NAIDOC Week 2023: NITV, SBS, ABC, 10 guide.

Highlights include NAIDOC Week Awards, Going Places with Ernie Dingo, Firebite, Limbo, First Weapons & First Inventors.

NAIDOC Week celebrations will be held from 2 – 9 July to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In 2023 the theme is For Our Elders.

Themed programming takes place across NITV / SBS, ABC and Network 10.

Amongst the highlights are NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony, Season 5 of Going Places with Ernie Dingo, the Free to Air premiere of Firebite, The SBS Elder in Residence Oration, Movie: Limbo, First Weapons and First Inventors.


Tanya Denning-Orman, a proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman and Director of Indigenous Content at SBS, said: “In a year when putting First Nations voices front and centre is so important, we are inviting all Australians to come and watch, listen, learn and be inspired through our special NAIDOC Week line-up.

“Each year, SBS brings communities together in a celebration of Blak excellence during NAIDOC Week, and in 2023 we’re excited to once again present programming and coverage that champions First Nations stories, and shares the history, knowledges and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in more than 60 languages across the SBS network. We’re also celebrating the trailblazers and cultural knowledge holders that empower and guide us every day, in recognition of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, ‘For Our Elders’.”

SBS is celebrating National NAIDOC Week 2023 across the network with a huge programming line-up, along with extensive multiplatform and multilingual coverage, celebrating the history, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. From 2-9 July, stories and moments will bring Australians together, and explore this year’s National NAIDOC Week theme, For Our Elders.

SBS and NITV’s impressive NAIDOC Week offering includes the return of Going Places with Ernie Dingo for a new season of the unique travel series. Premiering on NITV and SBS on Saturday 8 July at 7.30pm, Aaron Fa’Aoso, Network 10’s Narelda Jacobs OAM, Rae Johnston and Bianca Hunt join Ernie Dingo to help explore the continent and dive into the entertaining stories of everyday, passionate locals who call these places home.

During the week, NITV will also premiere the thrilling vampire drama Firebite, directed by Warwick Thornton and starring Rob Collins, in its free-to-air television debut, from Thursday 6 July at 9.30pm, also available on SBS On Demand.

Kicking off the week of celebration, the National NAIDOC Week Awards returns to NITV for the 11th year, with a simulcast of the ABC live broadcast of the ceremony on Saturday July 1 at 7.30pm. Mark Coles Smith and Casey Donovan will host the awards ceremony.

Rounding out the week, SBS is proud to broadcast the first SBS Elder in Residence Oration, presented by Widjabul Wia-bal woman from the Bundjalung Nation, Rhoda Roberts AO, on Sunday 9 July at 7.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand. Appointed as SBS’s inaugural Elder in Residence in 2020, Roberts is an eminent community and industry leader. revered and celebrated as a pioneer in the arts and creative sector.

SBS’s unique ability to connect the newest Australians with the world’s oldest living culture will also be amplified during NAIDOC Week, with news and stories in more than 60 languages across the SBS Audio network, as well as SBS News in Mandarin and SBS News in Arabic on SBS WorldWatch and SBS On Demand.

There’s also a range of documentaries, movies and news and current affairs across the wider network, and teaching resources available to help students of all ages learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. The SBS Learn resource will be available for all teachers to download online.

NITV’s week of programming celebrates the theme of Elders and those people that have inspired the next generations. with a selection of Living Black: The Icons, nightly at 5pm. This includes conversations with Archie Roach, Patrick Dodson, Ernie Dingo, Wilma Reading, Pat Anderson, Linda Burney and Ken Wyatt and an episode titled ‘Strong Women’.

Going Places with Ernie Dingo
Airing weekly from Saturday 8 July at 7.30pm from on NITV and SBS, and on SBS On Demand
More than a travel show, Going Places with Ernie Dingo is a documentary program with heart, featuring the wonderful everyday people of Australia and the unique connections they have with the places they call home. Going Places returns for a fifth season with 12 episodes, showcasing more spectacular locations and characters than ever before.

After travelling the country solo many times over, Ernie Dingo is joined by Aaron Fa’Aoso, Narelda Jacobs, Rae Johnston and Bianca Hunt, and each episode features three locations:

Episode one: Pemberton, Bamaga, Broken Hill
Ernie explores the ancient forests and shifting sand dunes of Pemberton, Bianca breaks into the drag queen scene of Broken Hill and Aaron’s language and dance is put to the test back home in Bamaga.
Episode two: Bay of Fires, Fremantle, Healesville
Rae sets out on foot to traverse Tasmania’s Bay of Fires, Ernie catches up with the founder of Freo’s famed cappuccino strip and Narelda meets a Sapphire empowering Aboriginal youth.
Episode three: Fitzroy Crossing, Bellenden Ker, Inverloch
Ernie cruises the ancient waterways of Danggu Gorge, Aaron catches up with a talented woodcarver in Queensland’s sugarcane country and Narelda tries her hand at natural horsemanship in regional Victoria.

Airing weekly from Thursday July 6 at 9.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand
An eight-part drama from Warwick Thornton, the prolific writer-director-cinematographer, Firebite is set in a remote mining town in the middle of the South Australian desert. When the Vampire King (Callan Mulvey) arrives to the last colonial stronghold in a remote Australian mining town, it’s up to two Aboriginal renegades – Tyson (Rob Collins) and Shanika (Shantae Barnes-Cowan) – to stop the Vampire King and end the bloody 230-year war for land and power.

National NAIDOC Week Awards Ceremony
Saturday 1 July at 7.30pm simulcast on NITV
Broadcast from Meanjin Brisbane, the ceremony will be hosted by the award-winning star of Mystery Road: Origin, proud Nyikina man, actor, writer, and producer, Mark Coles Smith and multi award-winning singer/songwriter, Casey Donovan. NITV will simulcast the ABC’s broadcast of the Awards.

Monday 3 July to Thursday 6 July at 6.30pm on NITV
The latest news from the oldest living culture, join Mudburra and Wagadagam woman Natalie Ahmat and the team of NITV journalists for stories from an Indigenous perspective.

Living Black
Monday 3 July at 8.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand
Singer, songwriter and actor Christine Anu is interviewed by Walkley Award-winning host and executive producer Karla Grant in this episode of Living Black, the longest-running Indigenous current affairs program on Australian screens. Christine Anu is a veteran of the Australian music industry, having performed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, to Uluru with NITV in both 2012 and 2022. Now, Christine shares her remarkable journey to stardom.

The Point: Referendum Road Trip
Tuesdays at 7.30pm on NITV, 10.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand
The home of First Nations perspectives, this season will inform all Australians in the lead up to the Referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Hosted by proud Wuthathi and Meriam man John Paul Janke and Whadjuk Noongar woman Narelda Jacobs, the episode premiering on Tuesday 4 July will explore the big issues in regional Queensland, as part of the season’s road trip throughout Australia, sharing voices from communities, engaging in debate and providing insightful analysis about the Referendum.

Over the Black Dot
Tuesdays at 8.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand
The weekly rugby league analysis program featuring legendary NRL player and proud Anaiwan man Dean Widders, Dual International Timana Tahu, and Bo de la Cruz, who is a proud descendant of the Gudjula and Erubian people and a multi-award-winning Touch, Rugby Union and Rugby League player, continues. Covering game highlights championing First Nations achievements in the sport, this episode will also celebrate NAIDOC Week.

Yokayi Footy
Wednesdays at 8.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand
The weekly AFL show which celebrates First Nations talent with bold yarns, powerful monologues, compelling community stories and exclusive interviews with Indigenous AFL players will also celebrate NAIDOC Week. Produced in partnership with AFL Studios and Typecast Entertainment, Yokayi Footy is hosted by former Richmond and Collingwood player and proud Mineng and Yinggarda man, Andrew Krakouer, and proud Warumungu/Yawuru woman and fitness professional Megan Waters.

Fridays at 3pm on SBS and 5.30pm on NITV
Recapping the biggest stories of the week, join Mudburra and Wagadagam woman Natalie Ahmat and the NITV News team as they share the latest news from an Indigenous perspective. The world nula means “here, there, or everywhere” in the Dharug language.

The SBS Elder in Residence Oration presented by Rhoda Roberts AO
Sunday 9 July at 7.30pm on NITV and SBS On Demand
A member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul/Wieybal clan of Northern NSW and South East Queensland, Rhoda Roberts AO is a revered and celebrated pioneer in the arts and creative sector, and an eminent community and industry leader. A celebrated performer, producer, creative director and arts executive, in 2016, Roberts was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the performing arts, through her leadership and advocacy in promoting contemporary Indigenous cultures. Throughout her expansive career, she has championed the power of connection through cultural expression, and through her work helps all Australians to celebrate the richness of First Nations cultures. With this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, For Our Elders, SBS is proud to have Roberts present its first SBS Elder in Residence Oration, highlighting the importance of the continued practice of teaching and sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Throughout the week, SBS Food is proud to present NAIDOC themed episodes of The Cook Up. Torres Strait Islander chef Nornie Bero will guest host five episodes with additional guests including Gail Mabo, Kristy Dickinson, Matty Mills and more. The team will chat through bush tucker and family favourite feeds. SBS Food will have new recipes available online and will spotlight articles and first-person Indigenous food stories during the week.

SBS On Demand will feature a curated collection of programming within the NITV channel page. Sitting within this collection is Living Black: the icons, Who Do You Think You Are with Casey Donovan and Troy Cassar-Daley, Characters of Broome, Gurrumul, She Who Must Be Loved, Ningla Na, The Ripple Effect, Songkeepers and Sing About this Country. There will also be a special Guest Curates collection available from Rhoda Roberts AO.

SBS World Movies will host a curated collection of acclaimed Australian cinema telling First Nations stories. The Flood, Sweet Country, Bran Nue Dae, The Furnace and Top End Wedding will each air at 9.30pm, Monday 3 July to Friday 7 July and are also available on SBS On Demand.


The ABC’s Managing Director, David Anderson, said, “The ABC has a long history of covering NAIDOC Week and engaging all Australians in celebrating the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Each year we have pushed ourselves to improve and increase the range and diversity of our content for this important week.

“I am pleased to say that in 2023 we have one of the strongest slates of programs and content we have ever produced, giving voice to Indigenous people across the nation, especially around this year’s theme For Our Elders.

“This content will be available on every one of our platforms, with many programs confined not just to NAIDOC Week itself, but available to audiences over a longer period. I have no doubt that more Australians than ever before will engage with this year’s NAIDOC Week through our content.”

ABC’s Head of Indigenous, Kelrick Martin, said NAIDOC Week was the most significant event on the calendar of Indigenous communities. “It’s when we get to celebrate who we are and what we’ve achieved, and the ABC has always been a champion for honouring NAIDOC Week in its programming.

“NAIDOC Week is a key moment for us, but the ABC’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous perspectives across all our content and news platforms means that we will continue to prioritise First Nations stories not just for this one special week, but all year round.”

The ABC takes a leading role this year as the broadcast and educational partner of NAIDOC Week, bringing the stories, history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to all Australians.

To mark the first year of the partnership with the National NAIDOC Committee, the ABC will present its biggest slate of Indigenous content across all its platforms to celebrate NAIDOC Week from Sunday 2 July to Sunday 9 July.

Heading the line-up is the live broadcast of the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony from Meanjin Brisbane from 7.30pm (AEST) on Saturday 1 July. The awards will be hosted by the award-winning star of ABC TV’s Mystery Road: Origin, proud Nyikina man, actor, writer, and producer, Mark Coles Smith and multi award-winning singer / songwriter, Casey Donovan. The awards ceremony will also be available for streaming on ABC iview and simulcast on National Indigenous Television (NITV).

Many of the programming highlights across radio, television, online and on social, reflect this year’s NAIDOC Week theme For Our Elders celebrated in conversation and in music.

The Drum host and special correspondent for The Voice referendum Dan Bourchier sits down with Elders across Australia in a special series of One Plus One screening throughout June and July. RN’s Awaye also looks at the contribution of Elders, in conversations with cultural and creative leaders about who has influenced them in their lives.

Other NAIDOC highlights include a children’s collection on ABC ME; a Saturday Night Country special on ABC Radio; an Art Works special on ABC TV and ABC iview; and special editions of rage, The Drum, The Book Show and Back Roads.

One Plus One Elders Series.
9.40pm on Thursday 29 June and 6, 13 & 20 July ABC TV and ABC iview.
Elders are the holders of knowledge, storylines, and song lines. They are the connection from the past – and bring understanding of Country and culture. In a new series of One Plus One, The Drum host and special correspondent for The Voice referendum Dan Bourchier sits down with Elders from across Australia.

National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony live from Meanjin Brisbane.
7.30pm (AEST) on Saturday 1 July ABC TV, ABC iview and NITV.
Hosted by Mark Coles Smith and Casey Donovan, the awards recognise the outstanding contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to improve the lives of people in their communities and beyond. Ten Indigenous men and women will be recognised for their outstanding contributions in their chosen fields.

Art Works NAIDOC special.
5.00pm on Sunday 2 July ABC TV and ABC iview.
Art Works regular Rowdie Walden hosts this special edition, sharing stories and performances from across the country including a catch up with this year’s winner of the NAIDOC Week Poster Competition Ngarluma, Kariyarra, Nyulnyul & Yawuru woman Bobbi Lockyer; Yimila Gurruwiwi and Roy Kellaway from Yolŋu surf rock band King Stingray introduce the yidaki and its pairing with the electric guitar; a look at new and emerging First Nations artists from Western Australia as part of the Fremantle Art Centre’s 2023 Revealed; and Ngarrindjeri, Kaurna and Italian wordsmith Dominic Guerrera performs his poem ‘Laundered Winds’.

Sunday 2 July, 6.30pm ABC TV and ABC iview.
Changing Tides. Behind the postcard clichés, our majestic coastline is filled with stories of pride and resurgence. Surfer, artist and Dharug man Billy Bain invites us on an immersive road trip along Australia’s iconic eastern coastline, to capture the shifting conversation on our nation’s path. Heading north we face the truths of our frontier injustices, while witnessing Saltwater Peoples reclaiming culture, community, and Country.

Back Roads.
Monday 3 July, 8.00pm ABC TV and ABC iview.
Heather interviews Afghan Aboriginal man, Frank Wilson in Lyndhurst, SA.

The Drum.
Monday 3 July, 6.00pm ABC TV and ABC iview.
Join host Dan Bourchier for a special NAIDOC Week episode.

Wash My Soul.
Tuesday 4 July, 9.30pm ABC TV and ABC iview.
A cinematic reinvention of a legendary concert. A portrait of two of Australia’s great artists: Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter at the peak of their powers. A journey into the landscape of soul.

First Weapons.
7.30pm Friday 7 July ABC TV and ABC iview (all episodes at launch).
Host Phil Breslin sets out on an action-packed adventure across Australia to meet weapon makers and scientific experts, lifting the lid on the genius and science of Australia’s oldest, most innovative, and deadliest weapons. When:

Saturday 8 July.ABC TV and ABC iview.
Tia Gostelow Guest Programs rage. First Nations artist Tia Gostelow is playing her favourite music videos on rage this NAIDOC Week.

Movie: Limbo
Sunday 9 July at 8.30pm on ABC and ABC iview.
The highly acclaimed outback noir film Limbo by Indigenous filmmaker Ivan Sen (Mystery Road, Goldstone) tells the story of Travis (Simon Baker), a jaded detective, who arrives in the remote outback town of Limbo to investigate the cold case murder of local Indigenous girl Charlotte Hayes 20 years ago. As truths about the murder begin to unfold, the detective gains a new insight into the unsolved case from the victim’s fractured family, the surviving witnesses and the reclusive brother of the chief suspect. Limbo is a poignant, intimate journey into the complexities of loss and the impact of the justice system on Aboriginal families in Australia.

ABC ME NAIDOC collection: Celebrate the richness of Indigenous history, culture and achievements with this NAIDOC Week collection on ABC iview, including Dust Echoes, Many Lands Many Seasons, and Indigenous language versions of Little J & Big Cuz. Plus, a special Good Mornings series made with First Languages Australia to help teach children how to say good morning in different Indigenous languages.

Network 10:

The First Inventors
8:40pm Thursday July 6

Humanity has never faced greater survival challenges than it does today. In the search for solutions, Rob Collins and a team of investigators discover how First Nations knowledge and cutting edgenscience are teaming up. From the Indigenous led fire management that is halving greenhouse emissions across Australia’s Top End, to botanical knowledge helping engineer the next generation of lifesaving medicines, our future on this planet will depend on how we all work together.


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