National communications service proposed PDF Print E-mail

Reg Little, from the Bidjara Media and Broadcasting service 4RRFM, at the National Indigenous Communications Summit in Rockhampton.
Reg Little, from the Bidjara Media and Broadcasting service 4RRFM, at the National Indigenous Communications Summit in Rockhampton.
A new commonwealth funded, Indigenous communications service would give a major boost to the promotion of languages and culture, while ensuring the adequate resourcing and coordination of established Indigenous media services throughout Australia.

The proposed National Indigenous Broadcasting/ Communications Service would be established within a structure similar to that of SBS, linking all areas of Indigenous media services and eventually reaching an international audience.

The promotion of languages is seen as a key outcome to many of the recommendations presented in the feasibility study for the NIB/ CS, which was commissioned by ATSIC and NIMAA.

The $275 million proposal was the focus of the National Indigenous Communications Summit held recently at Rockhampton in Queensland.

Over 100 delegates to the summit were drawn from Indigenous radio and television broadcasting services, BRACS, print and multi-media.

The feasibility study into the proposal included an assessment of the current level of language promotion through existing broadcasting services.

"Language programming currently broadcast on Australian television is virtually restricted to cultural/language programs produced by CAAMA/Imparja TV (namely Nganampa Anwernekenke and the BRACS Show) and some BRACS productions (usually produced for local broadcast or preservation). A small number of documentaries have also been produced and broadcast on the ABC, SBS and lmparja TV, the most notable recent program being Bush Mechanics, which has gained cult status in some areas.

Indigenous people want NIBS TV to take a leading role in language maintenance and development."A steering committee comprising representatives from a range of media was elected, and has begun work on the next stage of the proposal.

Print media

One of the proposals to come out of the Rockhampton conference is to survey and collate a contact list of all Indigenous print publications.This would be undertaken as the initial step in establishing a support network for the further development and promotion of these services, and would eventually see links set up between print media and broadcasting services.

The contact list of Indigenous print publications would include the growing number of community and language program newsletters in Australia.

A FATS1L representative has been appointed to the steering committee for the Indigenous Broadcasting/Communication Service.