SBS reveals next Go Back to Where You Came From cast


A former refugee opposed to asylum seekers arriving by boat and a Nauru and Manus Island whistle-blower are two of the next six Australians who will participate in the third season of Go Back to Where You Came From in July.

Also appearing on the SBS documentary are two sisters with opposing opinions, a school teacher, and a self-proclaimed ‘Stop the Boats’ campaigner.

The six will challenge their beliefs about refugees and asylum seekers in an immersive, travel experience -but SBS is yet to reveal the exact destinations.

The series has been off-air for three years, last seen with a ‘celebrity cast’ in 2012.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “The refugee and asylum seeker debate is one of the most complex and divisive for our modern multicultural Australian society, and the time is right to continue the conversation now with this third series of SBS’s landmark documentary Go Back to Where You Came From.

“The previous Go Back series are among SBS’s proudest achievements. They stimulated important national discussion around the issue, and we hope this next series, which explores new angles and issues, will do the same.”

CJZ Creative Director and Executive Producer of Go Back To Where You Came From Michael Cordell said: “The latest series of Go Back is more relevant than ever. Wherever people stand, all we’ve tried to do is put a human face to a pressing global problem. And there’s no better way to do it than have six gutsy Australians undertake an extraordinary journey to better understand the issues themselves. The impact is profound and often deeply moving.

“We’re immensely proud of Go Back and hope it contributes to an intelligent and informed conversation. It’s a challenging series to make and we thank SBS for backing us a third time around.”

Much has changed in the three years since Go Back To Where You Came From season two got the nation talking back in 2012. But with the introduction of the Federal Government’s ‘Stop the Boats’ policies, controversy surrounding detainee treatment in detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, and a growing public awareness of ‘stateless’ asylum seekers, the issues are as important and divisive as ever.

Go Back will air across three consecutive nights on Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 July, at 8.30pm on SBS, followed by a special forum episode of The Feed at 9.30pm, Thursday 30 July on SBS 2, hosted by Marc Fennell.

Meet the six Australians who will embark on a journey to see the world through the eyes of refugees, including a former refugee, two sisters with opposing opinions, a Nauru and Manus Island whistle-blower, a tough talking teacher, and a ‘Stop the Boats’ campaigner:

Davy – Former refugee
“I just think that they want to explore maybe the economic opportunities that Australia offers. To me they’re not genuine refugees.”

Davy was born in Vietnam. In 1980, when Davy was a young boy, his family put him on a boat to Australia. The trip was a traumatic experience that he has struggled to come to terms with. Davy has since become a proud Aussie and he’s critical of resettled refugees who do not embrace the ‘Australian way of life’.

Kim – ‘Stop the Boats’ Facebook campaigner
“Australia is under attack. We already have the terrorists here. We are already living amongst the enemy.”

Kim believes the Rudd and Gillard governments were ‘disastrous’ for Australia. She is a voracious supporter of the Federal Government’s current border protection policies and administers a ‘Stop The Boats’ Facebook page.

Nicole – Detention centre whistle blower
“If we don’t shut the detention centres, I think there’ll be more deaths in custody.”

Nicole’s life changed when she accepted a job with the Salvation Army at Nauru Detention Centre. Within 24 hours she asked to be airlifted out, but soon after decided to stay to help detainees who she thought were being treated appallingly. Nicole spoke about conditions on Manus and Nauru before a Senate hearing and now campaigns for the dismantling of the off shore processing system.

Jodi and Renee – Two sisters with opposing views
“We’ll just be overrun with people from other countries” –Jodi
“They’re not here to take jobs, they’re here to make our society better” –Renee

Jodi and her younger sister Renee disagree about asylum seeker issues. Jodi is a strong supporter of the Federal Government’s border protection policies and believes Renee’s expectations for a generous response to refugees are unrealistic and unaffordable.

Renee works as a cultural support worker for a not for profit organisation that assists, educates and houses refugees. She specialises in looking after unaccompanied minors who come to Australia by boat.

Andrew – Tough talking school teacher
“If you let people settle here, more boats will come. It will happen. It has happened.”

Primary school teacher Andrew strongly supports the Federal Government’s policies on refugees. He believes if Australia lets more refugees seek asylum, their vastly different upbringings and backgrounds may put Australian culture in jeopardy.

Australia’s renowned academic on refugees, Dr David Corlett, will again oversee the unique social experiment, taking the six participants on a dangerous journey to experience life as a refugee firsthand. Eyes will be opened. Preconceptions will be challenged. Opinions will be changed.

Where will the participants travel to and who will they meet? More details will be revealed in coming weeks.


Go Back to Where You Came From was produced by CJZ for SBS. The previous seasons have won multiple awards, including two Logie awards for Most Outstanding Factual Program, a Golden Rose (Rose d’Or) award and an International Emmy Award for non-scripted Entertainment.

Go Back to the Classroom – teachers and students can join the journey with our online SBS Learn site featuring short clips, interactive multimedia, quizzes, related content and a Teacher Pack full of curriculum aligned activities and lessons plans. Packs will be available from the SBS website in the lead up to broadcast.


  1. barrington bumbaclaart

    Didn’t the blonde lady appear in an episode of “Living With The Enemy”? She wasn’t one of the main participants but I’m pretty sure she was in there somewhere.

  2. barrington bumbaclaart

    Looking forward to this as I rely enjoyed the last two series, but…

    …the promo is very poorly edited. There were sloppy music edits, no rhythm and the pacing was way off with too much dead air around sound bites. For a tease it’s nowhere near as snappy and punchy as it should be. Hope the series is edited better than the promo – although I suspect the “trailer” SBS has released is simply the series tease that will sit at the top of the show (like they did with a recent, controversial show).

    Also, I hope they’ve mixed it up this time around and not just stuck to the exact same format as perviously. If they have, there is a danger of the participants anticipating and knowing precisely what they’re in for which could lead to flat reactions and a lack of energy.

  3. This series has always been flawed because it’s based on the premise that those with strong views on border protection need to come around to being more ‘compassionate’ on unauthorised boat arrivals. There is no similar encouragement from the producers for those who like to publicly parade their compassion to question their idealistic beliefs of how to handle this real, ongoing problem for our country.

    • jezza the first original one

      spot on Vince… is also a tired, dated concept and a complete waste of money when the budget is supposedly tight….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.