With conversations (thankfully) increasing around the rights of First Nations Australians and calls to change the date of Australia Day to another time, SBS and NITV are inviting viewers to deepen their understanding of January 26 and what it means to be Australian through their upcoming programming slate, Always Was, Always Will Be.
Throughout the week of January 19-26, the themes of Country, Identity and Nation will be featured through documentaries, news, movies and more.
The Sunrise Ceremony, presented by The Point hosts John Paul Janke and Narelda Jacobs, will air live from Bundjalung and Yugambeh Country in Coolangatta, QLD on Wednesday 26 January at 6:00am, and will mark the commencement of a daytime simulcast of programs across NITV and SBS.
The beautiful and insightful program is led by First Nations perspectives and includes reflections from non-Indigenous and multicultural voices on Australia’s past, present and future. Guests will include Wik and Soloman Islander man and musician Ziggy Ramo, Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman and Associate Professor Chelsea Watego, and prominent journalist Kerry O’Brien. The Sunrise Ceremony will also be simulcast on Channel 10.
Prior to the Sunrise Ceremony, viewers can watch a short, five-minute film titled The Land We Live On at 5:55am. The film will see eight-year-old Wiradjuri filmmaker Penelope Towney perform an Acknowledgement of Country for the Dharawal and Yuin Nations, followed by a short reflection on the significance and meaning of a Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country.
Continuing the slate, TikTok, in partnership with NITV will present a live concert hosted by Tyrone Pynor, Bianca Hunt and Grayson McCarthy-Grogan. The concert, TikTok and NITV Present: First Sounds, will air on Wednesday, January 26 at 7:30pm and will feature a specially curated line up of both emerging and established artists including Barkaa, JK-47, Nooky, Becca Hatch, Jesswar, Kobie Dee, Dallas Woods, Kaiit and more.
TikTok and NITV Present: First Sounds will be simulcast on NITV and SBS Viceland, and will also be live on NITV’s TikTok, @nitv.
After the concert, Larissa Behrendt’s documentary, Araatika! Rise Up, will premiere at 9:30pm, exploring how a group of NRL greats came together to create a new pre-game ceremony in response to the Maori Haka – one that could celebrate Australia’s First Nations cultures.
Meanwhile, each night at 7:30pm from January 19-25, NITV will air a selection of content curated around the theme of ‘Identity’, including a selection of Who Do You Think You Are episodes featuring Casey Donovan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Uncle Jack Charles and Ernie Dingo, as well as the music documentary Gurrumul and classic film Storm Boy.
The channel will also air a curated collection of ‘Nation’ themed programming each night at 8:30pm, highlighting stories from our past and present, including History Bites Back, Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky, We Don’t Need a Map, Incarceration Nation, Robbie Hood and Occupation Native. At 10:00pm each night, audiences can tune in for a selection of classic movies such as Ten Canoes, Tuduwali, Jedda, Toomelah, Radiance and Sweet Country.
SBS World Movies has also curated a collection of films based on Country, Identity and Nation including Satellite Boy, Storm Boy and Samson and Delilah which will air from 6:00pm on Wednesday January 26, while SBS Food will air a selection of programs throughout the day, including Indigenous cuisine themed episodes of The Cook Up, Kriol Kitchen and the channel premiere of The Beach.
Tanya Denning-Orman, SBS Director of Indigenous Content, said: “NITV proudly reflects and celebrates Australia’s diverse First Nations peoples, showcasing our experiences, perspectives and contributions. This year’s January 26 programming across the SBS network will reflect this once again, providing a platform for our voices to be heard, for an honest reflection of this country’s history and what’s needed for a more united and equal future. We invite all Australians to come together to join the conversation.”
For the full schedule of programming, head to the official SBS website.