ENTERTAINMENT

The New Animated Series Explores Indigenous Culture and Language

The NITV series is an Australian first.

18/04/2017 4:19 PM AEST | Updated 18/04/2017 10:06 PM AEST

For the first time on Australian screens, NITV has created an animated series featuring Indigenous children. Premiering on Friday, April 28, "Little J & Big Cuz" follows five-year-old Little J and nine-year-old Big Cuz as they navigate life while exploring Indigenous culture, country and language.

The series features the voices of iconic Aussie talents like Miranda Tapsell, Deborah Mailman, Aaron Fa'Aoso, Ursula Yovich and Ningali Lawford-Wolf.

NITV's Channel Manger, Tanya Orman, said the show, "lets Indigenous kids see themselves on screen in a positive and fun way." Little J and Big Cuz are joined by their wise Nanna, teacher Ms Chen, and their Old Dog as they learn important lessons about confidence, humility, empathy and patience, while also discovering more about their connection to country and cultural practices.

The series also plans to translate select episodes into six Indigenous languages. "These episodes will be done in language, so that means they will reach further into remote areas, and that's brilliant," Deborah Mailman said. The series has also engaged the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), which will supplement the show with educational resources to be used in classrooms or at home in an effort to spur conversations and active engagement.

According to Orman, while the show is groundbreaking for Indigenous audiences, it isn't simply targeted to them. "Importantly, 'Little J & Big Cuz' works towards demystifying Indigenous culture for non-Indigenous children and enable schools to value and share this culture and knowledge, just as much as it will demystify schools for Indigenous kids."

"Little J & Big Cuz" will air weekly on NITV from Friday, April 28.

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