SBS’ bold new documentary series Go Back To Where You Came From has given the multicultural network its highest ratings of the year.

Last night’s (Thursday) episode of the controversial series – which uniquely looks at the heated asylum-seeker debate – had about 600,000 viewers in the five mainland capitals, according to preliminary ratings from Oztam.

This is a jump on Wednesday's episode which pulled in 569,000 viewers. The show premiered on Tuesday with about 524,000 viewers.

Launched in refugee week, the Cordell Jigsaw-produced series features six Australians (with strong views on immigration) who live like refugees for 25 dangerous days. Tracing in reverse the journeys that refugees have taken to reach Australia, they travel to some of the most dangerous and desperate corners of the world, with no idea what is in store for them along the way.

Last night’s episode featured the six ordinary Australians – Roderick, Adam, Gleny, Raquel, Darren and Raye – in Iraq and Congo, Central Africa.

The series, narrated by Colin Friels, was funded by Screen Australia and Screen NSW.

SBS’ director of television and online content, Matt Campbell, says it was a good way of broaching the issue for Australians – and getting the perspective of the average person on the street.

“We knew this was going to be an absolute bombshell and it hasn’t disappointed that’s for sure,” an elated Campbell told IF.

SBS’ website – which offers a catchup service – has raked up 30,000 views in the first 24-hours since Tuesday, breaking the site's record.

Talk about the show has spilled onto Twitter and was the most tweeted subject in the world on Tuesday night. Wednesday night, Western Sydney participant Raquel Moore was the most tweeted "subject" in Australia.

But don't despair – this won't be the last time you will be seeing the participants' faces. IF can reveal that next Tuesday night, participants and their families will be part of a special discussion at SBS’ Sydney studio. Audience members will be made up of selected Twitter identities, who SBS will contact.

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  1. Best show all year. Tony Abbott should have been one of the six people treated like refugees.Then his opinions would be more informed.

  2. We love the show, however someone needs to give Rachael a dressing down. She is unemployed and sucking off the rest of the community. she does nothing and gives nothing back to the community. She has no compassion and does not care about anyone exept herself. I hope the Govt. takes the dole from her. In fact leave her in Africa she might (just might) become a better person.

  3. This program should be required viewing for all Australians. What an achievement for the makers of this brilliant, deeply affecting and thought-provoking short series.
    Thank you SBS, for this contribution to the ‘refugee debate’.

    Australia, one of the richest countries in terms of individual freedoms, national cohesiveness and spirit of fairness should lead the world in its care and compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves.

  4. Congratulations SBS on a great show and insight into this huge issue
    Thought provoking and heartbreaking at the same time:(

  5. I found this show enlightning and disturbing that there still are people like raquel around this fine country,she a dole bludging,small minded moron who adds nothing to society except to steal my valuable taxes(and oxygen)and i would happily see my tax dollars go to helping these refugee’s…maybe can take her and her bludger boyfriend’s dole,rent assistance and health care cards away and let them fend for themselves……she was an embarresment to me by calling herself a proud aussie….dole bludging rascist with an i.q. she could count on one hand,hopefully she doesn’t represent the average australian,leave her there i say…

  6. for people who have very little ,it was a very stirring ,emotional documentry ,we did not miss a minute of it ,our heart goes out to these people ,especialy the african familys i love those beautiful people,i would love to see more of thembe able to get to aus , what a magnificant documentry , congratulations i have a better understanding on refugees now , thank you. colin holder

  7. Watched this show last night and Rachael irked me with her racist views all she did was complain and say that this is not my country read on this website that she is a dole recipient no wonder she couldn’t wait to go home suspend her dole and her boyfriends and then see if she is still a proud Aussie ashamed better still would have loved it if producers left her in Africa also were these people paid to make this doco ????

  8. Both sides of politics would do well to watch this program. There’s hope yet when even the Raquel’s of the world can open their hearts and minds to the plight of these people. Very brave and mature to change her views on national television like that as well, she should be applauded not criticised.

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