• Damien Williams poses for photos at the CAAMA radio station in Alice Springs, 2015. (AAP)Source: AAP
Indigenous broadcasters have made up nearly 20 per cent of all finalists in the CBAA Community Radio Awards 2016
Sophie Verass

28 Jul 2016 - 5:52 PM  UPDATED 29 Jul 2016 - 9:23 AM

Since it's inception in the 1970s, community radio has played a fundamental role in Indigenous rights, history and politics. 

The sector reflected the era's social, political and cultural change and many specialist groups including students, political activists and culturally diverse communities took to the airwaves to represent their people who were vastly underrepresented in mainstream media.

Community radio was central to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and their contribution formed The Broadcasting for Remote Aboriginal Communities Scheme (BRACS), which gave Indigenous people access to, and control of, their own media at a community level. 

Today, this is still a vibrant and well-respected industry with Indigenous media makers at the forefront of producing engaging, quality content for their own communities and wider Australia. 

The Community Broadcast Association of Australia has just released their Community Radio Awards finalists list which demonstrates how important Indigenous achievement is in the sector throughout a number of media genres such as, music, talk and current affairs.  

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in November this year. 


Best programs coming from remote Australia

On the shortlist for Excellence in Spoken Word, News and Current Affairs Programming is innovative multilingual program broadcast in Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara and English, 'The Anangu Lands Paper Tracker Program' on Radio Adelaide. 

Broadcasting since 2011, The program serves to address the information gap experienced by people living in remote communities without access to easy sources of information and monitors progress made against key government commitments of interest to residents in remote Aboriginal communities in north-western South Australia. 

Manager Sue Tilley told NITV that it's wonderful to receive recognition for the work the Paper Tracker does in providing information to remote communities and advocating around critical issues that impact on them.

"All too often, remote communities are ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and these awards will hopefully draw attention to the reality of life in the far north west of South Australia"

"It [winning] would help to put the spotlight on daily life and the living conditions in remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia and create more public awareness about access to information and services in remote communities," she says.

"All too often, remote communities are ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and these awards will hopefully draw attention to the reality of life in the far north west of South Australia and highlight the need for government to be more accountable for their programs and policies and the ways in which these affect remote communities."

Another first time nominee is Yolngu Radio from Arnhem Land who were "very surprised" that all three of their entries landed them as finalists; Best New Radio Program (Music), Best New Radio Program (Talks) and Excellence in Indigenous Engagement.     

"We're not a standard community radio station," Station Manager, Gaia Osborne told NITV, "Yolngu Radio is a part of a community development organisation that's been working in the community for years and was established as a cost effective way to get out educational material in language such as health, law, economics and other complex topics.

"I think that possibly the reason why we've been selected is we're getting recognition of the high quality broadcasting in language that we do.

"We're already so proud to be recognised as finalists, but we would be blown away if we took home an award."

Sylvia Nulpinditj, is the presenter and producer of the 'Dhäwu Dhäwu Show', hosted in Yolngu Matha, and currently competing for Best New Program (Talks) category amongst more prominent community stations such as Brisbane's long-standing, 4ZZZ and historic Koori station, Radio Skid Row

"I didn't realise it was broken up into categories like mine being in the 'talk show' section," Ms Nulpinditj told NITV "I'm very happy for it to be one of the finalists, it's amazing.

"[My program] generally talks about issues that relates to community life," Nulpinditj told NITV. "Any topics whether it's getting the flu and what to do or why reading books is important and how that's good for your brain."


The Indigenous Nominations

Best New Radio Program - Music

Female Australian Composers Project for International Women’s Day – 3MBS
The Amplifier – 4ZZZ
The Arcane Ear – Bay FM 99.9
Andrew Gurruwiwi Show – Yolngu Radio

Best New Radio Program - Talks

SoundMinds Radio – Bay FM 99.9
Behind The Headlines – Radio Skid Row
Radio In Colour – 4ZZZ 40th Documentary Series – 4ZZZ
Dhäwu Dhäwu Show – Yolngu Radio

Contribution to Australian Music

6DBY Larrkardi Radio
In The Pines 2016 - RTRFM
2NVR Youth Music Program – 2NVR Radio Nambucca
Fresh 92.7’s Contemporary Music Program – Fresh 92.7

Excellence in Community Participation

SYN Nation Kimberley Partnership – SYN Media
4MBS Major Festivals – 4MBS Classic FM
Waringarri Radio
2NVR Youth Music Program – 2NVR Radio Nambucca

Excellence in Indigenous Engagement

6NME Noongar Radio
ARDS Yolngu Radio

Excellence in Spoken Word, News and Current Affairs Programming

Anangu Lands Paper Tracker Radio Show – Radio Adelaide
World Wide Wave – JOY 94.9
Exodus – The Irish Story – 107.3 HFM
Wavelength – Fresh 92.7

Most Innovative Outside Broadcast or Special Event Broadcast

Live From Town Hall Concert – Fine Music 102.5 FM
Inside Love – Noongar Radio
3CR Exhibition Broadcasts – 3CR
4ZZZ Flashback – Live Broadcast – 4ZZZ

Troy Garner Excellence in Sports Programming

Sideline Eyes – 2SSR 99.7 FM
CAAMA Sports Show – CAAMA Radio
Big Gee Up – 2XX
The Huddle – Hills Radio 88.9FM

For the full list, see here


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