Politics

The Aboriginal Group Who Sued ‘Sunrise’ Will Receive A Payout And Apology

"It is our hope that media companies generally will exercise more care and respect in the future."

Sunrise Channel Seven ACMA

We all remember that time Sunrise used a panel of white people to basically call for another Stolen Generation, right?

If you don’t, it really was a new low — get up to speed here.

Channel 7 will now have to broadcast an apology and pay an undisclosed amount to the members of a remote Aboriginal community, who sued after blurred footage of them was used in the Sunrise segment.

A BuzzFeed exclusive has reported that Seven reached a settlement with a group of nine adults and six children from Yirrkala in the Northern Territory, led by Yolngu woman Kathy Mununggurr.

The group filed their lawsuit in February claiming they could be identified in the footage.

They argued that by using the footage, Sunrise suggested they abused and neglected their children, or were incapable of protecting them, and were members of a dysfunctional community.

They also claimed the discussion defamed the children by suggesting they had been raped or assaulted and were so vulnerable that they should be removed from their families.

The Yolngu group’s lawyer, Stewart O’Connell of O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors, told BuzzFeed News his clients were very happy with the settlement.

“It is our hope that media companies generally will exercise more care and respect in the future as to the use of footage of Aboriginal persons,” he said.

The payout is confidential until 2033, after the youngest child turns 18. Money for the six children, aged between five and nine, will be held in a trust fund until they turn 18, with a trustee able to remove money earlier for “the advancement in life, education or welfare” of the child before then.

Seven will also pay the costs of the Yolngu group’s solicitors.