A weekly investigative documentary series produced and broadcast on ABC Television, Compass explores human beliefs and values by critically examining issues that exist in both the historical and contemporary worlds. It engages with personal and political issues, religious and secular beliefs, and ethical and ideological concerns, both in Australia and around the globe. According to the Compass website, the series attempts 'to illuminate the spiritual and ethical journey, so revealing the broader issues of community and the shared experience of being human.'
Presented by Geraldine Doogue for much of its run, the series is primarily interested in exploring the interface between religion and life as experienced by individuals and communities, including ordinary Australians, public leaders, religious thinkers, ethicists, and philosophers. It avoids restricting itself solely to religious institutions, also illustrating the liveliness of public debate encouraged by religious issues. The series also analyses social phenomena, current affairs, and trends, and examines secular community issues from a theological and practical perspective. Stories have covered all the major and minority faiths, Indigenous belief systems, New Age phenomena, more individualised forms of belief, and social issues as diverse as the ethical dimension of taxation, IVF, the internet, sexuality, or cloning.
The principal purpose of Compass is to provide an opportunity for viewers to make connections, to see into the underlying sources by which people live their lives and make their commitments.
Source: Compass website (sighted 17/08/10)
'Compass goes to Ernabella, a remote aboriginal community south-west of Alice Springs, as it prepares for Easter in its newly renovated church...'
'Ernabella Mission lies in the far north-west corner of South Australia. It was established in 1937 by the Presbyterian Church and right from the start it was different from other missions of its day. There was no pressure on the Anangu to give up their own beliefs or way of life. "We weren't even allowed to put clothes on them," recalls one former missionary. Instead they respected and learnt the local language and culture, and found parallels with Anangu stories and the Old and New Testament. They also established a choir for which Ernabella became famous. Today Ernabella is an aboriginal-run community with a rich cultural heritage. Three of the elders who helped build the church almost 60 years ago still live in the community; and two of them are ordained Uniting Church Ministers. In this Good Friday special Compass tells the story of a unique mission and the renovation of its historic church through the eyes of the Anangu and former missionaries.' (Source: ABC website)Australia : Australian Broadcasting Corporation , 2011