part of his closing the gap speech earlier that month.

Never before had an Indigenous language been spoken in our Federal Parliament, now the Prime Minister was giving voice to tens of thousands of years of tradition.

Stan Grant: This stops now
COMMENT | Children in our communities are taking their own lives. We need to speak out, or risk losing another generation.
Stan Grant: What next for the PM? Indigenous leaders await action after emotive interview
Following Malcolm Turnbull's emotive and heart-felt interview on NITV's The Point with Stan Grant on Monday night, the question now is - what will the PM do next?
Stan Grant: Turnbull's tears and empathy must now be turned into action
EXCLUSIVE | It's the first time that the Prime Minister has accepted an interview at the residence - and one that left him in tears.

Reporter: Laura Murphy-Oates
Date of Broadcast: 09 May 2016


As this story begins, we meet Regina Mckenzie, a concerned Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner who shows us ancient spear tips, grind stones and hearths scattered on the ground at a site shortlisted to become a nuclear waste facility in Barndioota, in South Australia's Flinders Ranges.

This artefact scatter is just one of two areas on the property that have been registered as Aboriginal heritage sites with the South Australian government.

In this report, The Point exclusively revealed that there are also ancient Aboriginal remains at the site. The findings were confirmed by state government forensic experts, stating the bone is most likely an ancient Aboriginal skull. Just how old is yet to be determined.

Ancient Aboriginal skull bone found at proposed nuclear waste site
EXCLUSIVE | A bone believed to be part of an ancient Aboriginal skull is sitting alongside thousands of Indigenous artefacts on the site of the proposed national nuclear waste facility in South Australia.
Adnyamathanha people gear-up to save their land from nuclear waste dump
As a royal commission hands down it's final report about whether South Australia should lead the way in nuclear waste, the fight over the nuclear waste dump in the community of Hawker heats up.

Reporter: Kris Flanders
Date of Broadcast: 12 May 2016

We know the statistics around health and the uphill battle faced by many of our people. When the term "closing the gap" is used, it's usually in the context of the younger generation... But what about the Elders?

Back in 2001, on the New South Wales mid-north coast, the first Elders Olympics were held to encourage people to get out and get active. Now in its 16th year, the games are bigger than ever with more teams and more events.

The Elders Olympic Games are more than just a sporting event - they give our elders something to look forward to, providing an opportunity catch up with other mob and keep active in both mind and body.

This heartfelt story won a prestigious UN Australia Media Peace Award for the Promotion of Positive Images of the Older Person category.

Aboriginal Elders Olympics, a time to pay respects and meet old friends
Memories of dancing and playing in their youth will come flooding back to hundreds of Elders who have gathered for Thursday’s Aboriginal Elders Olympics in Nelson Bay.

Story: WUNDARRA DEFUNDED (Special Investigation)
Reporter: Rachael Hocking
Date of Broadcast: 12 October 2016



There are more than six thousand Aboriginal children in out-of-home care in New South Wales, but only 12 accredited Aboriginal agencies.

As the NSW Government announces plans to overhaul the state's child protection system, one of those Aboriginal organisations faces imminent closure.

So, why is one of the few Aboriginal residential care homes in NSW being defunded?

That is the question NITV's Rachael Hocking asks in this special investigation into what's behind the defunding of a Coffs Harbour home dubbed ‘the last stop before detention’.

Why is one of the only Aboriginal residential care homes in NSW being defunded?
Wundurra Services was set-up 17 years ago as a refuge for some of Australia’s most vulnerable: Aboriginal children in out-of-home-care.

Reporter: Ella Archibald-Binge
Date of Broadcast: 22 November 2016

For 10 years, stockman Roy Savo worked 17-hour days for no pay, in what is now known as the 'Stolen Wages' scandal.

It is a painful reminder of Australia’s disturbing past: from 1898 until the early 1970s, it was illegal to pay wages to Indigenous people in Queensland, under the Aborigines Protection Act.

Instead, their wages were split between a government-managed savings account, tax, and the Aborigines Welfare Fund, with the workers themselves sometimes receiving a small amount of pocket money.

But now, a landmark class action is seeking to recover the wages stolen from thousands of Indigenous workers over a 70 year period in Queensland. It's estimated the Queensland Government owes up to $500 million, withheld under the Aborigines Protection Act until 1970.

What happened at Normanton
For 10 years, stockman Roy Savo worked 17-hour days for no pay, in what is now known as the 'Stolen Wages'. But what happened at Normanton, is what he'll never forget.

Join hosts Karla Grant, Rae Johnston, Allan Clarke, Ryan Liddle and Natalie Ahmat for hard hitting news and current affairs when The Point returns weeknights from Monday April 3rd at 9pm.