NITV - Programs and Schedules

NITV welcomes Taryne Laffar as Commissioning Editor

Taryne Laffar

National Indigenous Television (NITV) has announced the appointment of Taryne Laffar as Commissioning Editor to support the delivery of the channel’s award-winning content.

Laffar, who descends from the Bardi and Jabbir Jabbir nations in the West Kimberley, has more than 15 years’ experience in the Australian screen industry as a writer, producer, director and in casting. She joins NITV from PiNK PEPPER, a Western Australian First Nations and female-owned production company she started in 2020, specialising in developing and producing Indigenous-led screen content.

Among the many credits she brings to the role are NITV documentary series Our Law, which provided insight into the frontline of policing in Western Australia with unique access to Indigenous officers, recruits and cadets attempting to change the system from within; NITV’s short documentary series initiative Our Stories; and NITV food series On Country Kitchen.

As Commissioning Editor, Laffar will oversee the development and delivery of NITV’s diverse slate of commissioned content reflecting, celebrating and exploring First Nations stories, across documentaries, drama, entertainment, and children’s programming.

Her appointment comes in a year when NITV is delivering its biggest ever original content line-up, including the recent broadcast of the successful NITV co-commission with Network 10, documentary series The First Inventors; and the channel’s latest ground-breaking children’s show, Barrumbi Kids, picking up award wins and nominations including for Most Outstanding Children’s Program at the upcoming TV Week Logie Awards.

Marissa McDowell, Head of Commissions at NITV, said “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Taryne to the team, bringing her extensive experience, creativity, and passion for authentic First Nations storytelling. Taryne is dedicated to creating powerful stories by and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and she’ll be a fantastic asset to our commissioning team. We’re excited to have her on board.”

Taryne Laffar added: “After working as an independent producer and arts worker or manager for my entire working life I am very excited to be joining the NITV Commissioning Editor team.

“Being chosen to work with First Nations producers and creators around the continent in bringing their stories to Australian free to air television is a profound privilege. The fact that NITV also invests in building and championing First Nations talent across the screen sector for me personally demonstrates the matriarchal values of where I come from and who I now am. My selection to this new role is a deep-rooted dedication to the deadly black women of my flesh and bones - my mother Carla Laffar, her mother Bridgette Buckeridge, and her mother Josephine Hunter (all RIP) and my daughters Koda and Fenix and my Mim (Grand-daughter) Mila Grey.”

Laffar commences in the role from today, Wednesday 19 July.

NITV will lead comprehensive coverage of the Garma Festival across SBS in a landmark year for Indigenous news and current affairs

Nat Ahmat, Head of Indigenous News and Current Affairs at NITV, presenting coverage of the Garma Festival

  • NITV will broadcast live coverage from across the festival in Gulkula, Gumatj Country, in North East Arnhem Land from Friday 4 to Monday 7 August, with more news and multilingual coverage available across the SBS network.

  • NITV and SBS will simulcast live panels and keynote speeches, including the Prime Minister’s address on Saturday 5 August.

  • Special coverage from across the festival will also connect Australians with the celebration of Yolŋu culture and ceremony, including live broadcast of the traditional buŋgul.

  • A one-hour NITV News: Garma wrap show premieres on NITV on Monday 7 August at 7.30pm.

  • The Point: Referendum Road Trip returns to NITV on Tuesday 8 August at 7.30pm, simulcast on SBS, with a special episode recorded from the festival.

  • NITV is proud to be an official Media Supporter of the Garma Festival again in 2023, and recently announced a three-year extension of the long-running partnership.

National Indigenous Television (NITV) will deliver its most comprehensive coverage yet of the four-day premier Indigenous event, the 23rd annual Garma Festival, held in Gulkula, North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory from 4-7 August, during this once-in-a-generation Referendum year.

In addition to daily live coverage, updates and highlights across NITV’s platforms, SBS will simulcast key events, SBS News will be reporting from the festival, and SBS will also provide unique multilingual coverage including from representatives of SBS’s Hindi and Mandarin teams on the ground this year.

Each year, the Yothu Yindi Foundation brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, non-Indigenous Australians and international visitors, incorporating visual art, ancient storytelling, craft, dance and music, as well as economic, education, governance and youth forums.

Over four days, the festival provides a platform for discussion and debate of issues affecting Yolŋu and other Indigenous Australians, with forums, panels, keynote addresses and cultural workshops, alongside traditional miny’tji (art), manikay (song), buŋgul (dance) and storytelling.

Tanya Denning-Orman, a proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman and Director of Indigenous Content at SBS, said the network is proud to share this special event with all Australians through expanded coverage.

“The conversations at Garma are critical to the national conversation, and this year, more than ever, Australia will be watching as the nation prepares to vote in a Referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

“We’re proud to provide distinctive coverage that captures and connects all Australians with the culture and ceremony, alongside news and current affairs on NITV – and across the SBS network – that will keep all Australians informed of the latest updates and insights from the four-day festival.

“NITV has a long-standing relationship with the Yothu Yindi Foundation, and we can’t wait to be up in Gulkula once again, delivering more than ever before for mob and all audiences across the content, at this critical time.

“Of course this year, we will also come together at the festival to reflect and celebrate the legacy of revered Yolŋu Elder, leader of the Gumatj clan and trailblazer Yunupingu, who dedicated his life to the land rights movement and improving the lives of his people.”

The 2023 NITV broadcast, led by NITV’s Head of Indigenous News and Current Affairs, Natalie Ahmat, will deliver breaking news, capture debate, speeches, discussions, arts, culture, and analysis across the four days of the festival. NITV will meet with business leaders, political figures, thought leaders, academics, and journalists during the festival.

NITV’s Indigenous News and Current Affairs team will be on the road in North East Arnhem Land, bringing audiences Yolŋu stories from the Top End. Nulawill broadcast live from Garma on NITV on Friday, 4 August from 3pm, followed by the official opening ceremony at 4.30pm, with both simulcast on SBS.

In addition, NITV’s flagship news and current affairs program The Point: Referendum Road Trip will present a special Garma episode, premiering on Tuesday, 8 August at 7.30pm and simulcast on SBS, hosted by John Paul Janke and Narelda Jacobs.

SBS News will also be on the ground, providing updates on SBS World News each night of the festival, alongside coverage across its platforms.

SBS’s unique multilingual coverage will bring all the news and action from the event to multicultural communities across Australia, with reporters from SBS Hindi and SBS Mandarin also attending Garma to deliver coverage across the SBS Audio network.

Last month, the Yothu Yindi Foundation (YYF) and NITV announced the signing of a three-year partnership that will see NITV extend its support of the Garma Festival through until the end of 2025.

NITV and the SBS network’s comprehensive coverage schedule includes:

NITV News: Nula
Friday 4 August at 3pm on NITV and SBS.
Watch a special, live edition of Nula from the 23rd Garma Festival at Gulkula, a significant Yolŋu ceremonial site in North East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Garma Opening Ceremony
Friday 4 August at 4.30pm on NITV and SBS.
NITV brings you the sounds, speeches and culture of the opening ceremony of the Garma Festival, live from Gulkula, in North East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Garma Forums:
Watch all of the key forums live from Garma Festival in the Northern Territory. Saturday morning includes a keynote address from the Australian Prime Minister, The Hon Anthony Albanese.

  • Day 1, Morning Sessions
    Saturday 5 August at 9am on NITV and SBS.
  • Day 1, Afternoon Sessions
    Saturday 5 August at 1.30pm on NITV.
  • Day 2, Morning Sessions
    Sunday 6 August at 9am on NITV and SBS.

Garma Buŋgul
Saturday 5 August and Sunday 6 at 6.30pm on NITV.
Take in the graceful movement of the women and the strong songs of the men at the buŋgul, a Yolŋu cultural ceremony with over sixty thousand years of connection to Country.

NITV News: Garma
Monday 7 August at 7.30pm on NITV.
An hour-long recap of highlights from Garma Festival, held in North East Arnhem Land. Hosted by Natalie Ahmat and NITV’s Indigenous News and Current Affairs team, the program will include all of the key moments from the weekend of celebration and reflection.

The Point: Referendum Road Trip
Tuesday 8 August at 7.30pm on NITV and SBS.
This special episode of The Point: Referendum Road Trip will be recorded at Garma Festival. Hosted by proud Wuthathi and Meriam man John Paul Janke and Whadjuk Noongar woman Narelda Jacobs, The Point is the home of First Nations perspectives, informing all Australians in the lead up to the Referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. This season, The Point travels throughout Australia to share voices from communities, engage in debate and provide insightful analysis about the Referendum.

The National Indigenous Music Awards 2023 will air on Sunday, August 13 at 7.30pm on NITV, with repeat telecasts on SBS Viceland and SBS.

The awards will be held on Saturday night, August 12 as part of Darwin Festival. Tickets available here

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Mark Coles Smith’s powerful documentary Keeping Hope to premiere on NITV and SBS On Demand

Watch 8.40pm on Sunday 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Say - followed by an encore on SBS on 13 September at 8.30pm.

“Suicide in Indigenous communities is now at epidemic proportions and it’s something we must talk about” - Mark Coles Smith

The Kimberley region in Australia’s far northwest has one of the highest suicide rates in the country[1], with the vast majority being young Indigenous men[2].

Mark Coles Smith (Mystery Road: Origin, The Clearing, Savage River), a proud Nyikina man and actor who grew up in the Kimberley, returns to interrogate these alarming suicide statistics and meet remarkable people making a real difference in its prevention in Keeping Hope – a special one-hour documentary premiering Sunday 10 September at 8.40pm on NITV and SBS On Demand, on World Suicide Prevention Day.

This is a subject close to Mark’s heart – his best friend tragically took his own life when they were in their 20s. Keeping Hope follows his intensely personal search for answers and, hopefully, solutions.

On his journey, Mark travels across the Kimberley to some of the areas experiencing the highest suicide rates and speaks with professionals, community leaders and his own family to explore what’s being done in communities, and what is still needed. He also faces up to his own loss and questions how others can learn from it.

Mark Coles Smith said: “People who die young are frozen in time. With those who take their own lives, it’s difficult to properly celebrate their lives because when talking about them, feelings of guilt and remorse inevitably arise. They become statistics and painful memories.

“Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced the impacts of suicide in some way*. Keeping Hope* will ignite timely and critical conversations about suicide in Australia and what we want to change in the future.”

Marissa McDowell, a proud Wiradyuri woman and Head of Commissions at NITV, said: “A huge thank you to Mark Coles Smith for sharing his intimate and deeply personal experience with suicide, with a view to help others. Thisvital documentary explores community-led programs that are working in the Kimberley. We encourage all Australians to watch and learn from Keeping Hope, and we are grateful for the support of the production team, Joined Up Films, Screen Australia, Screenwest and Lotterywest in shedding light on this ongoing epidemic, with an optimistic future outlook.“

Alex West, Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary said: “Audiences should tune in and watch Keeping Hope as Mark Coles Smith takes viewers on a moving journey, courageously confronting the devastating impact of suicide in Indigenous communities. Through his personal experience and insightful conversations, this documentary not only raises awareness about an urgent issue but also offers hope by showcasing community-led initiatives and the resilience of those working towards change. Keeping Hope invites viewers to be part of a dialogue that can inspire understanding, empathy, and ultimately, meaningful action.”

Devina McPherson, Screenwest Indigenous Executive said: “Screenwest is proud to support Keeping Hope – an important and vital story for all Australians. We’re grateful to Mark Coles Smith, Director Tyson Mowarin and the producers for creating a beautiful documentary with hope and optimism, about such a heartbreaking and devastating reality affecting so many of us, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Congratulations to the entire team for their courage.”

Director Tyson Mowarin, said: “In directing this documentary I wanted to explore why youth in these communities are taking their lives and what we may be missing. Mark connects with people, sits with them and yarns with them informally.

“Shooting this story beautifully was also very important; the other important element was sound. We wanted to capture the sounds of Country, and of people; families and children doing everyday activities.”

Keeping Hope is a Joined Up Films production for NITV. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest.

Watch Keeping Hope on Sunday 10 September at 8.40pm on NITV and on SBS on Wednesday September 13 at 8.30pm. Keeping Hope will also be available to stream for free on SBS On Demand, with captions available in English and subtitles in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.

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NRMA Insurance leads the way in support of the Beyond 3% initiative

Jasmine Sarin

NRMA Insurance announces landmark partnership with NITV as it commits 3% of its broadcast media spend to First Nations media over the next year

NRMA Insurance and National Indigenous Television (NITV), part of the SBS network, today announced a new partnership which marks the largest advertising investment by a single commercial brand in the First Nations broadcaster.

The partnership forms part of NRMA Insurance’s support of the Beyond 3% initiative, as it prepares to commit 3% of its broadcast media spend* to First Nations media over the next year, which is planned and bought via Initiative Media.

The NITV partnership consists of a series of integrated initiatives including its recent broadcast sponsorship of NITV’s coverage of the 2023 Garma Festival, NITV’s broadcast of its popular series Going Places with Ernie Dingo, and investment in the creation of a special short-form content series for NITV.

“This is an important moment for NITV,” said Peter Noble, a proud Bandjin and Girramay man and General Manager of NITV. “This partnership represents a substantial investment in NITV which supports our ability to invest more in creating First Nations stories.

“NRMA Insurance is leading the way, both in terms of lifting its investment in First Nations media and also in developing creative that drives conversations around Place and Country and the importance of all Australians in understanding the Traditional Custodians of the lands we live across the continent.”

With a focus on ‘Connecting with Country’, the new short-form content series to be made by NITV will profile the First Nations artists behind NRMA Insurance’s existing billboard campaign. Launched in 2019, the billboards feature work by Indigenous artists and acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country across Australia. Through this outdoor campaign, NRMA Insurance aims to help drivers connect with the land and contribute to a proud and shared national identity, while reminding everyone to drive safely.

The special NITV content series will provide these artists and storytellers an opportunity to share the importance of their unique culture and communities, as well as the full impact and significance of recognising their connection to Place and how this links to cultural identity.

NRMA Insurance CEO Julie Batch said: “In 2013, through our parent company IAG, we were the first major insurer to introduce a Reconciliation Action Plan and we’re immensely proud to partner with NITV and other First Nations media.

“Through our partnership with NITV we want to help build cultural understanding and connection through powerful storytelling and we look forward to working with NITV to bring these important stories to life.”

In addition to its partnership with NITV, NRMA Insurance has committed to invest in other First Nations media and artists, as well as to continue its partnership with the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-op which commenced in 2017.

The artwork of Jasmine Sarin, a proud Kamilaroi and Jerrinja woman from NSW, has been part of the NRMA Insurance billboard campaign and she will also feature in the NITV content series.

Ms Sarin said: “It’s an incredible opportunity from NRMA Insurance to have my artwork on display in such a public space and to build on this through a content series with NITV. I am so proud to be able to use my artwork as both a reminder and a conversation starter about First Nations recognition and our unceded and deep-rooted connection to country”.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent 3.2% of the Australian population, however, the media that exists to serve these communities are not often considered as part of advertising campaign planning. Two years ago, NITV launched The Beyond 3% Initiative which seeks to engage media agencies and brands to begin to address this gap by committing to increasing investment in Indigenous media platforms to at least a 3% target.

Ms Batch continued: “By increasing our investment in First Nations media we can help contribute to the strength of this sector and support the next generation of Indigenous talent in the Australian media industry.”

NITV is proudly one of many media services across Australia providing a voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and a place for their stories to be shared, explored and celebrated.

*Broadcast media spend includes TV, radio, outdoor, newspapers, magazines, direct mail and cinema.

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NITV are showing all three Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990s movies back-to-back today.
Good movies but not sure how this content fits their charter of indigenous programming?


They aired all three Ninja Turtle movies last night (in primetime too). I hadn’t realised that they were repeated now, but there you go.

They have been airing non-indigenous movies for some time now on - mostly on Friday nights - including The Flintstones Movie, Thunderbirds Movies etc. Surely these sorts of movies can go on The Movie Channel or on Viceland, rather than on NITV. Odd scheduling.

Is there limited programming to fill the channel 24/7?


Katele (Mudskipper)

Thursday 2 November 9:30 PM

Winner of Best Australian Short at 2023 Melbourne International Film Festival and Best Australian Film at 2023 Flickerfest. Part of NITV and Screen Australia’s No Ordinary Black short film initiative.

Torres Strait Islander woman Martha works tirelessly in a laundromat loading machines and folding washing, ready for the collection of her boss. When a mysterious visitor arrives, Martha is reminded of the life she left behind.

Directed by John Harvey, written by Walter Waia and produced by Gillian Moody.

Her Name is Nanny Nellie, which has received production funding from NITV, will air on the channel in 2024. It will screen at Palace Nova Eastend this Sunday (October 29) at 11.30am as part of Adelaide Film Festival.

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Powerful feature-length documentary Audrey Napanangka premieres on NITV on Sunday 12 November at 8.30pm

> National Indigenous Television (NITV) is proud to announce the premiere of feature-length, intimate and expansive documentary Audrey Napanangka on Sunday 12 November at 8.30pm.

Filmed over 10 years, the program tells the story of Warlpiri matriarch, artist and actor Audrey and her Sicilian partner Santo as they navigate through colonial systems to keep the children they care for together in the Central Australian Desert.

Audrey was born at a time when the world was changing for people in Central Australia. Colonisation fused two worlds together, modifying Audrey’s life forever. Today, as a grandmother and great grandmother, Audrey raises young people with her partner Santo, to walk in many worlds, by centering culture, language, and Law in their lives alongside mainstream education.

The intimate documentary showcases a heartwarming story about the power of kinship and family and is made on the lands of the Arrernte people of Mparntwe, the Warlpiri people of Mount Theo and Yuendumu, and the lands of the Anmatyerr people.

Documentary subject and collaborator Audrey Napanangka, said: “I am happy to share my story so that people can learn about my life. For me family is everything.”

NITV Head of Commissions, Marissa McDowell, said: “We are thrilled to share this powerful documentary with audiences, delving into Audrey’s philosophy that family and love are everything. We learn about Audrey’s cultural obligations and see that life is not always easy for Audrey and those around her, but family and love prevail.”

Audrey Napanangka is produced by Penelope McDonald (Robbie Hood), Trisha Morton-Thomas (History Bites Back, Occupation: Native) and Rachel Clements (History Bites Back, Occupation: Native, Finke: There and Back).

Screen Australia Head of Documentary, Alex West, said: “Ten years of dedication and heart have brought us the incredible journey of Audrey Napanangka. This remarkable documentary showcases the enduring power of kinship and family in the face of adversity. Audrey’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of embracing culture, language, and love.”

Director and co-producer, Penelope McDonald of Chili Films, said: “It has been a great privilege to have walked beside Audrey over many years as we created this documentary. This is a story of love, courage, and resilience, of an extraordinary family, recorded over a decade, across generations. I thank Audrey and her family immensely for opening their home and sharing their lives. This story from the centre, the beating heart of Australia, is more important and relevant to us now than ever.”

Screen Territory Director Jennie Hughes, said: “We are proud supporters of Indigenous storytelling. It is vital that we continue to support our Territorian filmmakers and the development of documentaries such as Audrey Napanangka, bringing powerful and diverse Territory stories to Australian audiences .”

Au drey Napanangka is a Chili Films/Brindle Films production for NITV. Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with Screen Territory.

Watch Audrey Napanangka on NITV on Sunday 12 November at 8.30pm. The documentary will be available to stream for free on SBS On Demand with captions in English and subtitles in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Korean. It will also be available with audio description for blind and low vision audiences.

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Saturday 4 November 9:40 PM

A would-be thief is remanded to the custody of her estranged mother, who turns out to be correct in her assertion that evil spirits are afoot in their family domicile.

Stars Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata and Gerad Johnstone.

NITV going HD. Annoucned at upfronts.

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From 5 December

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NITV will also continue to be available in SD with a new channel 36.


Am guessing you’re asking why it’ll still be available in SD and that would be so that it’s available to everyone, regardless of their tv setup as you’d assume it’ll go MPEG-4 which would mean some viewers (and when you don’t have many, every one counts) won’t be able to receive it otherwise.

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It’s still a stupid move to offer it in MPEG2 in 2023.
It’s been shown that being MPEG4 makes no difference anymore. The amount of incompatible TVs is negligible.

If anything, this just highlights that the government needs to do a similar “Digital Ready” switchover of all services from MPEG2 to MPEG4.


Exactly. A waste of bandwidth and with a HD option I hope this SD channel only lasts a year or something.


HD promo - also shows crawler on NITV and SBS Food (changing to MPEG4).

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