Screen Australia, the federal government’s film agency, announced a production investment for the documentary series Keeping Australia Safe this week.
The six-part docu-series explores Australia’s security system at home and abroad by showing how the different levels operate during the exact same two-day period, intercut with stories from people who work to keep Australians safe in different ways.
To be broadcast later this year on ABC TV and produced by ITV Studios Australia, the series follows the Logie-nominated 2016 series Keeping Australia Alive. Alive, which followed healthcare workers over a 24-hour period, was similarly funded by Screen Australia as part of their Documentary Broadcast program.
“In 2016, Keeping Australia Alive demonstrated audiences’ appetite for observational documentaries that provide an in-depth view of how our country functions,” said Liz Stevens, senior manager of documentary at Screen Australia. “We’re pleased to be involved with this next series from the same team, who will now give audiences insight into the intricacies of keeping Australians safe.”
This series comes at a time where policing and security are a hot-button issue internationally and is likely to provoke political discussions and possible controversy.
“With numerous polls revealing that Australians seem to be living in fear, and the government telling us that acts of terrorism in this country are now inevitable, this series will look at the costs of keeping Australia safe,” ITV Studios’ Head of Content Ben Ulm continued. “And we’ll hopefully begin a conversation about what sort of Australia we want our children to live in. At ITV, we are enormously proud to be producing such an important and timely series.”
Utilising 200 cameras and filming from Afghanistan to the Outback, according to Ulm the series is trying to give Australians a complete look at the threats to them and to Australia, as well as the financial and personal costs of these initiatives.
“To gain the trust of 30 institutions that are traditionally very guarded about public exposure was like taking a year to crawl up 30 mountains, then tumbling down the other side in 48 hours. Fortunately, we landed on our feet.”
Keeping Australia Safe is produced by Elle Gibbons (Keeping Australia Alive, Paddock to Plate) with executive producers Ulm (Keeping Australia Alive, The First ANZACs) and Robert Wallace (Bondi Vet, MasterChef) for ITV Studios Australia.