SBS’s groundbreaking show First Contact, which sees six Australians confront their perceptions of indigenous Australians, continues to cause a frenzy on social media.
Host Ray Martin has accompanied the group as they spend time immersed in Aboriginal culture while cameras capture their journey.
Last night’s episode of the reality series saw the group arrive on Elcho Island where around 2,500 Aboriginal people live in some of the most deprived conditions in the western world.
The travellers then moved to Alice Springs, where they joined a night patrol service helping the drunk and vulnerable. It wasn’t long before tempers flared.
Emotions were pushed to the limit as the group met women struggling with addiction and their own life traumas.
Here are the most thought-provoking moments from the show’s second instalment.
Bo-dene slamming affordable housing for indigenous Australians
One of the show’s youngest participants, 25-year-old Bo-dene, came to blows with Aboriginal night patrol member Tymyka Singh over the issue of housing prices in Alice Springs.
Bo-dene told Singh it was unfair Aboriginal Australians received cheap housing while she paid hundreds of dollars a week in rent.
“It’s not fair, there’s inequality happening,” Bo-dene said.
The councilwoman responded angrily, accusing Bo-dene of being a “very selfish woman”.
Bo-dene later told cameras the exchange confirmed her opinion of Aboriginals.
“Seeing people like that just really confirms my opinion that a lot of Aboriginal people are just rude.”
Jasmine changing her views on indigenous kids
Mother-of-four and welfare recipient Jasmine started the show with the belief that Aboriginal children were given too much.
“It’s just not fair. The local school, the aboriginal people do not have to pay for everything. Everything is bought for them,” Jasmine said at the beginning of the series.
After visiting a school for disadvantaged children, Jasmine realised how grateful the children were for their education.
“I think that the kids appreciate it a lot more than what my children do because my children have everything given to them,” Jasmine said after the visit.
“I guess we want to give our kids what we didn’t and I think I’ve learnt that my kids have too much.”
Sandy walking out
Halfway through episode two, Sandy quit the show with 15 days to go, saying she had seen enough and hadn’t changed her mind.
The mortgage broker was criticised for claiming that white Australians had better brains.
Sandy’s fellow contestants were shocked by her sudden departure, with 28-year-old law enforcement officer Trent Giles telling host Martin, “I’m very surprised”.
“She gets bored quickly … she may have just gone “‘f**k this, let’s get out of here’. I’m a bit p****ed off. She’s a hard b***h.”
Bo-Dene agreed Sandy could have told the rest of the group of her plans to leave.
The group sharing the harsh realities of alcoholism
In an honest conversation, the group deconstructed the rate of alcoholism in indigenous communities.
One indigenous woman, Helen, shared her story of growing up with an alcoholic parent.
“I came back to the settlement and mum was still drinking and I felt lonely,” Helen said.
“When I got a bit older and had problems that’s when I started drinking and kept on going.”
Upon hearing Helen’s story, Bo-Dene broke down, recognising similarities from her own childhood.
“I understand, my mum suffered alcoholism for many years when I was growing up I guess it lead to my family breaking down,” the 25-year-old said through sobs.
“It’s not as easy as ‘just stop drinking’ … It has to stop, the cycle just can’t keep going.”
Sharyn Derschow’s story
When Bo-Dene told Pilbara resident Sharyn Derschow that indigenous hardship has an element of “personal choice”, Sharyn decided to share her own shocking story.
“I ran away from home at the age of 14 because I was sexually abused as a young girl,” Sharyn told Bo-Dene and Trent.
“I became destructive … drinking, doing drugs. I had a child at the age of 16. In my teen years I was forcibly raped and held with a knife by a guy and then I went into a relationship with domestic violence, six days a week.”
Trent was particularly touched by her story, asking Sharyn if “that was the case for a lot of Aboriginal people”.
“We just tend to think that’s how life should be,” Sharyn answered.
“Thank you for sharing your story to two complete strangers,” Trent responded.