Last night i watched the third installment in a 7 part series, of what i think is one of the most riveting documentaries i have watched to date. Emotional, epic and filled with tragedy, glimmers of hope line the edges, though a documentary that all in Australia, if not the world should watch!
A documentary that should be shown in all schools, formatted into books and resting on the shelves of each house hold!
But before i mention the documentary series, i want to talk on something i observed??
While America and Australia debate over the sliding ratings of the doomed US version of “Kath & Kim” and Channel 7’s dancing with the stars does Battle against Channel 9’s sixty minutes, the Aria’s held centre stage last night it appears!
Through out the malaise of simpleton disposed tv veiwing, i fearfully make note that a great travesty has taken place, a national shame, even stating that last nights ratings reflect the conscience and cares of modern Australia!
We all should of been transfixed and sobered, our collars and tissues rung wet with tears droping from our cheeks, to look upon, to learn and understand with such clarity, the nature of Australian history, the people, the places and the events that have shaped this country over the past 200 yrs.
On SBS, a daring an awesome task of chronicling Aboriginal history in the wake of European contact has been attempted and the results are impacting and beyond any passing ratings or pop driven show last night!!!
While the likes of Australia idol, dancing with the stars etc will last for but a few years, the first Australians are a work of art that will echo in times yet to come. The travesty here is that it did not rate a mention in the ratings, in all that i have seen and read of so far mentions naught of it? That Australia was to willing to be entertained, rather then be challenged and informed, that Australian/European attitudes in most minds, remain unenlightened and unchanged toward Aboriginal Australians, that perhaps last nights viewings indicate that we as a nation who has a long way to go toward acting, thinking and doing what is right toward Aboriginal people, that we have been found wanting and have failed in the face of such overwhelming evidence to acknowledge and make a true recompense.
That our comfortable and Anglo centric society, in its insulated suburbs, far from the historical plight of Aboriginals and their modern struggles in this multi-racial populated land, has largely remained unchanged. Last night i wept in view of Melbourne’s Aboriginal History, over the story of Coranderrk, the failed stewardship of the then Victorian Aboriginal protection board and the sad, but noble lives of Wurundjeri clan leader Simon Wonga and his people. Even now, as i type my eyes are filled with tears to this knowledge….
If you have not seen any episodes as of yet, then you are able to view them here.
It is my hope that such documentaries as “The first Australians” have the platform and voice it deserves and that all AUSTRALIANS not be seduced by frivolous entertainment and give “the first Australians” attain the ratings it deserves!!
Well done SBS for instigating such a series and Rachel Perkins the Director/Writer/Producer.
First Australians chronicles the birth of contemporary Australia as never told before, from the perspective of its first people. First Australians explores what unfolds when the oldest living culture in the world is overrun by the world’s greatest empire.
Over seven episodes, The First Australians depicts the true stories of individuals – both black and white – caught in an epic drama of friendship, revenge, loss and victory in Australia’s most transformative period of history.
The story begins in 1788 in Sydney, with the friendship between an Englishmen (Governor Phillip) and a warrior (Bennelong) and ends in 1993 with Koiki Mabo’s legal challenge to the foundation of Australia. First Australians chronicles the collision of two worlds and the genesis of a new nation.
SBS on their website put forward the question, “How do you promote something that should be mandatory viewing for every Australian?” ……….. how do we indeed?