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Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


In preparing this report, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research engaged with First Nations media organisations in very remote, regional and urban communities across Australia. Their representatives welcomed us and trusted us to share their stories and experiences.

The report benefited from input by stakeholders from across the Australian First Nations Broadcasting and Media Sector (AFNBMS). This report was created via input fromThe Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), Goolarri Media Enterprises (GME), Pilbara and Kimberley Aboriginal Media (PAKAM) and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (Batchelor Institute), and with particular mention going to First Nations Media Australia for the invaluable support and information provided for this report.

Further input was received from delegates at the Converge First Nations Media National Conferences held in Brisbane in March 2018 and Sydney in November 2018, as well as via webinars and industry working group meetings and through feedback on the draft report. We greatly appreciate these contributions.

Key Findings:

  • The purpose of this research is to identify specific employment and skills development initiatives which not only build capacity within the Australian First Nations Broadcasting and Media Sector (AFNBMS), but also move the sector closer to achieving the Australian Government’s 90% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment goal by 2020.
  • The report recommends that there be a pursuit for increase in employment and skills funding. This Employment and Skills Development (ESD) Strategy report endorses First Nations Media Australia's (FNMA) call on the government to increase funding for employment and skills development and targeted areas of development (news, archiving, content development) within its 9 Key Calls for Action. This will help to build the capacity of FNMOs as employment and training hubs in their communities and formalise much of the work already occurring within the sector. Funding new positions as well as formal and informal training programs will build much needed capacity within the sector, enable succession and career pathways, and help close the gap on Indigenous employment.
  • Currently in Australia, there are over 230 licensed broadcasting sites coordinated by 35 Australian Government First Nations Media Organisations (FNMOs) with a further 40 unfunded re-transmission sites. FNMOs provide the facilities, skills and tools for local self-representation by the diverse First Nations communities across remote, regional and urban Australia.
  • Previous governments reports about the Indigenous Broadcasting Program (1999, 2000, 2006, 2010) have identified the potential of a well-resourced and skilled Indigenous broadcasting and media sector playing a powerful role in reinforcing Australian Government objectives in helping to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and supporting reconciliation outcomes. However, the 2010 ‘Review of Australian Government Investment in the Indigenous Broadcasting and Media Sector’ found that the sector is “under-resourced, lacks critical capacity and skills” to provide needed pathways for Indigenous peoples and opportunities at all levels within the sector.
  • Key insights from this report show that “Indigenous Broadcasting Services (IBS)’s provide much more than radio – they are community assets that contribute to strengthening culture, community development and the local economy” and are “contributing towards more of the Government’s priorities than is currently realised.”


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