As 2019 draws to a close we would like to wish all our members, supporters and stakeholders a happy and replenishing festive season.

This has been a big year for our team including: three major events (Indigenous Focus Day, Remote Indigenous Media Festival and CONVERGE Alice Springs), a federal election, the expansion of the sector’s #ourmediamatters campaign, the launch of the Indigemoji app, expanding inDigiMOB to new communities in the NT, a stack of new content on indigiTUBE and the launch of the First Sounds project, joining the Coalition of Peaks on Closing the Gap, a new Strategic Plan for 2019-2024, the launch of our Employment & Skills Development Strategy and associated Action Plan, developing partnerships all over the country and supporting First Nations media organisations to build capacity in a broad range of ways.

Phew! What have we missed? We welcomed new staff to the team and new members to the organisation and we've said some sad goodbyes. It’s been a year and it’s not quite over yet!

We’ll be closing the First Nations Media Australia office for a short break from Friday 20th December, re-opening on Monday 6th January 2020.
Our CEO, Catherine Liddle had the opportunity to meet many of our members at CONVERGE Alice Springs and continues to connect with people around the country this month. Catherine dropped into Umeewarra Media, NITV and Koori Radio last week and met with 3KND this week. While in Melbourne she also caught up with the CBF and did an interview with Tracee Hutchison for 3RRR which will go to air this coming Sunday.
Catherine will try to visit as many member organisations as possible on her travels over the coming months. If you have any questions or want to have a chat, feel free to give her a call on 08 8952 6465.
In line with our sector’s Call for Action #4: Strengthen News Services, we have been developing a news project to support collaboration between journalists working within our industry and expand reporting capacity within media organisations. Members have been involved in the development of the project and we’re pleased to announce some progress is underway. We have been successful in securing a grant through the ACMA’s Regional Grant Opportunity towards the establishment of a news coordination platform to integrate news content across formats and to grow journalism capacity in regional and remote areas in particular.

We will be recruiting a coordinator for this project early in the new year to continue developing the business plan and shape the project in consultation with members and partners. While we continue to seek funding to expand reporting capacity further, we’re pleased to be able to take this next step toward achieving our Call for Action to strengthen news services in our sector.
This month we farewell Susan Locke (again) who returned to First Nations Media Australia this year to work with us on the Archiving Project.

Over the past few months Susan has prepared some really useful resources that can be tailored to suit different media organisations and different cultural protocols to suit your area. They include: archive basics, planning the
archive, digital formats and metadata recommendations, stabilising and safe handling of physical media, counting and recording the Archive collection, planning for required physical media players, digitisation, digital storage, community access, disaster management and an archiving policy bank.

The resources are now available on the First Nations Media Australia website. We thank Susan for lending her considerable expertise to this project and wish her well in her retirement.

So what happens now?
Daniel Featherstone will be taking over management of the Archiving Project into 2020. Daniel will no longer be using the email address and will now be contactable via for all things archiving.
First Nations Media Australia is currently preparing a submission to the House Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs inquiry into pathways and participation opportunities for Indigenous Australians in employment and business (read more here).

If you would like to share ideas or input into the submission, or have a chat about its content, please contact our Policy Officer, Claire Stuchbery before 16th January.
First Nations Media Australia has been working with the Department of Employment to develop a pilot program to support increased employment in regions not covered by the NIAA's CDP program. Following on from discussions at CONVERGE Alice Springs, we will be holding an online meeting with interested media organisations in late January to talk more specifically about the employment support needs for individual organisations. If you're interested in participating in that conversation, please drop Claire an email ( and we'll arrange a time to connect you with experts from the Department of Employment early in the new year.
CONVERGE Alice Springs
A big thank-you to the 164 delegates who joined us on Mparntwe for CONVERGE Alice Springs. It was great to have your input on a range of topics impacting our industry and we hope you left with some new skills and ideas to share with your team. We have shared some photos on our Facebook page and Flickr site in case you’re missing us! We would love to hear what you thought of the event and any ideas you might have for improvement.

We’re asking you to please complete our short survey (we promise it’s short!) by Friday 20th December so that we can incorporate your views into next year’s conference.
Want to cast your mind back to the blue waters of the Torres Strait over summer? A short documentary showcasing the 20th Remote Indigenous Media Festival held on Waiben (Thursday Island) from 22-27 September, 2019 is now available on indigiTUBE. Co-hosted by Torres Strait Islander Media Association (TSIMA), delegates participated in a week of skills workshops, stakeholder meetings and a celebration of culture. The documentary was directed by John Chisholm and produced by Natasha Ferre Bentley, in partnership with PAKAM.
The question everybody is asking at the moment is: Where will CONVERGE be held in 2020? We’re currently costing out a few different options, so we’ll be able to answer that question early next year. Similarly, we’re looking at an expression of interest process for the Remote Indigenous Media Festival in 2021 with some discussions underway for the next community to host the festival. 
What are you doing this 26 January? Uncle Pete Williams, a Ngiyampaa Country Elder, shares his message concerning the Murray Darling River crisis. He says it is far from a natural drought and is the result of industrial over consumption. Uncle Pete invites everyone to go out to the rivers on 26 January and cry for them, so the rainbow serpent can feel the love again.

If you're kickin' back over the holiday season, check out all the awesome music, films, podcasts and radio on indigiTUBE's Summer of Black channel.

It has been another busy year for inDigiMOB! We would like to thank all of our partners (Tangentyere Council, PAW Media, ARDS, and Anindilyakwa Land Council), and their dedicated staff for their hard work and commitment to improving digital inclusion in remote communities. We would like to recognise the work of outgoing inDigiMOB staff, Sonja Peter, Project Coordinator, and Milly Hooper, Project Officer who have moved on this year - thank-you for all your work and best wishes for the future.

Meanwhile, we have welcomed a new face to the team. Anna Maclean started as our new inDigiMOB Coordinator this month. We are also pleased to be working with new partners at CatholicCare NT (Santa Teresa), and new and returning Digital Access Workers, Josh (CatholicCare), Tammy and Greg (Tangentyere Council).

This year, in addition to our regular work with communities we are proud to have been involved with the Indigemoji Project supporting the Emoji Advisors and Digital Mentors. It was an incredibly successful program with the App making it to number 1 in the App Store. Digital Mentor, Graham Wilfred Jnr won the Alice Springs Mayoral Noteworthy Award (pictured above) and contributing artist, Dion Beasley was awarded the Australia Council National Arts and Disability Award for an Emerging Artist. Congratulations to producer, Caddie Brain, and to the other partners, mentors, artists and everyone involved in this project!

Other highlights for 2019 have included working with RMIT on the Disconnect podcast which can be listened to via our website or indigiTUBE, partnering with ACCAN on a research project which is still underway, the Indigenous Focus Day and our Digital Mentor workshops held in Alice Springs. Thanks to our major partners Telstra for making all of this work possible.
Justice Connect has recently published an A to Z of Good Governance guide which is a useful checklist for organisations to run through at your first Board meeting in 2020. It links to some resources for not-for-profit organisations and we have a lot of more specific media policy resources and templates in the First Nations Media Australia policy bank too.

If there’s anything in this resource list you would like help with or advice about, please get in touch with Jacinta or Claire.
Leah Flanagan (Alyawarr) has been appointed as the new National Manager of APRA AMCOS’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office. Leah will be based in her hometown, Darwin, working from the APRA AMCOS Northern Territory Office.

As the National Manager, Leah will be an essential representative for the music rights organisation and its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songwriter and composer members. She will be working closely with stakeholders in the First Nations media community.
The National Indigenous Radio Service will close down for three weeks over the Christmas period from the 23rd December and resume on the 13th January.
NIRS News will not be going to air at the top of the hour during these dates and the NIRS Weekly News in Review will return to air on the 17th on January.

Some other changes to note:

-  Christmas Eve and New Year’s eve there will special broadcasts by Bumma Bippera Media from 4pm QLD time.
- Lola’s Black Chat program on Koori Radio will be having a break from the 23rd of December and resume on the 6th of January.
- The Mary G Show will continue through the Christmas period.
- Goolarri Media’s Country Affairs with Sandy Dan will be taking a break from the 23rd of Dec and will resume on the 6th of January

ARDS Cultural Competency Training Project completed and ready to roll
ARDS wrapped up its Cultural Competency Training development project in November. This big project, funded through the Northern Territory Department of Chief Minister in Nhulunbuy funded ARDS to develop 11 introductory on-line training modules and develop a one-day face-to-face workshop. The eleven online modules contain rich resources for newcomers to East Arnhem Land and extensive commentaries by Yolŋu leaders on a range of topics.

ARDS conducted demonstrations of the one-day workshop for select NT Government staff and ALPA decision makers in December. We are aiming to make the online modules available through an ARDS Learning Management System and be ready to deliver CCT at scale in the first quarter of 2020. Read more.

The Walkley Foundation is offering a scholarship for an aspiring First Nations journalist under 30 years of age to develop newsroom experience within Junkee Media and 10 News First in Sydney. The scholarship will cover living expenses for the duration of the scholarship and a $10,000 stipend. Applications need to include a personal goals essay, a copy of your resume and 3 examples of your work.
Applications are open now and close on 17 January 2020.
Read more.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network’s (ACCAN) Grants Program supports research, representation, or education projects that address issues for telecommunications consumers in Australia. Funding up to $100,000 is available.
ACCAN’s 2020 Grants Program will open on 28 January – 25 February 2020.
Grants of up to $10,000 to $1m are available to community organisations and local councils for crime prevention initiatives, including the installation of infrastructure such as CCTV cameras, security lighting, fencing and gates, alarm systems, intercoms and swipe access on buildings. Applications are open now and close on 10 December 2019.
Grants of up to $2,000 area available for organisations to run activities over NT Youth Week (14-24 April 2020) through the Office of Youth Affairs. Applications are open now. Read more.
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