Justine Clarke, Jacob Junior Nayinggul on board for ‘Barrumbi Kids’

Finn Treacy, Caitlin Hordern, and Nick Bonson in 'Barrumbi Kids'.

NITV has unveiled the cast of Northern Territory children’s series Barrumbi Kids, with young debutants Nick Bonson and Caitlin Hordern leading a mix of new and experienced talent.

Bonson, 12, and Hordern, 14, star as Tomias and Dahlia – best friends growing up in a remote Northern Territory community. Through fishing, hunting and schooling, the children learn about themselves, each other, and living in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures.

Also making their debut in the series are Sherona Tiati, Zeallion Andrew, and Ronan Bonson, while the supporting cast includes Justine Clarke, Jacob Junior Nayinggul, Frances Djulibing, Adrienne Pickering, Christopher Sommers, Sophie Emberson-Bain, Finn Treacy, Serene Yunupingu, Penelope Thomas, Stephen Mahy, and Scott Hall.

Based on the popular book series by NT author Leonie Norringto, Barrumbi Kids is co-produced by Danielle MacLean of Tamarind Tree Pictures, Monica O’Brien of Ambience Entertainment, and Julia Morris.

It was filmed in Beswick (Wugularr), Barunga, Katherine, and Bitter Springs on the lands of the Jawoyn, Dogoman, Wardaman and Mangarrayi peoples.

In a statement, MacLean, O’Brien and Morris paid tribute to those involved with helping make the project what it is.

Barrumbi Kids has been many years in the making with elders past and present, Djilpin Arts, and Beswick community members,” they said.

‘Barrumbi Kids’

“Creating this series with our First Nations partners, Esther Bulumbara, Frankie Lane, Revonna Lane, and Scott Hall has been an incredible experience.

“Their contribution to story and cultural guidance allowed us to authentically bring to life the stories of the fun and mischief experienced while growing up on Country.

“Their children and grandchildren will watch this series and yell out with big smiles of pride and joy, ‘Hey that’s me, that’s my family and my Culture!’”

NITV acting head of commissions Marissa McDowell said Barrumbi Kids, like animated series Little J & Big Cuz before it, played an integral part in creating more representation on screen and giving Aboriginal kids a national platform to see their own faces and hear their own voices.

“NITV creates ground-breaking children’s programming that explores diversity and celebrates the stories and culture of our mob to share with all Australians,” she said.

“An honourable mention to Kyas Hepworth, former NITV head of commissions, who helped bring this flagship series to screens.”

Major production investment in Barrumbi Kids comes via Screen Australia in association with NITV, Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), Screen Territory, and Screen Queensland.

The series will air on NITV later this year.