ABC TV's first Indigenous-produced contemporary drama series is expected to create over 250 jobs.
The series, under the working title Redfern Now, will begin filming early next year and will employ Indigenous Australians as producers, directors, writers, actors, as well as general production and post-production staff.
Sally Riley, the head of ABC TV’s Indigenous department said Redfern Now is a turning point in the Australian television industry.
"We are providing the finance and infrastructure for real career opportunities for creative Indigenous Australians, which is very exciting," she said in a statement. "This contribution to the industry will hopefully have an amazing impact for years to come.”
Redfern Now will be a collaborative effort between Blackfella films (First Australians) and English television scriptwriter Jimmy McGovern (Cracker).
The TV series will explore the explosive and dramatic stories of six households in the Sydney suburb of Redfern. The suburb is notorious for its contradictions – a gentrified, expensive neighbourhood tainted with illegal drug trade and Aboriginal struggle.
Australian film and television has increasingly explored the lives and struggles of Indigenous Australians. Mad Bastards and Toomelah, both released this year, drew inspiration from the realities of contemporary Indigenous Australian life. The ABC was also a major investor in 2009 award-winning Indigenous feature Samson & Delilah.
Redfern Now will be broadcast in late-2012. Cast and directors for the TV series will be announced at a later stage.