Media personality and Walkley award-winning journalist, Marc Fennell, hosts The School That Tried to End Racism, a three-part series commissioned by the ABC with production investment from Screen Australia. Premiering later this year on ABC and ABC iview, the series explores a social experiment designed to educate school children in racial bias and provide them with the tools to make positive change.
Produced by Screentime Australia and filmed recently at a Western Sydney primary school, a team of educators and psychologists attempt to reverse the racial bias in an ordinary multicultural class of 10-11-year-old children. Using a new programme for the first time in Australia, the series follows the students and their families as they confront racism head on in an effort to unpack the status quo.
Marc Fennell says “This series is one of the most important things I have ever been a part of. It’s about solutions. Too often, conversations about race in Australia get derailed by accusations, offense, and defensiveness. This programme is about honesty and tangible, inclusive change. These big-hearted students, teachers, and families have taught me so much about what Australia could be. I can’t wait for you to meet them.”
ABC’s managing editor factual, Richard Huddleston says “This is such a timely series, and my thanks go out to everyone from the school and its community who should be really proud of what they have achieved. Their collective experience will start conversations, create change and inspire audiences of all ages”.
Screen Australia’s head of content, Sally Caplan says “We are proud to support this documentary which is set to add to the critical conversation around racism and aims to inform the cultural debate on a confronting and complex issue. It’s a program that has the potential to inspire change and transform lives and I look forward to seeing it on ABC later this year.”
Deborah Spinocchia, Screentime Australia executive producer, says “It has been a truly humbling experience to work with students, teachers and parents who all courageously volunteered their time to tackle such an important issue. Watching the school programme unfold offered insights into the deep thinking of young students while allowing space for self-reflection and the unsettling discovery of the toll of racism on both young and old.”
The School That Tried To End Racism will air on ABC and ABC iview later this year.