$2.3 million funding investment welcomed
The Morrison Government announced a $2.3 million investment in the First Nations broadcasting industry this week as part of its COVID-response package. The funding will support:
  • 3KND to produce mental health programming for its audience in Melbourne;
  • FNMA to undertake a sector-wide infrastructure audit; and
  • the distribution of $2m to First Nations broadcasters for urgent infrastructure repairs to ensure broadcasters are working in COVID-safe and work-safe environments and that as many communities as possible can receive locally and culturally relevant COVID-19 messaging.

“Indigenous broadcasters have over the past year proven how valuable they are to Australia’s media landscape, providing culturally appropriate content, often in language, made for and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Minister Wyatt said. “This one-off funding boost will allow many broadcasters to properly service and maintain their equipment to ensure their broadcasting services are reliable and can respond at short notice when important health and safety messages need to get out."

FNMA CEO, Dennis Stokes welcomed the announcement saying, "“We’re very happy to see the Government taking this action to support the infrastructure repairs the First Nations media sector has been calling for through our 9 Calls for Action. This funding commitment which will help with the most immediate repairs needed across the sector at the moment. How we address a maintenance program and upgrades to new broadcasting technologies is an ongoing conversation.” Read more.
TSIMA tech support
Ben recently visited Thursday Island to support TSIMA with their tech setup. He replaced all of their ageing network equipment and server infrastructure. With the help of the TSIMA's Anthony and Luke, Ben replaced routers with automatic WAN failover improving connectivity. They installed a new server with meaning better reliability and improved onsite and off-site backups. A new phone system was installed resulting in monthly savings on their Telstra bill by consolidating telephone/internet lines. Seven computers were also replaced for TSIMA staff.
Infrastructure Audit
Over the next six months, First Nations Media Australia will be undertaking a sector-wide equipment audit led by Wayne Bynder and Kirstyn Lindsay. The audit will update the 2014 RIBS audit and expand it to include regional and urban media organisations to give a collective view of infrastructure needs across the industry now and in the years ahead. The Infrastructure Audit will help establish an industry benchmark for broadcast technology to meet audience needs. All First Nations media organisations are invited to participate to map the investment needed for your organisation to meet best practice industry standards for your staff and your community.

The two people conducting the audit are well known to the First Nations media industry. Wayne Bynder is a Noongar man who has been working in broadcasting for over 40 years, most recently as the Station Manager at Wangki Radio in Fitzroy Crossing. Now based in Geraldton, Wayne brings knowledge from his work at Waringarri Media, Noongar Radio and the ABC to the Infrastructure Audit.
Kirstyn Lindsay is of Wiradjuri descent and also has a long history in the media industry having previously worked in technical and journalism roles with 3CR, SBS and more recently 3KND. Kirstyn has moved closer to her family in south-east Queensland and brings her passion for asset registers to this project. You will likely hear from Wayne or Kirstyn soon, but if you want to drop them a line you can reach them via or
Welcome Tash Gillespie
Tash Gillespie joined the FNMA team this week as our Communications Officer, working across the peak body communications as well as inDigiMOB and indigiTUBE communications. Tash is a Whadjuk, Yued, Wardandi woman, born and raised in Perth, and currently based in Geraldton, Western Australia. Tash has had many different roles over the past 30 years, but found her passion for telling stories over a decade ago with the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA), as the Communications and Publications Coordinator. This role gave Tash the opportunity to report on, and to promote, the positive and good work happening in the WA Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector. Tash is also a professional photographer, actively photographing events and workshops, and she currently works for the Koori Mail as a freelance journalist and photographer. Through her vast range of work opportunities, Tash has been lucky enough to have travelled the country, including to regional and remote communities in WA, to capture beautiful images and tell stories. Please join us in welcoming Tash to the national peak via
Member Highlights
New podcasts
Both IndigenousX and Koori Mail have launched new podcast series this month. Hosted by Rhianna Patrick, the first Blak Nation podcast focuses on Majeda-Mo Tapalinga Beaty's powerful speech at Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney on 6th June 2021. BLAKroom is hosted by Nick Paton, providing a summary of news affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Available now through Spotify, Apple Podcasts and linked on both organisation's social media pages. Subscribe!
Radio Station Visits
Tangiora Hinaki from Ngaarda Media dropped into a few stations on her journey back to Roebourne after picking up an OB van from NG Media. Here are some photos of her visits to Wangki Yupurnanupurru Radio station and 6PRK Radio in Halls Creek to say hello to Manager, Annabelle Cox.
Sandy Dann & The Lives We Lead
Check out this short film of Sandy Dann who is a Nyul Nyul woman from Broome in the Kimberleys. Sandy's reputation as a broadcaster leading the way in delivering and preserving Indigenous stories goes much further across the country as she has over 30 years experience. Sandy has covered some of the most important issues for her community and says that she has a coloured world even though her eyesight is limited.
Industry News
Amnesty International Australia Media Awards
The Amnesty International Australia Media Awards are held to recognise excellence in reporting of human rights issues in the Australian media. Each year the awards acknowledge those Australian media stories that have presented a fair and balanced report of a human rights issue, highlighted hidden abuses and encouraged an audience’s greater understanding of a human rights issue. Entrants are invited to submit for one of six categories:
  • Cartoon
  • Indigenous Issues Reporting
  • Photography
  • Print/Online Media
  • Radio
  • Television
With a work that has been published or broadcast in Australia, in an Australian media outlet, or in the Australian branch of an international outlet, between 1st January 2020 and 18th August 2021 (the date applications close). Read more.
Broadcast license available for Merimbula
The ACMA is inviting applications for a long-term community broadcasting license in the Merimbula RA1 area of NSW. To apply you will need to complete a B32 application form and submit it to the ACMA before Friday 27 August. Read more.
CBAA Conference Scholarships
The CBAA will be holding its annual conference in Cairns this year, 2-4 December. Super Early Bird tickets are available now (until 2 August) and ten scholarships are on offer to support a diversity of stations representatives to attend the conference. You can also submit nominations for the CBAA Awards to recognise some of the innovation and perseverance demonstrated within the community broadcasting sector in the past 12 months. Read more.
Mistakes to avoid when making a podcast
Thinking of making a podcast? The International Journalists Network has a few tips to share. Read more.
Journalism in Community Media Course
The CMTO is starting a new Introduction to Journalism course for community broadcasters in August. The online course is designed to develop the skills and experience of community broadcasters who are interested in journalism, news and storytelling. The course is suitable for experienced broadcasters or those who have no prior experience/formal qualifications in journalism. Over five weeks it will cover community journalism ethics, why local storytelling is so important, how to report on national issues from a local perspective, writing for radio news and current affairs programs, interviewing techniques and how to record and edit audio. Read more.
Regional Journalism Survey
The MEAA is conducting a survey to understand how regional journalism has changed, how the working lives of regional journalists have transformed and provide regional journalists with the opportunity to have their say in developing recommendations that can assist and promote journalism and the media in regional Australia. The results of the survey will be presented to a summit on the future of regional media to be convened by the Walkley Foundation in November. Have your say.
Research launch
Australian Progress is inviting interested people to the launch of Passing the Message Stick, the results of a two-year message research and narrative shifting project to build public support for First Nations self-determination and justice. Passing the Message Stick is led by First Nations advocates, Dr Jackie Huggins AM; Karrina Nolan, Founder and Director, Original Power; and Larissa Baldwin, First Nations Justice Director, Getup, with early research by 19 leading communicators across diverse organisations including FPDN, ALS NSW/ACT, Seed Mob, ABC, NIT, FNWA, AIDA and Black Star Radio. There will be online launches on the 9th, 11th and 13th August. Read more and register.
First anniversary of Closing the Gap Agreement
Over the last 12 months, Coalition of Peaks members and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations have been working with each government to turn this into a reality through Jurisdictional Implementation Plans. This is the first time each government has been responsible for an implementation plan for Closing the Gap and will be held publicly accountable for the commitments they have made. The Victorian and New South Wales governments have already tabled their first Jurisdictional Implementation Plans and all governments are expected to table theirs by mid-August 2021.

A Strategic Plan for funding the development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector was agreed to guide the development of associated funding proposals for the $77.2 million virtual joint funding pool for strengthening the community-controlled sector.

New outcomes targets have been added to the Agreement including a revised Family Violence target and an Access to Information target which includes indicators and data development relevant to media.

A dashboard has been developed and launch to increase accountability and transparency on progress toward the targets and priority reforms. This will be updated regularly and is a useful resource for reporting on Closing the Gap activities.

Today, a $1 billion investment has been announced to support new measures to achieve the Closing the Gap outcomes. This welcome announcement includes a reparations to survivors of the Stolen Generations in the Northern Territory, upgrades to health services, early childhood and schooling programs and a Justice Policy Partnership focused on overcoming the continuing tragedy of deaths in custody. Read more. Sign up for direct updates here.
Curious Australia - national
Screen Queensland, together with Screen Australia and other state and territory screen agencies, has partnered with SBS and NITV for Curious Australia - a nationwide initiative for practitioners from under-represented backgrounds to receive up to $120,000 to create standalone, half-hour documentaries. Applications close on 9 August. Read more.
CameraPro Explorer's Grant - national
CameraPro is offering grants up to $12,500 for photography and videography projects that focus on relatively remote or unknown Australian places and ecosystems. Applications close on 31 August. Read more.
Dog & Bone - national
Dog & Bone offer pro bono technology support to not-for-profits, valued around $10k per project. Common projects include things like developing an IT Roadmap, helping move to the Cloud, managing mobile expenses and other organisational technology support. Applications are open all the time with four rounds per year considered. Read more.
Creative Koori Grants - NSW
Create NSW is offering grants up to $60,000 to support Aboriginal artists, arts and cultural workers, groups and organisations. It aims to support a strong, resilient and exciting Aboriginal arts and cultural sector for NSW. Applications close on 18 August. Read more.
Connecting to Country - WA
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is offering grants up to $25,000 to Aboriginal organisations (and individuals) in WA to facilitate sharing of cultural knowledge and skills between generations, such as the preservation of language, stories and dance; contribute to stronger community mental health and wellbeing; and/or strengthen, protect and maintain traditional ways of maintaining cultural knowledge. Applications close on 26 August. Read more.
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