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Always Will Be festival on NITV

On Australia Day NITV will present the Always Will Be Festival – an array of programming and events that encourage a national discussion on what it means to be Australian today.

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman said: “The 26th of January is a day of mixed emotions for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As Australia’s Indigenous broadcaster, NITV plays a vital role in providing a place for Indigenous voices to be heard on issues that matter to communities, and where all Australians can learn more about the rich cultures of our First Nations people.

“Through the Always Will Be Festival, NITV is exploring Indigenous perspectives on what this national day means for many, acknowledging our history and our survival, and encouraging more Australians to understand that Australia always was and always will be Aboriginal land.”

Sunrise Ceremony
Brought to you live from North Head in Sydney, Ernie Dingo takes Australians on an emotional journey that expresses Australia’s First Peoples’ resilience and connection to Country and one another.

The live program kicks off at 5.30am with Dr Dennis Foley simulcast on NITV and SBS, and will include a musical performance and a smoking ceremony as the sun rises on 26 January.

Anthems Sessions hour long special at 8.00pm AEST.
See Christine Anu performing My Island Home, Archie Roach bringing an audience to tears singing Down City Streets, and Dan Sultan premiering his new song Drover’s Boy exclusively on NITV.

News, documentaries and films
NITV News will bring live hourly updates from around the country throughout the afternoon, keeping you up-to-date with the day’s activities.

NITV will also air a range of provocative films and documentaries that explore Indigenous identity, including its celebrated Songlines series, and critically acclaimed films such as Ivan Sen’s Beneath Clouds. For a full list of programming, please visit closer to the date.

Change the Date song and 360 VR experience

Some of Australia’s best hip hop artists have come together for NITV’s Always Will Be Festival thanks to Elefant Traks and Bad Apples to produce an original song (‘Change the Date’), and an accompanying 360 degree VR experience (produced by Start VR).

It was not until 1994 that Australia Day began to be celebrated on 26 January, and for many Indigenous Australians this date marks a Day of Mourning with some asking, why not change the date? In an immersive 360 world, these iconic artists share their views on why Australia should come to grips with changing the date of Australia Day.

Artists include: Urthboy (The Herd), Thundamentals (Tuka and Jeswon), L-Fresh the Lion, Ozi Batla, Nooky, Birdz (Nathan Bird), Kaylah Truth, Tas, Coda Conduct (Erica and Sally) and Hau (Koolism).

The song and VR experience will be available online on Tuesday 24 January through the SBS VR app and on NITV’s Facebook and You Tube pages.

The SBS VR app is free to download for Apple iOS and Google Android. Information on what it is and how it works (with Google Cardboard) is here:

Join Miss Ellanious, Ernie Dingo, Amelia Telford, Lydia Miller and other high profile Indigenous guests live from 2pm to 6pm on 26 January as they have hearty, live conversations about national identity. Tune into the podcast at 2pm AEST, available through

Comedy Event
Indigenous drag queen Miss Ellanious will take to Sydney Harbour on a speedboat emblazoned in the colours of the Aboriginal flag, Priscilla-style. All the glitter and hilarity will be captured on NITV’s Facebook Live stream.

NITV is encouraging all Australians to join in a discussion around 26 January by using the hashtag #AlwaysWillBe on and in the lead up to 26 January.

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