SBS Australia has introduced the use of First Nations place names in the nightly national weather forecast of its flagship news bulletin, SBS World News.
Launched to coincide with United Nations International Mother Language Day, the SBS World News weather map will now also feature First Nations place names across the continent, reflecting Traditional Custodianship and more than 60,000 years of history.
Developed following extensive consultation with communities, and collaboration with Traditional Custodians and cultural knowledge holders, it builds on SBS’s use of First Nations place names across news reporting, Acknowledgement of Country across programs, and is part of SBS’s commitment to elevating and embedding First Nations languages and cultures across its network.
Rhoda Roberts AO, a proud Widjabul Wia-bal woman and SBS’s Elder-in-Residence, introduced the weather report on SBS World News tonight, saying, “The revitalisation of First Nations languages heals our nation. For me, it’s a time of a new awakening that informs us all. Behind every word you will find information about the seasons, the place and the ecology of our wonderful country. It’s more than education – it’s also the science and the realisation that words can enlighten us all.”
The launch is part of SBS’s Traditional Place and Nations Names Project, an ongoing initiative that will see a significant increase in the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Place and Nation names, elevating the use of First Languages across the entire network.
Tanya Denning-Orman, a proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman and Director of Indigenous Content at SBS, said, “We’re thrilled to be able to present this milestone as an important step in honouring and strengthening a sense of belonging for First Nations peoples.
“This is for all Australians, including those newly arrived who look to SBS – however you engage with us across the network, we will acknowledge language, Country and culture in meaningful ways.”
SBS Director of News and Current Affairs, Mandi Wicks, said, “SBS, with NITV and language services at the heart of our network, is proud to be taking this important step in First Nations representation in Australian media.
“The power of language to foster inclusion can’t be understated, and this initiative will further share First Nations languages and cultures with all Australians.”
Through its Traditional Place and Nations Names Project, SBS aims to engage deeply and meaningfully with communities to inform the way it uses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Place and Nation Names in content, broadcasts and programs, and support editorial teams to increase and elevate the use of First Languages across the entire network.
The Traditional Place and Nations Names Project is part of SBS’s Fifth Reconciliation Action Plan launched last year. SBS’s first Elevate RAP outlines its commitment to “increasing the prominence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and perspectives across the network, to contribute to greater recognition of First Nations knowledges and stories that enrich and contribute to a thriving, multicultural Australia.”
SBS welcomes further dialogue and feedback from First Nations communities and representative bodies on the use of Traditional Place and Nation names.