NITV - Programs and Schedules

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Reconciliation Film Club

NITV, SBS and Reconciliation Australia have proudly partnered to launch the Reconciliation Film Club, an online platform that supports organisations in hosting screenings of a curated selection of Indigenous documentaries from Australia’s leading Indigenous filmmakers.

As part of their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), organisations are encouraged to host a screening to bring staff together to develop a deeper understanding of Indigenous people’s perspectives and histories, ignite conversation and spark change.

The initiative launches with NITV commissioned films, Erica Glynn’s In My Own Words, Trisha Morton-Thomas’ Occupation: Native, Tyson Mowarin’s Connection to Country (part of NITV’s You Are Here landmark documentary series) and Steven McGregor’s Servant or Slave.

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said, “These compelling NITV documentary films were not created to be watched just once, but were commissioned as resource tools which address issues on cultural heritage, national identity, justice and equality.
“We are thrilled to engage with Reconciliation Australia to launch the Reconciliation Film Club and to bring a greater understanding of Indigenous people’s perspectives to organisations across Australia.”

“The Film Club offers RAP partners an opportunity to further engage their staff in cultural learning and build respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures,” said Reconciliation Australia’s General Manager, RAPs Darryl Monaghan.

“I hope all the organisations we work with, and others, take up this opportunity to explore the Film Club’s selection of great, contemporary Indigenous Australian films.”

The Reconciliation Film Club website hosts downloadable screening kits, discussion guides, feature articles and ideas to support a successful event. More documentaries will be continually added, including Warwick Thornton’s We Don’t Need a Map to join early next year after its cinema release.


Australias Longest Running Indigenous Current Affairs Program Living Black Returns to SBS and NITV for its 25th season

From Wednesday 6 December at 9:00pm

The ten-part series returns on Wednesdays 9pm on NITV from 6 December and Thursdays 3pm on SBS from 7 December (repeated on Mondays 5pm on SBS from 11 December)

Living Black returns to screens for its 15th year and 25th season, with the ten-part series taking a comprehensive look into some of the most important issues affecting Indigenous Australians currently. This season features one-on-one conversations with some of the most recognisable faces in Australia and documentary style storytelling of compelling human stories.

Karla Grant is joined by a team of Indigenous journalists, including Kris Flanders, Elliana Lawford and Nakari Thorpe, reporting from around Australia and giving a voice to a range of perspectives and untold stories.

Arguably the most exciting season yet, host Karla will sit down with musicians Jessica Mauboy, Dan Sultan, Stevie Salas and prominent political figures including Warren Mundine and Kevin Rudd. Journalists Kris, Elliana and Nakari will travel to the small Aboriginal community of Mutitjulu, just one of the 70 communities impacted by the Intervention, cycle across the country to raise awareness for bike safety and Indigenous health in regional and remote Aboriginal communities, and follow the compelling story of Mungo Man returning home.

Karla Grant said: “As Australia’s longest running Indigenous current affairs program, I am proud of Living Black’s longevity. Fifteen years on, as we return to screens for the 25th season, Living Black continues to share Indigenous stories and perspectives, and investigate topical issues, from politics, music and entertainment, to history, sport and cultural preservation.”

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Film Victoria and National Indigenous Television (NITV) are delighted to announce a new joint initiative ‘Treaty Docs’ which will provide an opportunity for Indigenous Victorian filmmakers looking to make an impact in the documentary space.

The new initiative will offer up to $20,000 to selected Indigenous Victorian filmmakers to create a digital short documentary centred on what ‘Treaty’ means to them and/or their local community.

The content, tone and style of the short films will be open to the creator’s imagination, so all forms of the documentary medium are encouraged.

The successful shorts will be commissioned as online content with the potential for projects to screen on NITV as well.

The initiative continues a successful partnership between Film Victoria and NITV who delivered the ‘Bust Up’ comedy initiative early in 2017. It saw 10 Indigenous practitioners take part in a four day Melbourne workshop which resulted in three concepts being taken into further development.

Film Victoria CEO, Jenni Tosi said “We are extremely pleased to be again be partnering with NITV, building on the success of our joint ‘Bust Up’ comedy initiative earlier this year, to now offer new opportunities for Victorian based Indigenous filmmakers.

“We’ll be on the look‐out for innovative interpretations around the important subject matter of ‘Treaty’ which will allow our indigenous practitioners to expand their storytelling skills whilst also supporting our desire to see more Indigenous screen content made in Victoria.”

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said: “Following the success of Bust Up, we are excited to work with Film Victoria again to develop and produce ‘Treaty Docs’. We encourage budding Indigenous Victorian filmmakers to submit. This is an important and timely initiative.”

Applications and guidelines will be announced shortly and Indigenous practitioners from across all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Stay tuned for application dates and details.


Grace Beside Me

From Friday 16 February at 7.30pm


Premiering on National Indigenous Television (NITV) on Friday 16 February at 7.30pm, NITV presents Grace Beside Me, a new 13-part children’s television series from Magpie Pictures, adapted from the award-winning novel by Sue McPherson.

The series tells the charming story of an Indigenous girl Fuzzy Mac, who just wants to be an ordinary teenager and have fun with her mates. But that’s not so easy when Fuzzy’s ancestors have other plans and she keeps seeing ghosts!

With one foot in the Indigenous realm of culture, Country, and spirits, and the other firmly planted in the world of a 21st century teenager, Fuzzy’s journey is to realise she belongs to both in her own unique way.

The series was filmed entirely on location in the Scenic Rim area of South-East Queensland, and stars up and coming talent, Kyliric Masella as Fuzzy Mac, Mairehau Grace and Tjiirdm McGuire as Fuzzy’s best buddies Tui and Yar, and Tessa Rose and Charles Passi as her Nan and Pop.

NITV’s Channel Manager, Tanya Orman, said: “NITV is delighted to bring Sue McPherson’s exceptional story to life and introduce Fuzzy Mac to audiences across Australia. The series brings Indigenous culture to the forefront and is important because it lets Indigenous kids see themselves on screen in a positive and fun way, and demystifies Indigenous culture for non-Indigenous audiences.

“At a time when Australian children are hungry for home grown drama series, NITV is proud to create a televised adaptation of this well-known Australian Indigenous novel through an exceptionally talented cast.”

Producers Lois Randall and Dena Curtis said: “Grace Beside Me is thoroughly modern Australian drama that shows – in all its humour and pathos – the joys and challenges of teenage life for our utterly compelling young heroine, Fuzzy Mac.”

NITV co-commissioned the series with ABC children’s channel ABC ME. Screen Australia was a major investor in the series, with Screen Queensland and Cutting Edge. Disney Channel has also licensed the series in Australia and New Zealand, while the rest of world distribution is with Canada’s 9Story Media Group. The Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department and Screen NSW also supported early development of the series.

Producers were Magpie Pictures’ Lois Randall (The Gods of Wheat Street) with Dena Curtis (8MMM Aboriginal Radio, Shadow Trackers). Executive Producers were Lois Randall, with NITV executive producer Mary-Ellen Mullane and ABC TV executive producer Libbie Doherty. The series was directed by Lynn-Maree Danzey (A Place to Call Home, Love Child), Beck Cole (Here I Am, Black Comedy) and Nicholas Verso (Nowhere Boys, Boys in the Trees).

Grace Beside Me is expected to be shown on ABC ME in mid-2018


Marngrook Footy Show moves to Wednesday nights for 2018 season.


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Strange scheduling. After showing the first three episodes on a Friday night, they are screening all 13 episodes this morning on NITV.


Nyoongar Footy Magic

From Wednesday 30 May at 9pm on NITV

New NITV commissioned television documentary series, Nyoongar Footy Magic is four half hour stories profiling the lives and careers of five game-changing Western Australian Nyoongar Aussie Rules champions, presented by Ernie Dingo.

Nyoongar Footy Magic profiles Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer, Barry Cable, Jim and Phil Krakouer and Nicky Winmar and relays their stories of triumph. Following colonisation of their traditional homelands in South Western Australia, and by overcoming the terrible hardship that ensued, the Nyoongar people mastered Australian Rules football and used it as a way to pioneer bold new futures in the face of adversity in a changed world.

The Nyoongar People are the traditional owners of their land, Nyoongar Boodja, in the southwest of Western Australia. For over half a century they have had prominent starring players in the state and national AFL leagues. It is a world standard athletic achievement which has energised the sport while bringing national recognition and pride to their people; Nyoongar Footy Magic tells their story.

In the last sixty years, the small Indigenous nation of Nyoongar has provided many of the greatest AFL football stars. The Nyoongar athletes are known for their skill and lightning-fast reflexes. It became a passion for generations trapped in mission, homes and on reserves ready to kick beyond the confines of marginal life and unite the nation through their inspirational passion, power and talent.


The second season, will be broadcast on NITV and ABC Kids, with catch up on SBS On Demand and ABC iView.


Going Places With Ernie Dingo

From Sunday 2 September at 7.30pm

In the new season of Going Places with Ernie Dingo television personality Ernie Dingo travels the length and breadth of Australia visiting stunning places to meeting everyday Aussies who share their passion and their story for living where they live.

Each story introduces audiences to three locals who have found their connection to the place they now live.


Marngrook Footy Show co-host Grant Hansen has criticised SBS for moving the show from Thursday to Wednesday nights during the year (to accommodate Thursday night AFL matches), which led to lower ratings.


#AlwaysWillBe on NITV

From Sunday 20 January to Saturday 26 January 2019, NITV invites all Australians to hear stories of our nation’s shared history from an Indigenous perspective, and to explore what 26 January means to Indigenous people, through a curated slate of distinctive programming called #AlwaysWillBe.

From Sunday 20 January to Saturday 26 January 2019, NITV invites all Australians to hear stories of
our nation’s shared history from an Indigenous perspective, and to explore what 26 January means to Indigenous people, through a curated slate of distinctive programming called #AlwaysWillBe. As Australia’s national Indigenous broadcaster, NITV’s dedicated programming and news updates on television (Channel 34), NITV Radio, online and across social media, will share Indigenous voices and Songlines - the complex Aboriginal belief systems that interconnect land, deep spirituality, knowledge and values - helping all Australians deepen their understanding of our nation’s identity. #AlwaysWillBe will be presented by Indigenous actor and national treasure, Uncle Jack Charles, and will shine a light on stories of strength, resilience, survival and celebration.

Kicking off the 26 January programming live from Sydney’s North Head is the Sunrise Ceremony which will be hosted by John Paul Janke, with panellists Richard Frankland, Aunty Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Teela Reid and Bianca Hunt. The ceremony will also feature cultural performances and live entertainment by Shellie Morris, Djakapurra Yunupingu, Dhapanbal Yunupingu, Arian Pearson and Mim Kwanten.

Following the Sunrise Ceremony. NITV will premiere the second season of the landmark series Songlines on Screen, documentaries Ningla-A-Na, 88, Connection to Country, Occupation: Native, Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy and Rabbit Proof Fence, as well as featuring NITV News: Day 26 from Sydney’s annual Yabun festival.
NITV’s flagship news and current affairs program, The Point, hosted by Rachael Hocking and John-Paul Janke, will return for its new season with a special episode called iProtest in its new timeslot of 8.30pm on Wednesdays. The episode takes an in-depth look at historic reactions to Indigenous protests and examines news coverage from the last three years of the ‘Change the Date’ movement. Panellists will include Jack Latimore, David Mar, Lilly Brown, Amy McGuire and Carla McGrath.

Additional programming throughout the week includes…

Documentary - First Contact SBS COMMISSION Monday, 21 January at 8.30pm on NITV

More than six out of ten who call Australia home have had little or no contact with Aboriginal people. The chasm and disconnect between the First Australians and the rest of the nation is vast. First Contact is a 3 x 52 minute documentary series that will shine a light on this deep divide by taking a group of six non-Indigenous people, from different walks of life and with strong and varied opinions, and immersing them into Aboriginal Australia for the first time.

Documentary - Teach A Man To Fish NITV COMMISSION Monday, 21 January at 8.30pm on NITV

Grant Leigh Saunders is an Aboriginal filmmaker, writer and musician. Despite a promising artistic career, Grant is unsettled and feels there is something missing in his life. As a fair skinned, middle-aged, Aboriginal man, with a Norwegian wife and two young “Koori-Wegian” kids, Grant is still struggling with his identity. Compounding this feeling is that Grant has been away from his home country of Taree for over twenty years.

Documentary - Wik vs. Qld NITV COMMISSION Tuesday, 22 January at 8.30pm on NITV

In 1996 The High Court of Australia granted native title co-existence rights to the Wik Peoples of Cape York. The “Wik Decision” should have been a catalyst for positive change, but instead sparked a national, cultural and political fallout.

Documentary - We Don’t Need A Map NITV COMMISSION Wednesday, 23 January at 9.30pm on NITV

We Don’t Need a Map is a feature length documentary about Australia’s complex relationship to the Southern Cross. It is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere and ever since colonisation it’s been claimed, appropriated and hotly-contested for ownership by a radical range of Australian groups.

Documentary - Occupation: Native NITV COMMISSION Thursday, 24 January at 7.30pm on NITV

Filmmaker Trisha Morton-Thomas dishes up a fresh look at our colonial past. Exploring everything they never taught you at school but should have. It’s Australian history, but not like you have you ever seen or heard before. Trisha decides it’s time to go looking for answers, and along with actor Steven Oliver and several historians the film is a satirical recount of our untold history.

Documentary - Servant or Slave NITV COMMISSION Thursday, 24 January at 8.30pm on NITV

Servant or Slave follows the lives of five Aboriginal women who were stolen from their families and trained to be domestic servants. With the government exercising complete control over their wages, many thousands of Aboriginal girls and boys were effectively condemned to a treadmill of abuse from which there was little hope of escape.

Family Movie - Jasper Jones *** NITV PREMIERE* Friday, 25 January at 7.30pm on NITV

Adapted from Craig Silvey’s best-selling Australian novel, directed by Rachel Perkins and featuring a stellar cast including Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie and Aaron McGrath, Jasper Jones is the story of Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14 living in a small town in Western Australia.

Documentary - The Song Keepers NITV COMMISSION Friday, 25 January at 9.15pm on NITV

In the obscure churches of remote Central Australia, a 140-year musical legacy of ancient Aboriginal languages, German sacred poetry and baroque music is being preserved by four generations of song women. Written and directed by Naina Sen, and produced by Naina Sen, Rachel Clements and Trisha Morton-Thomas, The Song Keepers tells the unknown story of the choral heritage of remote Aboriginal communities in Central Australia past and present, through the women that make up the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir.

Documentary - Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy NITV COMMISSION Saturday, 26 January at 9.30pm on NITV

Djalu Gurruwiwi is an aging elder in a line 60,000 years long who is running out of time to pass on the Yidaki Songlines entrusted to him for the future of his people, before it dies with him. His sons and community, struggling to come to terms with the consequences of colonisation, are lost. When Djalu breaks with tradition to try and save it, world famous musician Gotye becomes an unexpected family member and helps heal Djalu’s sons and amplify his songs to the world.

NITV’s #AlwaysWillBe week of programming begins from Sunday 20 January at 7pm with the Songlines documentary, Yarripiri’s Story.


Madis Gras 2019

From Sunday 24 February at 7.30pm on NITV

NITV is celebrating the LGBTIQ+ community with a stellar line-up of programming for Mardi Gras, exploring 2019’s theme, ‘Fearless’. The slate of inspiring programs premiering on NITV will commence from Sunday 24 February at 7.30pm .

Kicking off NITV ’s Mardi Gras programming with a bang is Shade: Queens of NYC , an 11-part, half hour TV docu-series following eight rising drag stars from New York City as they try to make it big in the industry. The series goes beyond the makeup, lip-synching and glamour to show the queens juggling love, commitment, community, heartbreak, family and faith while on the brink of fame.

Airing from Sunday 24 February at 8pm, by the creators of Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce and RuPaul’s Drag Race, is Transcendent . The ground-breaking six-part docu-series follows a group of young, talented trans women who are navigating their professional, personal and romantic lives while performing at one of San Francisco’s most popular cabarets.

NITV ’s flagship news and current affairs program, The Point will tell personal stories from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ community on Wednesday 27 February at 8.30pm. Reporter Ella Archibald-Binge will hear from Electric Fields band members Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross about how their journey of self-discovery has shaped their music. The show will also speak to a person facing the challenges associated with gender realignment surgery and cross live to Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival.

Stephen Oliver ’s romantic ‘dramedy’ A Chance Affair will air on Sunday 3 March at 8.30pm, and has been described by producer Majhid Heath as ‘a gay Aboriginal love story that is camp but with a big heart’ . The series is about a man named Chance, who is finally lucky in love after having his heart broken into a million pieces.

Following its premiere screening at Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival screening, Tongan feature documentary Leitis in Waiting will air on NITV on Monday 4 March at 8.30pm. The documentary is a raw yet tender portrait of Joey Mataele and the Tonga Leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. With unexpected humour and extraordinary access to the Kingdom’s royals and religious leaders, this emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking culture and tradition.

Finally NITV ’s documentary Black Divaz and critically acclaimed film Kiki will also air as part of the special programming slate. Black Divaz goes behind the scenes of the Miss First Nations Drag Queen pageant to introduce the fierce and sassy contestants and hear the stories behind their outrageous drag personas. Kiki follows the drag and voguing scene in New York, looking at the lives of LGBTIQ+ youth of colour at a time when Black Lives Matter and transgender rights are making front-page headlines.

NITV ’s Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said: “ NITV is proud to tell these inspiring stories of LGBTIQ+ fearlessness from around the globe, with a unique Indigenous lens that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. The Mardi Gras season is a time for us to all come together and celebrate how far the LGBTIQ+ community has come in recent years, acknowledging its joyous resilience and commitment to fundamental rights, often in the face of adversity.”


I think most people see NITV as a “datacast” channel. No ones watches it, even the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people…


Most people wouldn’t know what “datacast” means.


I know people in my industry watch it . With a nationally exposed audience reach there could be a good number of people who do.

It does have some good programming and exposure to the indigenous productions is a good thing too :slight_smile:

Not sure you can claim it as a data cast channel as it has produced content 24/7 I would class it as a digital channel like the others .


NITV definitely was a “datacast” channel during the 18 months or so it was available via Sydney’s (extended) D44 Datacast Trial but that was about a decade ago.

These days, they’re included in the OzTam ratings along with every other TV channel broadcast by SBS.

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