First Contact


Six out of ten Australians have had little or no contact with Indigenous people.

First Contact takes a group of six non-Aboriginal Australians with strong opinions on a unique journey into Aboriginal Australia for the very first time.

Guided by award winning journalist Ray Martin, the group face their fears in a world they never imagined they’d see. They’re tested in extraordinary situations, their beliefs are confronted, their emotions pushed to the limit.

Along the way, the six experience the life of hunter gatherers, shadow a desert night patrol team searching out the drunk and vulnerable, are incarcerated for 24 hours in prison and live in a two bedroom ramshackle house with an extended Aboriginal family of 15. The reality is often grim, the truth difficult to contemplate.

They come face to face with families and communities who define Aboriginal Australia today. These host families are beacons of hope, achievement and decency. They will surprise and enthral their travelling guests in equal measure.

First Contact will provoke and shock. The preconceptions and racist views of the travelling group will be confronted. As stereotypes are smashed, a process of education, understanding and conversion begins. By journey’s end, it’s not just the six who are changed. Debate will shake the audience and wider Australia from its state of ignorance.

After watching First Contact, Australians can no longer say they don’t know. Aboriginal Australia with all its beauty, dysfunction, trauma, tragedy, hope and history has been brought to the comfort of their living rooms.

28 days. Six outspoken Aussies. One epic journey into Aboriginal Australia.

First Contact... is the sort of series you simply wouldn’t see made by any other Australian television network.

— Michael Ebeid, SBS managing director

Episode 1

The group starts its often confronting journey in Uluru before experiencing urban Aboriginal family life in Sydney, then flying to Nyinyikay, a small remote community where ancient hunting and cultural traditions are still practised.

Episode 2

The participants visit Elcho Island off the coast of Arnhem Land, where more than 2,000 people live in overcrowded and dilapidated conditions. They check into affordable housing in Alice Springs and shadow a night patrol that helps the drunk and vulnerable.

Episode 3

The group is strip-searched and processed at Roebourne Regional Prison, Western Australia, where about 90% of the population is Aboriginal. The final stop is Fitzroy

Crossing, a town where the women are determined to help it recover from the ravages of alcohol abuse, suicide and violence.


Ray Martin - host
Release dates
18 November 2014 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
3 December 2014
M - Mature

Made by Blackfella Films, creators of First Australians.

The areas visited included remote Arnhem Land, the Kimberley and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, the Pilbara in Western Australia and Redfern in inner Sydney.

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, First Contact, <>, retrieved 15 April 2024

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