This kind of conduct happens around Australia every day… of every week … of every year, it’s just that you don’t see it.George Newhouse, Director of National Justice Project, Australia
Unheard give viewers a raw insight into critical issues of racial discrimination in Australia, including Indigenous deaths in custody, the targeting of Indigenous youth, attacks towards Asians during COVID, Islamophobia, the vilification of the African community and the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.
The first episode tells the story of David Dungay Jnr. In 2015 David died in Long Bay Prison after guards stormed his cell when he refused to stop eating a packet of biscuits. The guards were transferring David to an observation cell where the tragic events unfolded. Footage taken by one of the guards chronicles the actual events and will be hard to watch for some. But that is the point; David is one of more than 474 First Nations people in Australia to have died in custody since 1991. David’s mother and family are still fighting for justice.
Second episode, The Racist Pandemic, spotlights the exponential rise in race-fuelled attacks towards the Asian community since the outbreak of Covid-19. Early reporting of coronavirus with links to China precipitated an anti-Chinese sentiment that would be felt by innocent victims in our suburbs and on our streets. Telling one such personal experience of a Sydney attack, two brave sisters recount hearing slurs from a stranger before being threatened with a knife, and spat on. Both sisters filmed the confrontation on their phones; while this attack was reported, there are many more which are not.
The series is not easy watching, but that is as it should be. Episodes bring together interviews with victims and their families, community and justice organisations, and startling statistics behind the issues. It should not be missed.
Unheard is showing now on Prime Video in Australia and globally. The first two episodes are free to stream on primevideo.com.
Format: 6 x 30 mins
Written and produced by Shahn Devendran, Jack Steele, Cathy Vu, Luke Cornish, Dan Mansour, Olivia Suleimon, Ellen Dedes-Vallas