“First Australians” is a comprehensive documentary series produced over six years, premiering in October 2008. It forms part of a larger project including a hard-cover book, community outreach program, and extensive website featuring over 200 mini-documentaries.

The series delves into the history of contemporary Australia from the viewpoint of its Indigenous people, the Aborigines. Drawing on well-documented historical sources, it offers a synthesis of historical information, relying on archival documents and insights from historians, Indigenous and European community members, and leaders.

Beginning in 1788 with the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney, the narrative extends to 1993, culminating in Koiki Mabo’s legal challenge to Australia’s foundation. Across seven episodes, the series examines the encounter between the world’s oldest living culture and the British Empire.

Utilizing individual stories, the documentary illustrates broader historical contexts, shedding light on both the violent aspects of European settlement, including killings and wars, and instances of friendship and decency between settlers and Indigenous Australians.

Indigenous Australian history, often overshadowed by the “great Australian silence,” is brought to the forefront, challenging the traditional narrative. This approach has sparked controversy, as many of these stories have not been previously depicted on Australian television, presenting a confrontational perspective on European settlement for some viewers.

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