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BACKROADS, DID IT UNITE OR DIVIDE?

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CONGRATULATIONS to the folk of the Clarence River for being the absolute stars on Australian TV last night!

Clarence River ‘Back Roads’ was one of the the highest rating TV shows on Monday night with almost as many viewers as crickets ‘Big Bash’.

It was an anxious 26 minutes for me to sit and watch this program reveal itself after being with the film crew for over a week during filming.

Just wished I could have been there with them during editing to help identify any foreseeable glitches that could impact the perception of our community.

The Clarence River itself has such a huge story it was always going to be a big ask to fit everything in 26 minutes, which they obviously couldn’t and didn’t.

Keeping in mind the title of the series is ‘Back Roads’, that is exactly what they visited in our region. I know some people may have thought Ulmarra, Maclean, Iluka and Yamba should have got more air time but at the end of the day these places are well visited by everyone and are just off the highway.

Another consideration when stories are laid bare and talent is obtained it simply doesn’t work out and for what ever reason ends up on the cutting room floor atorvastatin online. Even the person being interviewed can freeze not giving the producer a enough time to find a replacement. Filming runs on deadlines and stops for no one.

For me the obvious omission was the ‘Acknowledgement To Country’ to our traditional owners. I have spoken with the series producer this morning and believe if a new series gets up this will be something they will explore for every region they visit.

Here on the North Coast we all know it is Best Practice to demonstrate and show respect to our First Nation people when coming onto country.

All ‘Back Road’ episodes featured an aspect of each town which had created angst within the community. Some may call it ‘airing dirty laundry’ while others may live in denial their patch is perfect in every way. We all know that is not true and communities every where are an evolving system of backwards and forwards like a tide. Always an ebb and a flow.

Our Clarence community is no different.

In Queenstown it was the Franklin River and mining, in Derby it was Aboriginal suicides and in the Clarence it was the poverty issue. Many Clarence residents are identified as living 40% below the poverty line and Skye Sear gave an intelligent answer in explaining how the Clarence community is building resilience and capacity.

What ‘Back Roads’ highlighted was the strength of our community and its ability to reinvent itself, demonstrate passion and drive a negative perception into a positive one.

I am told back in the day South Grafton was called ‘Dog Town’ and it has come a long way since then with it’s now vibrant, ecletic community of artisans, counter culture and theatre, shining a great spotlight on this small Clarence village.

For me the program highlighted not only the majestic beauty of our landscapes but how we in real life are able to love all aspects of our community, warts and all.

ABC TV Clarence River Episode on Back Roads can be seen again this Sunday at 2pm or on ABC IVIEW now.