Just prior to this most recent trip to Melbourne Lucy and I attended the premiere of the upcoming SBS documentary series, First Australians, held at the Opera House in Sydney.
Six years in the making, this multi platform project is the most ambitious to be undertaken on Indigenous Australia. The project encompasses seven episodes of landmark television, a substantial online experience, educational and retail DVD, a hard cover pictorial book and a community outreach program. The series First Australians chronicles the birth of contemporary Australia as never told before, from the perspective of its first people. It begins in 1788 in Sydney, with the friendship between an Englishmen (Governor Phillip) and a warrior (Bennelong) and ends in 1993 with Koiki Mabo’s legal challenge to the foundation of Australia. First Australians chronicles the collision of two worlds and the genesis of a new nation. - firstaustralians.com.au
An enjoyable evening, the event kicked off with an opportunity to catch up with some friends and family, along with meeting new people (particularly those whose literary and academic works I am familiar with and admire). Some media personalities amongst the crowd or upon the stage that I was familiar with were Debra Mailman (Radiance), Karla Grant (Living Black - SBS), Peter O'Brien (Water Rats, Flying Doctors etc.. he was dressed like a train robber from the ol' West) and unless Lucy and I were both mistaken and most curiously we also saw Kevin McLoud (Grand Designs - UK), and not to forget that guitarist fellow who played a few years with Mental as Anything and engaged us in conversation for a fair whack of the evening. Nice bloke.. whoever you are!
The presentations made by the directors and producers of First Australians, along with the head of SBS and Jenny Macklin made for a thoroughly enlightening evening, and one that built my anticipation and axcitement for the first episode of First Australians to new highs.
The episode I appear in doesn't screen until I think October 22 or 24, but Episode One starts 12 October, 8.30pm on SBS.