Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Go Back to Where You Came From

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Directed by  Ivan O'Mahoney
Narrated by  Colin Friels
Composer(s)  Gordon Wittoch
Presented by  Dr David Corlett
Theme music composer  Hans Baker
Country of origin  Australia

Go Back To Where You Came From is a Logie Award-winning Australian TV documentary series, produced by Cordell Jigsaw Productions and broadcast in 2011 (Season 1), 2012 (Season 2) and 2015 (Season 3) on SBS.


The series followed two parties, each of six Australians, all members having differing opinions on Australia's asylum seeker debate, being taken on a journey in reverse to that which refugees have taken to reach Australia.

Season 1

The six Australian participants were Gleny Rae, Adam Hartup, Raquel Moore, Darren Hassan, Raye Colbey, and Roderick Schneider. Deprived of their wallets, phones and passports, they board a leaky refugee boat (from which they are rescued mid-ocean), experience immigration raids in Malaysia, live in Kakuma Refugee Camp in far north-west Kenya, visit slums in Jordan before ultimately making it to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Iraq, protected by UN Peacekeepers and the US military. In the final episode, the participants are debriefed for their response to the experiences.

Season 2 – Celebrity Go Back

The celebrity participants for the 2012 season was Peter Reith, Angry Anderson, Allan Asher, Catherine Deveny, Mike Smith and Imogen Bailey. The participants were placed on a rickety boat bound for Christmas Island.

Over three episodes, the six Australians also experienced mortal danger on the streets of the world’s deadliest cities – from the sweltering, war-torn capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, to the riotous streets of Kabul, freezing amidst the mountains of Afghanistan. They also travelled to the Christmas Island Detention Centre.

Season 3

The six participants for the 2015 Season were Davy (former refugee), Kim (‘Stop the Boats’ Facebook campaigner), Nicole (detention centre whistle blower), Jodi and Renee (sisters with opposing views) and Andrew (tough-talking school teacher).


On its premiere night, the series became the number one trending topic on Twitter worldwide.

Go Back To Where You Came From's viewing figures made it the highest-rating programme for SBS in 2011. An estimated 524,000 metropolitan viewers watched the first episode, followed by 569,000 for the second and 600,000 for the third.

The broadcaster subsequently held a televised forum event to reflect on the series and the public debate about asylum seekers.

Season 1

Episode 1

  • Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia – refugee resettlement
  • Albury/Wodonga, Victoria/New South Wales, Australia – refugee resettlement
  • Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, New South Wales, Australia
  • Boat crossing, Timor Sea
  • Episode 2

  • Immigration housing, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Construction site immigration raid, Malaysia
  • Episode 3

  • Kakuma Refugee Camp in far north-west Kenya
  • Slums in Jordan
  • Warzone in Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Warzone in Iraq
  • Season 2

    Episode 1

  • Melbourne, Victoria – refugee resettlement
  • Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Mogadishu, Somalia
  • Episode 2

  • Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Mogadishu, Somalia
  • Dollo Addo refugee camp, Ethiopia, ran by the UNHCR
  • Episode 3

  • Bogor, Indonesia – meeting Hazara refugees
  • Rote Island (Pulau Rote or Roti), Indonesia – meeting people smugglers
  • Boat journey to Christmas Island
  • Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre
  • Ratings

  • Episode 1 – 524,000 23rd for the night
  • Episode 2 – 569,000 24th for the night
  • Episode 3 – 600,000 19th for the night
  • International Remakes

    The series has had international versions after the concept was sold to the following countries:

  • Denmark (TV2 Denmark) by the name of: Send Dem Hjem
  • the Netherlands (Tuvalu Media) by the name of: Rot Op Naar Je Eigen Land
  • Germany (Studio Hamburg DocLights) by the name of: Auf Der Flucht: Das Experiment
  • Sweden (Snowman Productions)
  • South Africa (Curious Pictures)
  • Israel (Keshet Broadcasting)
  • Belgium (Vier) by the name of: Terug naar eigen land
  • United States of America (BBC America)
  • References

    Go Back to Where You Came From Wikipedia

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