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Production   /  Ronde Media

IMPACT PLANNING The First Inventors with Rob Collins

Once every generation a series emerges that changes the way we relate to our continent and it’s dynamic human history.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR 2020 AACTA award winning director | Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt

  • PRODUCER Ben Davies | Cian Mc Cue



Rob Collins goes on a journey through time & Country with our next generation of knowledge holders to investigate our ancestors innovations and inventions.

Our series offers the most up to date, evidence based and culturally inclusive research this country has ever seen around First Nations inventions and innovations.

For the first time we’ve gathered Australia’s leading young Indigenous researchers, archaeologists, astronomers & Cultural rangers to join Rob Collins on this extraordinary adventure across Australia’s vast and ancient land, islands and sea.

The First Inventors celebrates the ingenuity, resilience and inventiveness of our people. Knowledge that is as relevant today as it has been for millennia.

Viewers can expect a deeper understanding of how climactic conditions inspired our First People here to turn their mind to science for solutions.

The series provides a unique opportunity for Non-Indigenous Australian audiences who may never had any interaction with Indigenous Australia before. Sharing what we know and what we are all learning is integral.

Our series sets out to highlight how our people have always tackled extreme climate events, pandemics, droughts, rising sea levels and Ice ages. We’ll share our holistic relationship with the cosmos, seasons, plants, wildlife, song, Country, water and fire.

Some parts to these stories have been lost; together an army of researchers working with community will join forces to piece together this incredible human history. Stories that demonstrate the ingenuity and resilience of the oldest living culture in the world.

After much consultation I’m proud to say that you will meet some extraordinary and compelling Elders, investigators and next generation knowledge holders.

With your help we can progress securely into pre-production. We'd like to secure our funds before November 30.

Support this project

0.44% funded
  • $180,000.00

  • $800.00

  • 7

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Julia Harvey $100.00
Margaret-Anne Gilbert $100.00
Leonie Huxedurp $200.00
Trish Booth $100.00
Rita Metzenrath $100.00
Tracey Hamilton $100.00
Andrew Brown $100.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

This series explores the extraordinary innovation and achievements of our people in shaping and managing every element of life on the Australian continent since the beginning.

These inventions are not well known and often misunderstood or misrepresented.

We are proud to be using our skills to deliver truth telling to a mainstream audience. My name is Cian Mc Cue and I'm co- producing the series with Ronde Media. Many Elders, Aboriginal boards, communities, TV specialists & Chief investigators have invested 2-5 years of their time to discuss how this program could be realised.

We'd like to thank Karlie Noon, Dr Chris Wilson, Pauline Clague, Joe Sambono, CABAH, John Carty, Brendan Littlechild, Tui Raven, Margee Brown, Paul Daley, Ben Davies, Butter Media, Larissa Behrendt, Bradley Moggridge, Peter Jeffries, Brian Wall & Murujuga Circle Of Elders for their guidance.

I've witnessed powerful conversations evolve into this landmark co broadcast opportunity


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Our impact team will be hired and our impact vision strategy will be further developed as part of this investment.

Our goals are;

To create educational assets for primary and high school students.

To provide digital, live events & exhibitions

To produce Reconciliation opportunities for corporate teams, universities and schools.

Most importantly to continue our meaningful relationships with the communities, experts and next generation knowledge holders.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

The First Inventors series will bring our nation together for robust conversation about the extraordinary achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our co broadcast not only maximises our audience reach but it’s also an historic Reconciliation moment for Australian broadcasting.

When TedTalks, Q&A, The Point or The Project want someone to talk about Indigenous knowledge they’ll have next generation Indigenous knowledge holders from The First Inventors to engage with.

Our local and International broadcast will encourage people to respectfully visit Cultural landscapes continuing their own journey to understanding.

Our series will dramatically improve everyone's understanding of the people who gave science to the world.

Understanding the methods invented by our ancestors will help us to adapt to untold climate challenges ahead.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Our audience reach is extensive. Our series will be broadcast on Ten & NITV and their digital channels.

What viewers will always remember about this series is the culturally inclusive way archaeology works alongside Indigenous science.

Our audiences will be entertained by the greatest minds with globally significant research for a new generation to get excited about.

A new digital platform will serve as an outreach hub to hear about events, talks, tours and experiences beyond the broadcast. This gives our young experts another platform to engage with Australian audiences.

This hub can also help industry, politicians and corporate organisations to
get a deeper understanding of First Nations knowledges.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

The First Inventors is a collaboration with people whose expertise represents the vanguard of ancient knowledge; and who are shedding light on archaeological First Nations discoveries.

They are culturally inclusive teams working in the fields of archaeology, geology, ecology astronomy, fire farming, land management, language, song, dance and rock art.

Some parts of our history have been lost; together an army of researchers join forces with our communities to piece together this incredible human history.

Our supporting partners include Screen Australia & Tourism Australia.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Our co-broadcast and IMPACT will contribute to a substantial paradigm shift in attitudes towards Indigenous Culture, from indifference to pride.

Some of our audience will enlist for courses others will find countless ways to get involved via our digital activations like live tours, talks and exhibitions.

Others may be drawn to Country to take part in a deeply personal immersive Indigenous experiences.

‘Citizen Archaeology’ is a national campaign we are developing to ensure objects that are in the back of sheds might be processed by partner organisations to be repatriated.

Viewers can be entertained with The First Inventors podcast series

As Rob Collins embarks on a major expedition we can all look forward to an extraordinary adventure across Australia’s vast and ancient land, islands and sea.

The First Inventors will demonstrate how the ingenuity, resilience and inventiveness of our people is as relevant today as it has been for millennia.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

When we see more opportunities for Indigenous voices in mainstream media.

Australia recognising that the First People here were the earliest inventors and embracing these ancient knowledges.

Audience reach can be measured each week via Ten's broadcast and digital audience numbers along with those of NITV.

Engagement can be measured by visits to our future IMPACT events, exhibitions, educational downloads & talks.