Gretel Killeen, Meshel Laurie join Go Back to Where You Came From Live

Gretel Killeen, Meshel Laurie and former AFL player Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt are amongst first cast names revealed for Go Back to Where You Came From Live for SBS.

Airing Live over 3 nights in early October, the fourth instalment of the ground-breaking documentary event will see a group of Australians immersed in some of the most dangerous places on earth to experience the refugee crisis first-hand.

The participants, who will be a mix of high profile and everyday Australians, include:

Meshel Laurie, comedian, radio and TV personality, is an active supporter of asylum seekers. Her Buddhist spiritualism is a motivator for her to give back to communities around the world.

Spida Everitt, ex-AFL player and breakfast radio host who believes refugees should only come in “the right way”, should work and offer something to Australia. Spida thinks African gangs are a problem in Melbourne and worries for the safety of his daughters who live there.

Gretel Killeen, writer, performer and media personality. Gretel believes Australia’s treatment of refugees is barbaric.

Steve, 41, from Adelaide, a prison youth worker and anti-refugee provocateur who thinks Australia’s stop the boats policy is effective. Steven says refugees in Australia are country shoppers, who head to Australia for economic reasons.

Gareth, 29, a theatre student from Bathurst, with mixed views. While he believes indefinite detention is not humane, says we can’t just open the floodgates and need to protect our borders.

Dannii, 24, from Townsville, is a young conservative who works at her local church and believes in protecting Australia’s cultural values. She thinks our current policies are spot on and shouldn’t be altered.

SBS will announce more participants and the global locations they will visit in the coming weeks.

Marshall Heald, SBS Director of Television and Online Content, said: “Using state of the art technology to broadcast from the heart of the global refugee crisis, Go Back to Where You Came From Live is one of the most ambitious television events in Australian broadcasting history. By taking audiences to the frontlines of this crisis in real time, the latest instalment of SBS’s award-winning series will capture a snapshot of the issue as it develops with a sense of urgency befitting the subject.

“Opinions will be challenged as we witness stories of adversity, resilience and an optimism for a new life from refugees and asylum seekers at home and abroad. Putting this human face on a seemingly unsurmountable problem and encouraging a national conversation is what SBS does best.”

Michael Cordell, CJZ Creative Director, said: “Covering the global refugee experience in a live television event is probably the most difficult project we have attempted. Despite the challenges it’s hard to imagine a more important story to bring to Australian audiences. The immediacy and veracity of live TV will make this incredibly compelling.”

Over three nights from 2 – 4 October, Australian audiences will follow events live from conflict hotspots and frontlines across multiple continents, witnessing the complexity of mass human migration and its ripple effects in 2018. Journalist Ray Martin and SBS World News’ Janice Petersen will be stationed in the ‘Nerve Centre’ in the studio in Sydney, as the stories unfold through a mix of documentary elements and live crosses to participants on-the-ground.

The participants, each with pre-conceived ideas about refugees, will glimpse the reality of life in disputed territories, at border crossings and inside refugee camps. They will get a first-hand experience of the global refugee crisis beyond the headlines, protests and policies, and opinions from all sides of the debate will be challenged.

Go Back to Where You Came From Live is a CJZ production for SBS, with principal production investment from SBS in association with Screen Australia. Financed with the assistance of Create NSW.

Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia, said: “It is exciting to see this award-winning series return in an innovative and more technologically advanced format. SBS has proven itself to be a leader in event television, with bold documentaries that spark national conversations on complex issues. With new hosts, and new ways of bringing these stories into Australian living rooms, I’m sure this series, produced by the experienced team at CJZ, will resonate with audiences and have an impact beyond broadcast.”

Sophia Zachariou, Director of Screen Investment, Engagement and Attraction at Create NSW said: “As a champion of diverse storytelling, we are hugely excited to be involved in what is set to be a timely and epic broadcast experience. Through incredible access, Go Back Live will shine a unique light on the global refugee crisis to capture the attention of audiences across the country and challenge the perceptions of many. This is such an exciting technological feat for SBS and we can’t wait to watch the experience unfold across the three nights.”

This is the fourth season of CJZ and SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From; one of the world’s most awarded television formats – winner of two Logie Awards, an AACTA Award, an International Emmy, and two Rose d’Or awards, as well as a UN Peace Award.

Live 8.30pm 2 – 4 October on SBS.


  1. jezza the first original one

    Yawn yawn, well they’re not exactly going to convince Meshel and Gretel to militarise our borders are they? It’s just the same old refugee sob story constantly being pushed. A waste of money with a tired message and formula….

  2. Can’t wait for this. Funnily enough, the other day one of my students asked me if SBS were going to make anymore of them – the first series is an option to study for the Common Module in the NSW English HSC. They find it fascinating – hopefully they will find further insights through this!

  3. This is a great series and I love that they are trying new things but I’m skeptical that going live will add anything significant to the program. I will definitely watch and genuinely hope I’m that I’m wrong

    • It’s like what the main character in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend said -“People aren’t characters. They’re complicated. And their choices don’t always make sense” =D

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.