First Australians

Tuesday April 27 at 8.30 PM on Maori TV

Individual men, good and bad, have significantly affected the lives of First Australians. Supported by pastoralists keen to make their fortune, Constable Willshire, a homicidal police officer, wreaks havoc on the Arrernte nation in central Australia. With the authorities turning a blind eye it’s up to Frank Gillen, a telegraph operator, to stop him. Gillen’s other legacy is a comprehensive record of the Arrernte peoples’ way of life.

Tuesday April 6 at 8.30 PM on Maori Television

Series premiere! With breathtaking cinematography and powerful narration, highly-acclaimed documentary series FIRST AUSTRALIANS recounts the events of first contact between Australia’s Aboriginal people and white settlers. A seven-part series that begins with a 90-minute pilot. Tonight: the story begins in 1788 with Bennelong, a young aboriginal warrior who befriends British envoy Arthur Philip. The relationship becomes strained after violence breaks out between settlers and the natives, and the bloodshed worsens as settlers spread out across Australia, and scores of Aboriginal clans are alienated from their traditional homelands and practices. In future episodes, there will be emotional first-hand stories of the Australian government’s ‘unhealthy experiments’, which involved the removal of half-caste children from Aboriginal parents, and ‘protective legislation’ which incarcerated Aboriginal people to outback reserves.