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Issue #1755      November 2, 2016

Remote media in Yirrkala

About 160 remote media workers and industry partners from across Australia gathered in Yirrkala on Yolngu country in Arnhem Land for the 18th National Remote Indigenous Media Festival.

The Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA) headed north from its base in Alice Springs to partner with Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association (TEABBA) and co-host this year’s event.

The festival is the annual meeting for remote media workers, organisations and stakeholders to network, learn, celebrate achievements and build the capacity of the remote Indigenous media industry.

It provides an opportunity for delegates to work towards innovative solutions for the challenges faced by the remote sector.

The festival plays an important professional development role for media workers from very remote communities, connecting people, places and stories across the country to strengthen culture, identity and wellbeing. Some media organisations travelled for three days to attend the festival.

The festival marked an important milestone for IRCA, which is currently in the process of expanding its role to become the national peak body for the Indigenous broadcasting, media and communications industry.

A new constitution was passed at the annual general meeting which will enable IRCA to invite membership applications from remote, regional and urban media organisations.

IRCA also launched its draft Strategic Plan 2016-19, to be used as a starting point for consultation on the type of services and support it will offer to best meet the needs of its membership.

This year’s festival had the theme “Our Stories from the Home of Land Rights”, acknowledging the Yirrkala bark petitions in 1963 that led to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 40 years ago.

All were welcomed to saltwater country by the Rirratjingu clan of Yirrkala with a bunggul (ceremony) featuring song men and dancers from across Arnhem Land.

Industry forums and skills workshops led by trainers from across the nation featured throughout the week.


ABC sports broadcaster Charlie King and National Centre for Indigenous Excellence chief executive Kirstie Parker – a former Koori Mail editor – delivered keynote addresses to the delegates, describing the positive impacts of broadcasting in breaking down barriers, addressing social issues, building career pathways and empowering people to tell their stories.

Skills workshops included virtual reality filmmaking, radio news, music recording, mobile device video production, radio sports commentary, iPad animation and digital archiving. The evenings featured local culture and talent, movies, music and the remote media and video awards.

Indigenous Community Television (ICTV) managed the festival screenings of community-produced media from across remote Australia.

The remote media industry awards were presented during the week, and the festival concluded with an evening concert including performances by Yirrmal, East Journey, Gawurra, Shelley Morris, Bara Band and Yothu Yindi.

Koori Mail

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