7 December 2006

Central Australia under the spotlight wins Human Rights Award for Television

A series on the challenges and tragedies facing Indigenous people in Central Australia has won this year"s Human Rights Award for Television.
The Central Australia Series by Suzanne Smith, Tony Jones, Brett Evans and Bronwen Reed from ABC TV"s Lateline program, exposed the heartbreaking incidence of child abuse and consequences of petrol sniffing and family violence in Central Australia.

Declared a "stand-out winner" by the judging panel, the series" portrayal of the human rights of Aboriginal people "had an impact far and away beyond any other piece."

The ground-breaking series included Nanette Rodgers" insight into child abuse which led to a dramatic shift in government policy, funding for child abuse prevention and a major inquiry. The series also featured the tragic effects of years of petrol sniffing on one young Aboriginal man who has now acquired brain injury syndrome, and a final program took viewers on the night patrol in the Yuendemu community to see first-hand how the Walpiri women tackled the problem of violence and abuse.

It was "whistle blowing at its best and most courageous," the judges said.

Jenny Brockie, Skye Docherty and Amy Laging of SBS" Insight program were highly commended for their Gay Marriage episode.

Made when new civil union laws proposing official recognition for same sex couples was on the horizon in the ACT, the program brought politicians, religious representatives, gay and lesbian people together in an open discussion on this very emotional, yet critical human rights issue.

The program explored how resistance from the federal Government threatened to derail the legislation even before it got off the ground - something that happened after the program was broadcast. It was "absorbing viewing" which comprehensively dealt with the issue, according to the judges.

The prestigious Human Rights Medal was also presented at the ceremony, along with awards for Law (sponsored by the Law Council of Australia), Community, Arts Non-Fiction, Print Media and Radio. For full details: www.humanrights.gov.au/hr_awards/

Media contact: Louise McDermott 02 9284 9851 or 0419 258 597


Last updated March 27, 2009