Ben & Jaja on the way to Yuendumu to visit PAW Media.
Bumper edition
Woah, there's been a lot going on in our sector recently. While COVID-19 has a restricted some of our usual activities, there's still a lot of work happening at our office and at media organisations across the country. This bumper edition of our newsletter highlights just some of the opportunities, information and activities going on around the industry in August.

Some of the things the First Nations Media Australia team has been working on since our last newsletter include:
  • contributing to the Northern Territory's Public Interest Reference Group
  • partnering with KPMG to increase financial management support for our members
  • working with 3KND, Wilcannia River Radio, PAW Media and the University of Melbourne on research about the impact of First Nations media during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • supporting the launch of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap for the Coalition of Peaks
  • contributing to the Community Broadcasting Sector Roundtable discussions
  • liaising with the NIAA and the Department of Health
  • supporting our members to grow new production opportunities
  • responding to member enquiries about a whole list of things. We love hearing from you - keep em coming!

It was great to have our indigiTUBE team in the Northern Territory this month. Jaja and Adam usually work in South Australia, but ventured up to catch up with members in the NT and spend some time in the Alice Springs office. More about indigiTUBE below...
For your calendar
There are a couple of Industry Huddle meetings coming up for you to note:
  • Thursday 3 September, 2:30pm CST - guest speakers: Kelly Williams & Bronwyn Purvis from the ABC
  • Wednesday 14 October - guest speaker: Adam Portelli, MEAA

These meetings are open to Managers and relevant staff working at First Nations media organisations. Calendar invitations are issued ahead of each meeting with links to join the online meeting, or dial in. If you're not receiving those invitations and would like to, drop Steph a note at
Recent submissions
On behalf of our members, First Nations Media Australia has contributed feedback to a number of consultation processes on important discussions that impact our industry. These have included:
  • News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code
You may have seen this mentioned in the news or reported on it yourself. It's about potentially creating laws to force Google and Facebook to pay for news content it uses from Australian news businesses. FNMA has collaborated with the CBAA to make two joint submissions to the ACCC about this proposal, one in response to a Concepts Paper and then another set of comments on the Exposure Draft for the proposed Bill.
  • ACMA consultation
FNMA has submitted responses to the ACMA's Draft Five-Year Spectrum Outlook and to the proposed principles for the expansion of digital radio to regional Australia.
  • Consumer Safeguards Review
As part of our leadership on remote telecommunications, FNMA has been contributing to the Consumer Safeguards Review. Most recently this has been responding to the Department of Transport, Regional Development and Communications consultation paper, Part C on choice and fairness.

Each of these submission is available to read here.
Join our team
We're currently looking for three people to join our team in the following positions:

  • News Project Coordinator - full time, location negotiable for the right candidate. The ideal applicant will have good communication and stakeholder engagement skills, knowledge of software systems and training resources, working knowledge of relevant journalism Codes and report writing skills. Applications close on 8 September. Read more.
  • Editorial Coordinator - full time, location negotiable. This role will require experience in journalism and news production to develop user-friendly resources and online tools to support First Nations reporters to upload and share news content. Good time management and communication skills is a must. Applications close on 8 September. Read more.
  • Digital Training Coordinator - part time or full time, based in the Northern Territory. We're looking for someone to join our inDigiMOB team. The ideal candidate will have experience running workshops or training in remote communities and solid digital skills. Applications close on 18 September. See the position description here.

All positions at First Nations Media Australia are Indigenous identified roles. For more information contact
New or renewing? It's time to join up!
It’s time to renew your membership with First Nations Media Australia for 2020-21. We’re running a little later than usual with the renewals because our Board was considering how to approach memberships this year in light of COVID-19. At its last meeting the FNMA Board agreed to support members by making payment of membership fees for this 12-month period optional. This means we will automatically renew all current memberships until 30 June 2021.

Don’t forget that we’re here to support you and your organisation. Some of the benefits you can draw on as a member of First Nations Media Australia at any time through the year include:
- access to webinar resources and professional development opportunities
- HR and business management advice
- technical support for website, streaming and internet connectivity issues
- regular industry huddle catch-ups and online networking opportunities
- support for operational policy and funding applications and agreements
- assistance with responding to arising issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter reporting
- archiving resources and training for digitisation
- music for airplay through indigiTUBE and First Sounds
- travel subsidies for the Remote Indigenous Media Festival and CONVERGE events (when they can happen again!)
- support for financial management through KPMG
- leadership and representation in a range of policy, funding and industry stakeholder arenas
- and we’re continuing to develop new industry partnerships to expand our member services offerings in 2020-21.

If you're not yet a member, we'd love to have you sign up! There's a membership type for everybody - individual and organisations.
"We need every single person who stands on this sacred Country to be activated, not just on socials, but at the dinner table, at the march, at the workplace, on the stage, in the board rooms, in the Parliament - that's what true reconciliation will look like." Jimblah. About These Demons explores the very real grief and pain that exists within our First Nations communities, a reminder for us to dismantle the oppressive forces of our system and look ahead to a future rooted in healing and growth.
The team of 33 creative have supplied some informative new resources for the community, advice, information and support from uncle Nooky from Badapples, Darren Compton, Mikaesha and more.  Further COVID safety messages from Jeffrey Morgan on staying active, mental health and stress reduction is available. We encourage broadcasters to access and download these for airplay from the indigiTUBE site to inform their respective community. Keep Our Mob Safe.
inDigiMOB is undertaking an online survey of First Nations Media Australia members and other organisations working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The survey seeks your views and experiences of digital access and use issues in the communities in which you work, especially during these COVID 19 times.

Whilst we know Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia experience digital exclusion, we don’t have a lot of information about just what this looks like in different communities across the country. By completing this survey you’ll be assisting First Nations Media Australia build the evidence base needed to advocate for better and more affordable digital access and improved services and information for communities.

The survey will be emailed to your organisation late August or early September, and it will also be able to be accessed via a web link on our website
More than one person per organisation can complete the survey! It'd be great to get a good mix of responses from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and females and other staff.

If you want any further information about the survey you can contact us at

Mukurtu archive platform
First Nations Media Archiving hub front page
Theresa Ross and Kumantjaye Katakarinja at PAW Media archive
FNMA has now developed a First Nations Media archiving hub, using the Mukurtu cloud-based platform. We are currently conducting a trial of the Mukurtu archive platform with pilot sites for three organisations- PAKAM, PAW Media and Umeewarra Media- as well as creating a First Nations media history collection.  You can check out some of the great public content that PAW Media and PAKAM have on their sites (click on Browse all Digital Heritage). 

Mukurtu is an open-source archiving system designed for First Nations communities to manage their own collections and enable community access according to local protocols. This project is funded through the Indigenous Languages and Arts program. We are now seeking additional funding to expand the rollout of Mukurtu within the sector beyond the ILA-funded trial to September 2020. If your organisation is interested in setting up an online archive on the First nations media hub, or you would like more information, please contact project manager Daniel Featherstone.

We are also nearing completion of the First Nations media archiving toolkit, an interactive online platform for archiving and training resources. This builds on the fantastic FNMA training resources developed by Susan Locke into an archiving manual.  This will be launched in September.

We are also working with Charles Darwin University to develop an accredited 3-unit skill set for archive workers to learn how to digitise and catalogue analogue audio, video and photographs. This course will be able to be delivered by any RTO with scope for Cert 3/4 in Screen and Media in 2021.

Watch this space...
Congratulations to Koori Mail on securing funding through the ACMA's Regional Innovation Fund this year. Funding support will help Koori Mail develop its digital platform and upgrade computer systems, building their capacity to deliver news by engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander journalists and writers. We're looking forward to seeing the new developments for our national newspaper.
Black Lives Matter
As the global Black Lives Matter protests continue, Australians have been challenged to confront the realities of ongoing racism and Aboriginal deaths in custody. Sydney Opera House invited IndigenousX to curate this panel discussion exploring how state sanctioned violence is enabled and protected by racist ideology, and the role of protests in achieving reform.
Ngaarda Media reaches Nyiyarparli Country
Ngaarda Media broadcasts to 13 Pilbara communities on their FM frequency and has now joined with Newman community radio so you can now tune into 92.9FM. Ngaarda News and breakfast program will be running daily between 8-9am on 6NEW FM Newman Community Radio.
Keeping connected during the pandemic
During COVID-19 shutdown TEABBA made an emergency trip to Gunbalanya after reports the community had no radio services. With all the communities being shut down and no visitor's except essential workers and TEABBA following protocols, they applied for a one-off permit with the Northern Land Council to fix these services. Travel was affected with roads being blocked off due to bio security zones, so TEABBA's tech Kyle Doevendans and General Manager Don Baylis chartered a plane to the airport where a car was left so they could drive into the community without public contact. This included the full kit of masks, gloves and sanitary gear which was used to clean all equipment before leaving. A transmitter was replaced as well as a tele delta, rectifying all TEABBA and ABC services.
New music equipment at PAW Media
Check out PAW Media studio engineer Donovan Jampijinpa Rice was testing out their new music studio equipment. Click on the picture to watch a clip of the sound of their new drum pad, it sounds pretty deadly!
Management masterclass
Australian Progress is holding online sessions in September and November for Managers (including project managers and potential managers). The one-day session will cover successful delegation, team communication, goal setting, coaching, recruiting practices and creating a culture of impact within community based organisations. The first session will be held on 17 September. Read more.
Board Observership Program
The Westpac Foundation is running a Board Observership Program to offer skills to community organisation Boards in areas such as HR, legal, finance, risk management and business development. Boards will help choose an observer to contribute to discussions over a 12 month period - but not to have voting or decision-making roles. Expressions of interest are now open via email. Read more.
Position Available
Why Warriors are seeking a Communications Specialist for a part-time/casual role. The successful applicant will be responsible for overseeing all external communications of the organisation. This includes overseeing two websites, assisting with funding documents, and editing and proofing of resources (print/video/podcasts). The role is approximately 10-12 hours/week and can be done remotely from any Australian location. For a full position description please email
National Agreement on Closing the Gap announced
An historic agreement that for the first time sees Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people share decision making and take a partnership role with Australian Governments was announced on 27 July. The new National Agreement is a pledge from all governments to fundamentally change the way they work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations through four Priority Reforms.

FNMA is pleased to see the National Agreement includes a new commitment to see First Nations media, particularly community-controlled media, having a central role in communicating activities under the Agreement.

"It is significant that our First Nations media sector has been recognised for the vital role we continue to play in improving the life outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," FNMA Chair Dot West said, "We have pushed hard to make sure our language and culture is prioritised in this new Agreement and its implementation. We are very proud to be part of this new Agreement and recognised as important providers of services that enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access information that can make a difference to their lives."

View the Agreement here.

Freeman - a television event
The ABC will be screening the world-premiere of Freeman at 7:40pm on Sunday 13 September. In this documentary, Cathy Freeman shares her full story for the first time on the race that brought Australians together, 20 years on. If you miss the live broadcast, it will also be available on demand on iview for a limited time. Check out the trailer here.
Interviews are available with Director, Laurence Billet and Co-Director, Stephen Page. Email Steph to coordinate a time if you're interested in speaking with them.
State of the arts in 2020 and beyond: new inquiry
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts is hearing evidence on the benefits the arts bring to Australia and the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry. Committee Chair, David Gillespie MP says, "It's time to reflect on and re-think the way we create and interact with art, as we react to the pandemic and the challenges we need to overcome."
This is an opportunity to highlight to Government the impact of COVID-19 on all creative industries (such as screen media). Information is being collected via written submission and/or a short online survey. Read more.
Who gets to tell Australian stories?
The Walkey Foundation has partnered with Media Diversity Australia to host a discussion on 'Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories?' - looking particularly at diversity in television news and current affairs. FNMA Board member and SBS superstar, Tanya Denning-Orman will be speaking on the panel. The online event takes place at 12:30pm (AEST) on Thursday 3 September. Read more.
Support Act news
Support Act, a charity delivering crisis relief services to artists, crew, music and media workers, has appointed Cerisa Grant in the newly created position of First Nations Community Engagement / Social Worker. Cerisa is a proud Walpiri, Jawoyn and Gurrindji woman from Katherine who now resides in Melbourne. She is an artist manager, events manager and liaison / case support worker who has worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), Barpirdhila Foundation and Territory Families.

The organisation is also looking to appoint a new Director. The Support Act Board helps oversee things like its Wellbeing Helpline and COVID-19 Response Fund. They're particularly interested in people with a passion for music for this voluntary role. Expressions of Interest can be sent via email to by Friday 18 September. Read more.
National Indigenous Languages Report
AIATSIS recently released its National Indigenous Languages Report which recognises the importance of broadcasting in language for cultural identity and wellbeing. The report acknowledges the First Nations media sector’s contribution to renewing and reawakening traditional languages and the employment opportunities language broadcasting generates in communities.

"Broadcasting in an Indigenous language more effectively informs communities of news and information such as public health advice, or emergency warnings, while also bringing Indigenous talent to the fore.”

The report references recommends reviving languages through business and income opportunities, including broadcasting as an activities requiring support to bring languages back and a practical application for the findings in the report. We urge Government to support First Nations media organisations to engage in fit-for-purpose services and programs as recommended in this report. See the full report here.
Natalie Miller Fellowship applications open
The Natalie Miller Fellowship offers $20,000 for a professional development program that will deliver significant benefits to the applicant and the wider Australian screen community.

The NMF strongly encourages applicants who are not previously successful to reapply. Applicants who may identify as culturally-diverse, Indigenous, LBGTIQ+ and/or female-identifying are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications close midnight on Monday 21 September. Read more.
Volunteer grants
Grant support of $1,000-$5,000 is available through Volunteering Australia to increase participation in volunteering. Grant funds can be used to buy small equipment for volunteers, or to reimburse volunteer expenses such as fuel, transport or training costs - amongst other things. Applications are now open and close on 20 September. Read more.
Community Engagement Grants
The Fair Work Ombudsman is offering grants to not-for-profit organisations for activities that support community education and advisory services over a four-year period. This is a potential opportunity to put forward media activities that focus on informing communities about the role of the Fair Work Ombudsman and their rights at work. Read more.
RISE 2020
The RISE Fund provides targeted funding assistance for sector organisations seeking to restart, re-imagine or create new activities. The program is intended to assist by providing funding for the presentation of new or re-shaped cultural and creative activities and events including festivals, concerts and tours. The program aims to assist companies in the arts and entertainment sector to present new or re-imagined activities which have been disrupted by the COVID-19 restrictions. This opportunity is open to not-for-profit organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations. Applications are open anytime between now and May 2021. Read more.
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