Stories from the first Australians available to all Australians from 12-12-12

In a historic day for Australia, a dedicated Indigenous television service will be available for all Australians free-to-air for the first time, when National Indigenous Television (NITV) begins broadcasting on SBS4 digital spectrum from 12 December 2012.

SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid, said: “The 12th of December marks an important milestone in Australian broadcasting, and in our nation’s history. SBS is incredibly proud to be playing a role in delivering content about Indigenous Australians, produced by Indigenous Australians, to every Australian household. With NITV part of the SBS family, we will reflect Australia’s diversity in a way no other broadcaster has before.”

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Denning, said: “NITV has been creating and delivering innovative content representing the many voices of the country’s first Australians. We remain dedicated to having our unique languages and culture reflected within the media landscape, and we’re excited to invite Australians of all backgrounds to tune in, and join us in celebrating our rich and unique culture.”

To celebrate the free-to-air launch, NITV will broadcast a day of special programming starting with a two hour outdoor broadcast, live from the iconic Uluru in the Northern Territory. From the Heart of Our Nation will be a special television event marking the official ‘switch on’ of NITV free-to-air at 12pm (AEDT). Hosted by Indigenous broadcasters Stan Grant and Rhoda Roberts, the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara traditional owners of the area will welcome audiences from around the nation.

From the Heart of Our Nation will be followed by a one hour Living Black special (from 2pm AEDT) from SBS studios in Sydney. Hosted by Karla Grant, SBS’s award-winning Indigenous current affairs program will examine the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media in Australia throughout history.

There will be a special one-hour edition of NITV News with Natalie Ahmat, featuring crosses to reporters around the country, before the broadcast returns to Uluru where the party really gets underway. Some of Australia’s best Indigenous talent – including Christine Anu, Casey Donovan, Troy Cassar Daley, Dan Sultan, Warren H. Williams and Frank Yamma – will take to the stage to perform as the sun sets for a two hour concert hosted by the much-loved Ernie Dingo (from 8pm AEDT).

NITV will begin broadcasting free-to-air from 12pm (AEDT) on 12 December 2012, on SBS4.