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Celebrating NAIDOC Week

A collection of articles, podcasts and video interviews with First Nations storytellers and where to watch their projects.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned this article and its accompanying videos and podcasts may contain the names, images and voices of deceased persons.

In NAIDOC Week 2022 alone, two contemporary Australian TV dramas are launching on ABC and SBS/NITV – Mystery Road: Origin and True Colours.

The team on Mystery Road: Origin includes director Dylan River and cinematographer Tyson Perkins, who both worked on SBS short-form series Robbie Hood, and give the beloved TV series a refresh by taking it back to the early days of Jay Swan (now played by Mark Coles Smith) as a detective. It’s already earned a five-star review on The Age.

Meanwhile True Colours comes from the powerhouse team of co-creators Erica Glynn and Warren H Williams, with Glynn writing alongside Danielle MacLean and Steven McGregor, and Glynn and McGregor directing too. As Screen Australia’s Head of First Nations Angela Bates says on the latest episode of the Screen Australia Podcast (listen here), star Rarriwuy Hick nailed learning the Arrernte language of Central Australia for her character Detective Toni Alma, who returns to her childhood community to investigate a murder. Read some of the stellar reviews here

There’s a wealth of critically acclaimed First Nations screen stories to watch this NAIDOC Week and beyond: below hear from some of Australia’s premiere storytellers as they take us behind the scenes of making their projects, as well as links to where you can watch. From there, click here to find an even more extensive list of titles supported by the First Nations Department.

For more information about NAIDOC Week, events near you and to learn about this year’s theme Get up! Stand up! Show up! visit the website here. Don’t forget True Colours is on SBS On Demand here and Mystery Road: Origin on ABC iview here

Always Was, Always Will Be.

1. Podcast – Nakkiah Lui: Creating TV Comedy Preppers

Preppers co-creator, co-writer and star Nakkiah Lui on shooting a comedy about doomsday prepping in the midst of a pandemic.

Listen to the podcast here

Watch Preppers on ABC iview here

2. Article/video – The Empowering Approach to Making All My Friends are Racist

The key creatives behind All My Friends Are Racist talk about the authorship that ensured a comedy like no other.

Read the article here

Watch All My Friends Are Racist on ABC iview here

3. Podcast – Jon Bell: Writing for Genre

Screenwriter Jon Bell discusses co-writing on RFDS, and bringing a First Nations perspective to the horror genre with his short film The Moogai.

Listen to the podcast here

Watch RFDS on 7Plus here

4. Article – Authentic Storytelling – Adrian Russell Wills: Do You

Finding your voice and being authentically you despite the pressure to conform.

Read the article here


Deborah Mailman discusses the return season of Total Control and the emotional rollercoaster ride in store for her character – and audiences.

Watch season 1 and 2 of Total Control on ABC iview here

6. Article – Jake Duczynski: Amplifying Community Voices Through Animation

Cooked co-writer/director Jake Duczynski on his journey from aspiring tattoo artist to now, and his goal to upskill the next generation of First Nations animators.

Read the article here

Watch Cooked on ABC iview here

7. Article – Trisha Morton-Thomas: Cutting Through With Comedy

History Bites Back co-director, co-writer and presenter Trisha Morton-Thomas on juggling roles and tough topics with humour.

Read the article here

8. Article – Authentic Storytelling – Kodie Bedford: Breaking Down Characters And Worlds

Questions for writers to ask to get to the heart of characters and create an authentic world.

Read the article here

9. VIDEO – Ablaze: behind the scenes

Co-writer and co-director Tiriki Onus takes a personal journey through his family’s past in the documentary Ablaze.

10. Article – The Collaborative Nature of Grace Beside Me

Four years after the launch of NITV/ABC kids’ series Grace Beside Me, producers Dena Curtis and Lois Randall look back on what made the popular series work.

Read the article here

Watch Grace Beside Me on SBS On Demand here

11. Podcast/video – Writer/Director Leah Purcell on her feature film debut

The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson writer, director, producer and star Leah Purcell on adapting her acclaimed play for the screen.

Listen to the podcast here