SQ News

Breathingtaking two-part live event Reef Live to air in December

Screen Queensland together with ABC and Screen Australia announce that, broadcasting live over two big nights from the Great Barrier Reef, Australian audiences will be able to watch one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles unfold – the once-yearly phenomenon of the majestic mass coral spawn.

Reef Live airing Friday 4 December, 8.30pm and Sunday 6 December, 8.40pm on ABC and iview will let you experience the anticipation and the wonder of this unique and very special natural event. As corals across the outer reef synchronise their spawn release, scientists will capture the spawn in a race against time to help regenerate the reef before it’s too late. As well as the coral spawning, we’ll watch the reef come alive in the breeding bonanza of fish, birds, and turtles.

Joining our hosts Hamish Macdonald (Q+AThe Project), Brooke Satchwell (SeaChange) and Dr Jordan Nguyen(scientist and inventor), in studio at the ‘Reef Live HQ’, will be an array of world experts looking at ways to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the reef for the future. They will discuss Indigenous perspectives, conservation initiatives and how we can all get involved in citizen science projects.

There will also be experts filming above and below the water with Marine biologist Dr Dean Miller, free diver and marine scientist Lucas Handley, and shark advocate Madison Stewart reporting from remote areas of the reef. Back at shore, Dr Ann Jones host of RN’s natural history program Off Track, will broadcast from the world famous hi-tech Seasimulator in Townsville. She’ll be there to watch millions of coral larvae being ‘born’ in captivity, mirroring the events taking place at sea.

Screen Queensland’s Chief Creative Officer Jo Dillon said, “REEF LIVE will transport Australian audiences to Queensland in an unmissable screen event that captures rarely seen footage of one of our state’s most iconic natural treasures and tourist attractions.

“The production is truly an example of the power and importance of factual screen stories to ignite passion and curiosity in our precious, natural habitats.”

Jennifer Collins, ABC Head of Factual & Culture said, “REEF LIVE is a first for Australian viewers, an event for the whole family to share in the magical natural wonder of our Great Barrier Reef.”

“What better way to celebrate the end of the year than with the biggest regenerative event on the planet! Broadcasting live from the Great Barrier Reef as it’s spawning is a massive logistical challenge with high-stakes, but the anticipation is building and we’re hoping it’s a bumper year and we’ll be there in the thick of it” said Karina Holden, Head of Factual, Northern Pictures.

Screen Australia’s Head of Documentary Bernadine Lim said, “We are proud to support this highly innovative project celebrating the wonder of the reef, from the team at Northern Pictures who have a solid track record of creating engaging natural history stories. It’s set to be a must-watch event.”

Production Credit: A Northern Pictures production for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Principal production investment from the ABC in association with Screen Australia. Financed with production funding support from Screen Queensland. Produced by Karina Holden. ABC Documentary Manager: Stephen Oliver, ABC Factual Manager: Julie Hanna, ABC Head of Factual and Culture: Jennifer Collins.