BuzzFeed launches ‘What They Don’t Teach You’ documentary series ahead of Australia Day

BuzzFeed has launched a three-part documentary series, What They Don’t Teach You, as part of the site’s week-long campaign looking into the history and contemporary realities faced by indigenous communities during the week of Australia Day.

In the documentary series, indigenous affairs reporter Amy McQuire documents the past, present and future of Aboriginal Australia and looks at the pain and grief relating to Australia Day’s origins and how Australians can heal the wounds of the past.

McQuire was appointed BuzzFeed’s indigenous affairs correspondent last June after a decade covering Aboriginal Australia for outlets including NITV, ABC Radio and Guardian Australia. She was previously editor of both the National Indigenous Times and Tracker Magazine.

Australia Day has proved divisive in recent years for Australia’s media and brands with Triple J moving its Hottest 100 countdown in response to concerns about the holiday which prompted Southern Cross Austereo’s MMM to launch its Ozzest 100 to celebrate the day.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) continues its tradition of using the day to promote lamb as a national dish, , but last year the brand moved away from directly referencing Australia Day.

BuzzFeed’s campaign aims to improve young Australians’ understanding to the history and contemporary lives of indigenous communities, with the publisher citing a recent survey by the Australia Institute that found a majority of Australians don’t know the cultural significance of January 26.

During the documentary, McQuire travels across Australia, from central Queensland to Uluru to Rottnest Island, visiting key historical and cultural sites and speaking with local First Nation people, historians and community leaders to hear their stories.

The series started on Tuesday and will run until January 25.


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