ABC: National Reconciliation Week

ABC has sent further details of its programming for National Reconciliation Week May 37 – June 3.

TV specials include Stan Grant’s Counted (7.30pm Friday 26 May ABC and ABC NEWS), and a Reconciliation Special Q&A which will broadcast from Parliament House on Monday 29 May (9.35pm ABC and ABC iview).

ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie says “The ABC’s vision is to be the source of Australian stories, culture and conversations and fulfilling this aim would be impossible without a commitment to reflect the stories and contributions of Australia’s oldest cultures and First peoples.

“The ABC’s vision for reconciliation is that the diversity and distinctiveness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and perspectives are fairly represented in those conversations, stories and cultures. Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC and Garma provide all Australians with the opportunity to engage with these conversations and ensure they are heard.”

This year marks several significant historical, political and cultural anniversaries for our First Nation peoples including 50 years since the 1967 referendum, and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision. Between May and August the ABC will focus on these milestones with specially created content across all platforms.

The project encompasses three phases – Our Focus: Reconciliation Week, Our Focus: NAIDOC and Our Focus: Garma.

A highlight of Our Focus: Reconciliation Week is the long form digital feature, Right Wrongs ( which tells the story of the referendum and its impact over the last fifty years through a mixture of archival and contemporary stories, photos and videos. The ABC collaborated with the Indigenous staff and representatives from Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and National and State Libraries Australasia to access their archives as part of the project.

Throughout the week, on ABC iview (  viewers can watch a specially curated collection of programs including Mabo and the two-part mini-series The Secret River, which examine the significant events in our nation’s journey to Reconciliation, from the 1967 referendum to the historic Mabo decision and the Apology.

Multi-media project Don’t Fence Me In: Remembering Eddie Mabo reunites old friends Gail Mabo (Eddie’s daughter) and filmmaker Trevor Graham to talk about the man they knew and loved, and the court case and campaign that consumed their lives. The project includes never-before-seen footage and images as well as interviews with Koiki’s legal team, Bryan Keon-Cohen and Greg McIntyre, Henry and Margaret Reynolds. RN’s Awaye! will broadcast the audio story on Saturday June 3 at 6pm (also available at RN online and on the ABC radio app), and the digital content – articles, slideshows and social videos will be available at RN Online and News Online.

Indigenous delegates including key Indigenous decision makers from around the country will be in Uluru to discuss the 45 Constitutional Recognition models under consideration from Tuesday 23 May to Saturday 27 May. ABC will provide extensive coverage across all platforms, including on ABC Radio, with Sabra Lane and the AM team broadcasting from Uluru and surrounds throughout the week.

Also on ABC Radio, Larissa Behrendt hosts a special live edition of Speaking Out, featuring Tony Birch, Vernon Ah Kee and Linda Burney exploring where Australia needs to go in the next 50 years. This will be heard on RN on Friday 26 May at 8pm and on ABC Radio on Sunday 28 May at 9pm.

A high-powered debate about the push for an Indigenous treaty and constitutional change will be held as part of the Garrmalang Festival in Darwin. The panel discussion – entitled 250 Shades of Black after the 250 known Indigenous languages in Australia – has attracted several leading Aboriginal activists as speakers, including Michael Mansell, Josie Crawshaw, Olga Havnen and ABC Radio’s Luke Pearson and will be broadcast on Sunday 28 May at 2.30pm on the ABC NEWS channel.

Kids will enjoy Behind The News Special: Indigenous Connections (Wednesday 31st May 10:30am ABC ME) which features a group of outback children trying to make it into an Indigenous choir and explores whether an ancient Aboriginal site could be the oldest astronomical map in the world.


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