Premiering at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21st September, this series directed and presented by filmmaker Rachel Perkins, reveals the truth of Australia’s past.

The British claim to the Australian continent, that disregarded First Nations peoples’ sovereignty and their custodianship of country for thousands of years, set in train brutal conflicts that unfolded for more than 100 years. Over three episodes, Rachel journeys across the continent to explore the breadth of warfare, strategy, and forceful resistance that occurred. The lives of Aboriginal warriors, women and children, military men, governors, and settlers are illuminated as they grapple with the forces of war. It’s also an exploration of the here and now, the legacy of war, and how Australia today engages with this truth.

The Australian Wars presents a compelling awakening to an Australian history not commonly known or understood. Dramatic reconstructions combined with interviews with historians, Elders, descendants of warriors, and survivors, bring this sweeping story to life.

In recognition of the documentary’s immense educational value, Blackfella Films and SBS Learn have collaborated with Culture is Life, to publish curriculum-aligned education resources about the Frontier Wars.

We recognise that the content in the series and resources is sensitive and will evoke strong emotions in viewers. These are necessary emotions to face in the process of reckoning with our shared histories. We endeavor to build duty of care, cultural care and cultural safety into all our design and processes with this work, and we aspire to these values being carried forward by all our partners in this critical work of change, justice and healing.

How To Watch

For classroom viewing of whole episodes, please visit ClickView, or your school’s resource centre (for example Wingaru, Informit etc).

Content warning: The documentary is classified M, and the clips selected in this resource are classified PG. The clips are intended to be previewed by teachers before sharing with students.

Before You Watch

Before undertaking this unit of work and considering your term planning around this series, please watch this video from Shelley Ware, a Yankunyjatjara and Wirangu woman and one of Culture is Life’s educator behind this resource. In the video, Shelley talks about how to prepare yourself and your students to engage with The Australian Wars within a culturally safe teaching environment and carefully structured learning plans.

Pre-Watching Activity: A Message from Shelley Ware

Education Resources

Full Resources for Years 10-12 by Culture Is Life

‘The Australian Wars’ Education Resources by Culture Is Life

‘Cultural Considerations for Teachers’ Classroom Guide by Culture Is Life

Classroom Ready Clips for Year 9 by SBS Learn

‘Understanding the Frontier Wars’ by SBS Learn

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols Guide – for Teachers’ by SBS Learn


Australia’s history before British arrival at the Australian War Memorial | The Drum Tuesday 20 September

I wasn’t sure I wanted my 16-year-old son to watch ‘The Australian Wars’ by Shelley Ware | SBS

What you need to know about the Frontier Wars | NITV

‘They are burning with a desire for justice’: Rachel Perkins on Australia’s genocidal past | The Guardian

Reclaiming Dyarubbin: “Here we are… we’ve never gone away”| SBS

Why making The Australian Wars was deeply personal for Rachel Perkins | Sydney Morning Herald

What were the Australian Wars and why is history not acknowledged? | SBS

Documentary ‘The Australian Wars’ Challenges Myth Indigenous Australians Didn’t Resist The Brits | The Project

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Want to learn more about #TheAustralianWars? #EducationResources for Episode 1 are now live on on the Culture Is Life education platform and SBS Learn! Link in bio 🔗

@sbs_australia @nitv_au @blackfellafilms @sharkislandinstitute
"How do you prepare your child for truth telling? How do schools prepare to teach truth telling? With help, support, open communication and an open mind and heart." - Shelley Ware, Education Lead at Culture Is Life

Read more from Shelley's article by clicking 'The Australian Wars' in the link in bio 🔗

#TheAustralianWars @sbs_australia @sharkislandinstitute @shelley_ware
In recognition of the The Australian War’s immense educational value, Blackfella Films and SBS Learn are collaborating with Culture Is Life to publish curriculum-aligned education resources about the frontier conflicts. The resources will analyse the documentary using short clips that explore the ongoing impacts of colonisation and highlight historical perspectives. The resources will also provide an insight into the immense value that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral histories possess, with a focus on local history and how schools can engage with their local communities for further learning opportunities. New classroom-ready clips will launch each week as each episode premieres and will be published on

#TheAustralianWars @sbs_australia @nitv_au @sharkislandinstitute 

Repost via SBS

When we tell stories of war, rarely do we talk about the wars fought on Australian soil. Across this continent, thousands of people lost their lives in the longest-running conflict in Australian history; the Frontier Wars. Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman and Director & Presenter Rachel Perkins journeys across the continent to explore the breadth of warfare, strategy, and forceful resistance that occurred.

The Australian Wars | Premieres September 21 at 7.30pm on SBS and NITV
Today is @ruokday 🖤 It's important to look after one another, because we're stronger together. Ask your mob, in your way, R U OK? If you're not ok, don't be shame to say. 

#RUOKDay #StrongerTogether
Today we celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme is “The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge”. 

We want to take this moment to honour our matriarchs, who have played a vital role in continuing culture, standing strong for our mob and healing family and community to bring about a brighter future for our young people 🖤

📸 Pictured here is Alkina Edwards of @alkinascreations with her Mother and Aunties on Yorta Yorta country, for the Winyarr Collection in collaboration with #CultureIsLife and @wittnershoes

#WeAreIndigenous #IndigenousDay #IndigenousPeoplesDay #UNDRIP
Shelley Ware, Education Lead at Culture is Life, shares her reflections and highlights from Garma Festival 2022. View more in our story☝🏻☝🏿☝🏽


Getting to spend time with Josh one of my past students at Garma and seeing him glowing with joy on his Country was the best!

Repost via @shelley_ware

#garma @garma_festival_official