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SBS Television and Online and Screen Australia’s National Interest Program are inviting
proposals for a major topical, timely and cross platform documentary series based on
the recent history of immigration - the stories behind the policies which have shaped
contemporary, multicultural Australia in the 20th and 21st centuries. It is intended that
the series of up to 6x1 hours will screen on SBS late in 2009.

We expect this series to feature key highlights and a credible, innovative and
intelligent perspective on Australia’s recent migrant history – ranging over the period
from the establishment of the White Australia Policy under the 1901 Immigration
Restriction act through to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s recent announcement that the
government will significantly expand economic migration. We want a provocative
examination of how our immigration policies have been motivated by shifts in the
ideological, social and political climate.

The last 200 years have seen dramatic changes with Australia, once populated only
by its indigenous peoples, moving to becoming predominantly Anglo-Celtic by the
1900s and now to its present mix of around 74 per cent Anglo-Celtic, 19 per cent
other European, 4.5 per cent Asian and 2.4 per cent indigenous Australians.

Currently 43 per cent of all Australians were born overseas or have at least one
parent who was born overseas. We now have people from around 185 different
countries calling Australia home.

SBS Television and Online has, at its heart, a commitment to understand and reflect
Australia’s cultural diversity. The immigration policies of the past, present and future
have helped shape that diversity. Screen Australia’s National Interest Program has a
long and proud tradition of supporting documentaries on this topic.

The TV series will be accompanied by significant multi platform components: specifically
radio and online versions intended to provide a solid foundation for ongoing
community debate on the one of the most divisive and controversial issues of the
country’s history.

Screen Australia’s National Interest Program and SBS will fund up to three proposals
for initial development before choosing the successful applicant.

Initial proposals should be up to 5 pages long and framed against an expected budget
of approximately $500,000 per episode. In particular, the proposals should include:

   • A fresh, imaginative and innovative approach to television storytelling. One of
     the criteria for choosing the successful proposal will be the vehicle producers
     have chosen to tell the story. We’re not looking for conventional story-telling
     for this series. Think about what “Who Do You Think You Are” did for interest in
     family history, how “Battlefield Britain” made history live in today’s world or
     how “What If’s” approach to television storytelling brings difficult theories to

   • The beginnings of a strong, credible intellectual thread.

   • An indication of how the proposal could work Online and on other screens
     including potential for a significant Radio series. We want this series to live on,
     long past its television screening.

   • Details of proposed Production team - which must include personnel who have
     three or more hours of broadcast documentary credits as a Director or Producer.

Proposals should be informed by the key values of both the NIP and SBS Television
and Online.

The Screen Australia National Interest Program works with independent producers and
directors to commission projects for its slate that combine five key elements:
   • an Australian perspective;
   • great stories that are engaging and entertaining;
   • distinctiveness in look and content through an approach that is fresh and
     original; and
   • an intelligent voice that is insightful and revealing.
   • reach a diverse and widest possible audience

SBS Television and Online is the broadcaster which tells the stories of contemporary
Australia in a way in which other broadcasters don’t. How will your series deliver on
our Commissioning criteria? (as follows):
What stories do es SB S want – in 2009 and bey o nd?

SBS, through its Charter, educates, informs and entertains while reflecting the reality
and diversity of multicultural Australia. But we want to be different and challenge
Australian producers to collaborate with us and to bring us ideas that work for our
clearly articulated schedule - while pushing the creative boundaries.
Accordingly, SBS Commissioned Content will:
1. Take the SBS audience to a place in their community where they don’t usually go.

2. Present the views of and engage the contemporary, culturally diverse Australian

3. Be demonstrably pioneering and different to any other Australian network.

4. Be relevant, agenda setting and cause public debate.

5. Have potential for other platforms - thought about from day one of development -
and, where possible, offer new ways of involving our audience.

6. Foster and encourage new talent - on screen and behind the scenes - an essential
role for a public broadcaster.

7. Take risks, offer alternative voices and formats

June 17, 2008
SBS Television and Online/National Interest Program history of immigration initiative
announced. Press release circulated.

August, 2008
Call out for proposals commence - to be submitted no later than COB Friday
September 26th. Experienced Producers and Production companies will be asked for:

   • Major factual series outline - approximately two pages for a series of up to 6x1
   • An indication of the multi-platform proposition.
   • Statement on how it meets the criteria of the series and its suitability for SBS
     and the NIP.
   • Estimate of budget.
   • An indication of key talent on screen
   • Key creatives - including CVs.

Proposals to be submitted through the National Interest Program online register

October, 2008

Initial proposals will be considered by SBS Television and Online and Screen Australia’s
National Interest Program for stage 1 development.

Shortlist drawn up, interviews conducted with Producers and Production companies, as
required, and three are chosen for development funding of $20,000 per successful

January, 2009

Treatments delivered by three applicants, considered by SBS and Screen Australia.

February, 2009

Successful applicant notified and second stage development begins - with a budget of

The intention is that the series be commissioned and funding formally approved by
both SBS Television and Online and Screen Australia in April 2009.
NB – Commissioning of the series under the National Interest Program will be subject
to approval by the incoming CEO and Board of Screen Australia.

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