IRCA Newsletter - June 2016

NRIMF 2015 - Short Video of last year's Festival

Here is a short video put together by the documentary team at last year's National Remote Indigenous Media Festival. 

We will release the longer version soon. In the meantime - please share!

Thanks to Anna Cadden; Julie-Anne Bennett, Talissa Kinley and Karmelliah McKenzie of PAKAM - Pilbara and Kimberley Aboriginal Media; Rachael Hocking and Rowena Potts from NITV.

Indigenous Focus Day a Success
Tuesday 7 June, 2016 in Brisbane QLD 

This year’s Indigenous Focus Day (IFD) saw 64 delegates from around Australia get together at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane on 7 June, a day before the fifth annual Broadband for the Bush Forum. This is the third year of the IFD, which is co-hosted by IRCA and Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).
Over the course of the day, which was facilitated by Heron Loban of Griffith Law School, delegates attended 16 presentations. This included memorable keynote addresses by the Honourable Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, and Helen Milner, CEO of the Tinder Foundation.
The key themes to emerge from the day’s presentations were that:
  • Remote Indigenous communities remain the most digitally excluded population in Australia;

  • The major obstacles to connectivity are affordability and access, as well as cyber safety, security and skills; 

  • The key to engagement is having locally relevant projects, content, and applications;
  • The focus should always be on people and relationships rather than technology; 

  • Partnerships and knowledge sharing are key enablers; and that 

  • Digital mentors are needed to increase skills and digital literacy in communities. 

Throughout the day, delegates also took part in three workshops that focused on issues of affordability and availability of communications for Indigenous consumers. The first looked at identifying and defining the obstacles, the second involved proposing solutions and ways forward. For the final workshop, inspired by Helen Milner’s advocacy tips, attendees were asked to distil their thinking into one big ‘ask’ or idea to put to policymakers.
The following are the resulting three big asks:
  1. Introduce a Universal Service Obligation underpinned by a set of principles (which are culturally appropriate and based on community need) to provide a minimum standard of internet connectivity in Australia, which will set Australia apart as a world leader in the digital innovation space. 

  2. Recognise that digital inclusion is a human right, and to build digital citizenship through free (unmetered) access for all Australians, however remote, to essential online services and the skills and support to access them (reinforcing the theme that it’s not about the technology, but rather about people). 

  3. Provide $60m to support Indigenous digital inclusion in 300 communities for two years. This funding would employ digital inclusion workers to provide training and technical support in media centres to build community capability and digitally empowered people. 
All in all, the day was an invaluable learning and networking experience for all who attended.
In particular, IRCA would like to thank this year’s sponsors of the Indigenous Focus Day: The State Library of Queensland, Telstra and the Centrecorp Foundation.
IFD Media Release

IFD 2016 photos
B4B Alliance media release: Broadband for the Bush Forum V: Digital Journeys
B4B Forum V: Digital Journeys presentations and workshop resources

Broadband for the Bush Forum V
 7-8 June, 2016 in Brisbane QLD 

The Broadband for the Bush Alliance recently hosted the 5th annual Broadband for the Bush Forum: Digital Journeys. Held with the support of principal sponsor and venue, the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, 2 days of highly engaged and productive discussion brought together representatives from diverse sectors, including health, education, research, primary industries, consumers groups, small businesses and telecommunications.
 The Forum called for the development of a coordinated Remote Telecommunications Strategy and articulated a set of key recommendations, including:
•The establishment of an independent remote and rural telecommunications advisory body;
•Bipartisan support for continuation of the mobile black spot programme, not restricted by economic viability or technology;
•Expanded penetration of nbn fibre and wireless backhaul into remote and regional Australia to reduce Skymuster (satellite) congestion;
nbn should remain as a publicly owned utility; and
•Provision of universal unmetered, but not unlimited, access to on-line health, governmentservices, education services and banking for remote residents and NGOs to help address the tyranny of distance.
Delegates formed working parties to further articulate solutions and lobby for the adoption of key policies by Government to achieve better digital inclusion in the bush. The Broadband for the Bush Alliance will coordinate the effort and regularly report on progress. 


Full list of Forum recommendations available at:
Forum presentations & workshop resources can be accessed here:

Highlights from the Everyday Digital Skills program in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands

As part of the Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access (RIPIA) project, delivered across the Ngaanyatjarra Lands by Ngaanyatjarra Media with support from IRCA, the Everyday Digital Skills program has come to a close.

Earlier this year, trainers Michelle Williams and Paul Sutton set out to WA to help members of the Ngaanyatjarra communities improve their digital skills. Over the course of four very busy months between February and May, they drove more than 10,000kms to visit 12 communities and spent time with 367 trainees. 

They used practical projects to show participants of all ages how to apply a combination of skills and knowledge in a digital context.
Mark Finlay, General Manager of Ngaanyatjarra Media explains “Paul and Michelle were able to attract participants to their sessions and engage them in activities based on their skills and interests. Key strategies of engagement appeared to be the use of photos, including storing, sharing and manipulating, and link these to practical needs such as producing funeral cards, music and videos.”

The trainers assisted community members to navigate and contribute to Ara Irititja, held cyber safety talks and made locally relevant cyber safety illustrations, and increased access to personal music collections. They helped organise files and manipulate settings on people’s personal devices with a focus on preserving data.
Michelle Williams said they found that “… about 50 per cent of the data is used on auto-updating and apps running in the background, searching for updates, and notifications. All those settings that can be changed.”
Michelle and Paul changed the settings on at least 250 mobile devices.
The program achieved as much as it could, given the limited timeframe able to be spent in each community. It engaged people and gave them practical instruction on the various opportunities that the presence of computers, tablets and mobile phones presents. There were a number of significant impacts on individuals which vary according to their interests and the mode of engagement used in their particular case.
“We got people to do stuff well enough so others want to do it too. That is the real gift to the community.” said Paul Sutton.
When asked about what he got out of the project himself he answered “Seeing the Land through the people who belong to the Land. That is always very special.”
IRCA is currently completing the evaluation for the RIPIA Everyday Digital Skills program. A comprehensive report listing the outcomes and lessons learned will be submitted to the Government of Western Australia Department of Regional Development in July 2016.  

Outback surveying working locally and collaboratively 

IRCA has been working with some of the RIMOs recently on a remote radio audience survey. Staff from the local participating RIMOs are conducting the surveys, and in some areas Iona Matthews (admin and membership officer) of IRCA has been out on the field to support them.  The recent trips out bush have proved to be a great experience in working collaboratively with local community members on the ground. 

In Iona ‘s words:

“It was great to work collaboratively with people such as Simba Nelson and Harry Jones. We surveyed 20 community members from a range of ages in each survey community. It was the very best way to do it, working together with community members like Simba and Harry. They know the communities really well and also have great knowledge on various topics. Some of the things I learned from Harry and Simba is the region’s history, culture and some language which is somewhat different from my own Arrernte country.
Working with people like Simba and Harry is a definite highlight for me as work becomes more grounded and personal, when you work with so closely at a local level. I’ve been with IRCA for about 10 months now and collaborations like this are really valuable for my work. I can also share my skills when I’m out in the field. The work also gives community members a sense of ownership when they are invited to participate in these sorts of projects like and creates further opportunities for remote communities.” 
The remote audience survey will provide detailed information for participating RIMOs on radio listenership preferences and patterns in their communities, as well as the technologies used for listening to radio. With the rollout of mobile and radio streaming, there are an increasing number of people using their smart devices to listen to radio, alongside the more traditional mode of radio receivers. 
These changes have an implication for radio delivery modes.
The reasons for people listening to their own Indigenous radio stations is also being surveyed, along with a survey of the operational status of the VAST satellite delivered radio and TV services in the participating remote Indigenous communities.
The interviewers are local media workers each of whom receives professional training from McNair Ingenuity Research.  Survey responses are collected using computer tablets, with the local interviewers conducting face to face interviews. Local interviewers provide language support for people responding to the questions, a very much needed aspect of the survey given English may be a 2nd or 3rd or even 4th language in many remote Indigenous communities. 
Data will be aggregated at a remote level, without identifying individual communities, to provide a picture of remote radio listenership overall. This data has not been able to be gathered effectively at a remote wide level till now.  It is expected that results at a remote wide aggregated level will be available in late 2016.
IRCA acknowledges funding support from the Community Broadcasting Foundation, the Australian Government and in-kind support from McNair Ingenuity Research. 


CAAMA - RIBS Out n About in the Bush

CAAMA Radio welcomes new Senior Co-ordinator, Patrick Ah Kit to our RIBS team.

Recently we visited our RIBS Broadcaster, Selina Malbunka at Ntaria.

Through-out 2016 Pam and Patrick will travel and work closely with our RIBS communities delivering training and consulting with our broadcasters and engage with community members to let them know the opportunities radio has to offer in their communities.

TEABBA – RIBS Adobe Workshop Training

RIBS Broadcaster Adobe Workshop at Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island

 PAW Media - Yapa Beats 3 

PAW Yapa Beats 3 released on iTunes early July - here is what you can expect....Rocking!!! 

NG Media – Warburton School Visit

The school students from Warburton School had a great time doing some TV studio training in the NG Media studio on May 18th 2016. Filmed with a professional video camera the students took on the roles of interviewer, interviewee, boom sound operator and stills photographer. The interview was displayed live on a TV monitor in the studio so they could see how it looks and also had the chance to use the camera and experience how it works. Each student was interviewed and asked a list of questions.

 The students all took it in turns, experiencing what it’s like to be in a filming situation. Working as a team, with guided supervision throughout. After the interview exercise the students had the opportunity to use a studio lighting console, fading up different coloured lights in the studio whilst other students took photos and did poses in front of the stills camera.

QRAM - Black Star looks at high performance satellite options

QRAM met with AsiaSat Representatives Johnny Ng and Tik Yau in Singapore at CommunicAsia2016 to discuss satellite distribution options that will enhance Black Star’s satellite system for wide-band stereo coverage across Australia. This will lead to expanded markets that will more broadly distribute important messages and entertainment to a wider population of Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Black Star believes people living in remote and isolated communities deserve high quality radio services similar to those available in cities and regional areas. AsiaSat has modern high performance satellite services for region-wide coverage and connectivity incorporating a superior satellite platform for video distribution, DTH and broadband networks. They have competitive cost structures and high power Ku-band coverage for Australia and East Asia with excellent look angles across footprints. 

Delivery methods for this system are simple and easily achieved and the needs of remote broadcasters like QRAM can be fully realized through the AsiaSat system.

QRAM has a policy to bring satellite services into line with current industry standards and this will guarantee a higher standard of delivery to remote Australia for remote radio services.

PAKAM - Radio and Sound Recording Workshop 

The PAKAM Hub has had a lot of traffic come through over June.
All of the PAKAM community staff came into the Hub in Broome do a Radio and Sound Recording workshop from Monday, 30th May.
For the first three days we had Campbell and Jessica from Student Youth Network "SYN" who gave our broadcasters heaps of deadly tips for their radio shows - So keep an ear out!
We also had Andrew Belletty from Australian Film Television and Radio School "AFTRS" do a two day workshop with the gang doing Sound Recording.


The Seed Fund - Grants Are Now Open!!

The Management Workshop is a one-stop shop for practical strategies to manage artists in the establishment phase of their career. In a creative industry where there is no set path, we believe the most effective way to learn is by sharing knowledge and seeking out those who have gone before. Providing access to an unrivalled list of industry experts from managers to publishers, lawyers, publicists, promoters and media representatives, the Management Workshop provides an opportunity for managers to come face to face with leaders in their field. 

For more information, please visit  -

FLiCKERFEST - 2017 Entries now open

Flickerfest is an Academy® Accredited and BAFTA-recognised festival for the 2014/15 awards.

FLiCKERFEST, Australia’s premier international short film festival, will be held at the Bondi Pavilion on Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach in January 2016. The Festival in 2017 will celebrate 26 years of screening the best short films from Australia and around the world in competitions and special showcases. Following the Festival in Sydney, a selection of films will go on tour to 50 capital cities and regional centres around Australia.


Technorama - Register for TR16

Technorama is the grass-roots movement which supports the technologists who build and maintain Community Broadcasting Stations in Australia.   Technorama also provides a home for the ecosystem that exists around the technology side of Community Radio.

At the Technorama gathering each year, technologists meet and talk to share stories and experiences about their stations to help benefit others in the sector.

For more information please visit - 

Employment Opportunities

Hey!! Do you want to become a CAAMA RIBS Broadcaster

CAAMA Radio is looking for Remote Indigenous Broadcasters from Central Australia to be trained to broadcast locally and through CAAMA Radio.

Training provided on Community so if you love your music and want to be part of RIBS RadioCall CAAMA’s RIBS Coordinator Pam on 89519768 


Looking for someone to join the CAAMA Music team!! 


Looking for a desert change? If you have previous sales experience, a passion for music, and the urge for adventure, then apply for this unique opportunity to work at Australia's oldest Aboriginal record label, alongside artists like Tjintu Desert BandJacinta PriceGawurraCatherine Satour and Apakatjah. Applications close 4 July! 


Call for contributions

If you have a news item or story you would like include in the next newsletter please email

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Indigenous Remote Communications Association · 2/70 Elder St · Alice Springs, NT 0870 · Australia

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