Six people with little or no contact with indigenous people live in their communities for a month in a powerful new three-part series called First Contact.
According to Reconciliation Australia research, six out of 10 non-indigenous Australians have had little or no contact with the country’s native people. So, what happens when you gather six of those people with strong opinions and confront their beliefs head-on?
Jasmine, Bo-dene, Trent, Alice, Sandy and Marcus, with veteran reporter, Ray Martin, at the helm of this unnavigable ship, spend a month in various indigenous communities — from the streets of Redfern to the remote communities of the outback — to be tested about their strong beliefs and assumptions about indigenous people.
“The six participants are hosted by indigenous families right across Australia and will have their preconceptions and views challenged,” SBS director of television, Tony Iffland, said.
“The journey is at times testing, but also incredibly heart-warming. Underneath it all lies an exploration of the divide that still exists between aboriginal Australians and the rest of the nation.”
Video credit: SBSAustralia
Produced by Blackfella Films, which was also responsible for Redfern Now and Mabo, cocreator Darren Dale says the program is a good chance for debate.
“The Reconciliation Attitude Barometer found six out of 10 people have had little to no contact with indigenous people and that got us thinking about the chasm in understanding. No wonder there are some fundamental misconceptions,” Dale said.
“We’re taking six ordinary Aussies on a journey and hope other people, from the comfort of their lounge rooms, can explore some of their own views.”
We’re hoping to see at least these 10 myths and gross misconceptions about indigenous Australians busted by First Contact:
1. Aboriginals get more benefits and handouts than anyone else:
Indigenous people in Australia have lowest education, health and poverty statistics due to inaccessibility to services @GardenOfReflect
— Brandon Hamber (@BrandonHamber) October 29, 2014
2. They aren’t interested in accessing education:
Australian Bureau of Statistics data: for the first time 51.1% of indigenous students finishing Year 12 http://t.co/kOlxwVN9IG
— Indigenous Law UNSW (@ILC_UNSW) March 20, 2013
3. Aboriginals drink their money away or are petrol-sniffing addicts:
— A/Prof Jon Willis (@prof_jon) May 25, 2014
4. They don’t want to help themselves:
— Castan Centre (@CastanCentre) May 15, 2012
5. They’re lazy:
— Bean🔥 (@SomersetBean) July 31, 2014
6. They have all the tools to succeed, but just don’t want to:
Australia: Racism causing mental health issues in Indigenous communities, survey shows http://t.co/7ncpRDTugJ
— Media Diversified (@WritersofColour) August 1, 2014
7. They don’t want to forget the past and move on:
— Magdalena Roze (@Magdalena_Roze) August 4, 2014
8: They’re freeloaders who take advantage of the system:
9. Indigenous people have equal rights:
— KellieTranter (@KellieTranter) May 2, 2013
10. Their take on the world isn’t valid or valuable in modern society:
— EVERALD COMPTON (@EVERALDATLARGE) November 2, 2014
What other myths need to be busted about indigenous people in Australia? Share your comments and thoughts with us below.
Tune in to First Contact from Tuesday, Nov. 18 on SBS One, NITV and replayed on SBS 2.