Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander journalists and presenters at the ABC have come together to celebrate NAIDOC Week by sharing their personal experiences and highlighting the importance of Indigenous storytelling all-year round.
In an ABC promotional campaign for NAIDOC Week, which runs from 4-11 July, Indigenous staff from across the country share the strength and resilience of these stories and the vital role they play in keeping culture, customs and communities connected, now and for future generations.
Isabella Higgins, a proud Torres Strait Islander woman and ABC News Indigenous Affairs Correspondent, says in the campaign: “Storytelling is actually about survival – it’s about ensuring our languages, our culture, our customs, that they survive and that they’re there for the next generation.
“NAIDOC Week is this incredible time where as First Nations people we see our culture pushed to the forefront…The ABC is making sure the voices of all First Nations communities are at the front of all of our storytelling. The ABC is telling our story – the story of our communities, of our country.”
Daniel Browning, from Bundjalung Country on the far north coast of NSW and the producer and presenter of Radio National’s Awaye!, which celebrates Aboriginal arts and culture, says: “We can’t know the national story if we don’t know the first story…If we don’t understand the stories that have been sung, danced and recited here for millennia, we don’t know our story.
“It’s through telling stories that I connect with people and that’s what I love about being a journalist or a storyteller. And story is absolutely crucial to everything we do here at the ABC – connecting people through story and sharing culture.”
Dave Woodhead, a Torres Strait Islander man and triple j presenter, says: “First Nations people have so much history to share and all people have to do is open their hearts and ears and just listen to us. Storytelling is so important because things that happened a thousand years ago still have relevance today.
“I’m proud to be working at triple j and the ABC because it gives me the opportunity to share stories of First Nations artists through the wonderful tool of music.”
The promotional campaign, running across television, radio and online from 27 June, tells Australians what NAIDOC Week means to the ABC and the importance of incorporating Indigenous stories, culture and perspectives into ABC content every day. The creative incorporates commissioned artwork by Buffie Corunna, a Noongar woman from Western Australia.
Throughout NAIDOC Week, the ABC will showcase Indigenous storytelling across television, radio and online, including the premieres of arts documentaries Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, My Name is Gulpilil and Dubboo – Life of a Songman.
ABC iview’s NAIDOC Week collection will also feature the premieres of children’s shows Red Dirt Riders, Tjitji Lullaby and Play School: Walking Together, alongside outstanding Indigenous-led content such as The Australian Dream, FREEMAN, Mabo, Mystery Road, Total Control, Redfern Now and performances by Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Other highlights of the ABC’s NAIDOC Week content include:
- Across radio and social media, the ABC will feature conversations with young Indigenous leaders and Elders about the NAIDOC Week theme of “Heal Country!”.
- Radio National programs will explore Indigenous stories, people and issues, including Earshot’s feature on the battle over the Martuwarra Fitzroy River and insights and interviews across Awaye!, Soul Search, The Book Show, The Stage Show, Blueprint for Living, Stop Everything! and The History Listen.
- Celebrations of Indigenous talent across the ABC’s national music networks include ABC Classic’s premiere of Deborah Cheetham’s Woven Song, Double J’s “Deadly Beats” J Files and an extended edition of triple j’s new First Nations music show Blak Out.
- ABC NEWS will continue to cover Indigenous issues, perspectives and conversations across multiple platforms throughout NAIDOC Week.