National Indigenous Television (NITV) and Network 10 will premiere a new, four-part documentary series, The First Inventors, celebrating and exploring the world’s longest surviving culture – that of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The First Inventors premieres on Thursday, 15 June at 8.30pm, with new episodes airing weekly.
The co-commission, which is a first of its kind between NITV and Network 10, is presented and narrated by Logie Award-winning actor and proud Tiwi Islander man Rob Collins, who leads a team of First Nations investigators, uncovering more than 65,000 years of invention and innovation.
The First Inventors is the story of how entire landscapes were transformed, how prehistoric events were recorded as far back as the last ice age, how people navigated over extraordinary distances, and how whole societies were organised.
From ancient superhighways for trade, long distance communication systems using secret languages engraved into message sticks, and unique social systems built to maintain genetic diversity, The First Inventors not only explores the past, but questions whether this ancient knowledge might hold answers to humanity’s most pressing modern challenges.
Host Rob Collins said: “The power of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge is awe-inspiring, its endurance speaks to the strength, resilience and ingenuity of Indigenous knowledge holders around this incredible country. Traditions and practices that have sustained my ancestors for countless generations, are now spurring incredible new discoveries in partnership with the best minds in science today. I can’t wait to share this amazing story of knowledge, resilience, and adventure!"
Head of Commissions NITV and proud Wiradjuri woman, Marissa McDowell, said: “The First Inventors celebrates and illuminates more than 65,000 years of knowledges and cultures. We are proud to bring this series to NITV, the home of First Nations storytelling and we’re excited to share these stories from across Australia with our communities and all Australians - a collaboration between science and culture, in NITV and Network 10’s first co-commissioned series.”
Senior Vice President Content and Programming, Paramount Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Daniel Monaghan, said: “It’s an honour to host stories of the longest enduring civilisation on earth. Not only will The First Inventors give all Australians the chance to learn more about the Country we live on, but it will also help us to better understand the world we live in. Thank you to our friends at NITV, Screen Australia and Ronde Media for helping us to bring these incredible stories to light.”
The First Inventors is a Ronde Pty Ltd production for NITV and Network 10. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with NITV. Financed with support from the National Indigenous Australians Agency, with Tourism Australia, Screen NSW and Screen Territory.
The First Inventors premieres on NITV and Network 10 on Thursday 15 June at 8.30pm, and continues weekly. The series will be available to stream on 10 Play and SBS On Demand, where it will be subtitled in Arabic and Simplified Chinese.