• PAW Media and Communications wins multiple awards for their work in remote communities, where they broadcast in both English and native tongue (NITV). (NITV )Source: NITV
NITV receives awards for journalism, documentary and drama, and an in-language media organisation from Central Australia is recognised at Australia's first First Nations Media Awards.
Brooke Fryer

24 Nov 2018 - 10:33 AM  UPDATED 24 Nov 2018 - 5:54 PM

An Aboriginal organisation from a remote community in the Northern Territory has been recognised for its work in broadcasting, receiving two First Nations Media Awards on Friday night. 

PAW Media and Communications was awarded the Best Language/Culture Production Award and the Best Sports Coverage Award, which is broadcast in many different native languages of the Tanami region. 

Aunty Valerie Martin, chairperson of PAW Media, told NITV News just how proud she was of her team and expressed how far they have come since starting in 1983. 

"It's so amazing. A bit of a shock," Aunty Valerie told NITV News.

"We want our language to be heard on the radio, and so the old people can understand the ways of white men ways." 

Aunty Valerie has been at PAW since it was established and is proud that the organisation can be a place where emerging talent can turn to so they to can learn and work in media.

"[It's] amazing what young people are [doing, they are] emerging ... school leavers are coming with this great involvement in media," she said.

"We don't sit around and do nothing, but yet we go out ... and work on stories and cultural sites which is fantastic and I'm proud of." 

PAW is a remote Aboriginal media organisation situated in Yuendumu, Northern Territory. The broadcaster has a long history of producing community radio and video in Warlpiri language, as well as other dialects in the Tanami region. The broadcast is most known for its innovative TV series Bush Mechanics

The not-for-profit organisation was originally established as Warlpiri Media Association, later changing their name in 2006 to represent all the other native languages they broadcast in. 

Dot West took home the Lifetime Achievement Award for her involvement and dedication to  media industry. Since the late 1980s, Ms West has sat on a number of boards, including Screen West, National Indigenous Radio Service and NITV. She is currently on the Board of Directors at SBS. 

In her acceptance speech, Ms West said that for her, the "power of the word" inspired and continues to inspire her throughout her media career. 

"My passion grew from the power of the word, and it began when I was able to experience theatre ... seeing my family up on stage and performing my history right in front of me," Ms West said in her speech.

"You get these awards, and they're fantastic and great recognition, but you never do it alone. No matter what You're always working with a team ... and so I'd like to recognise all those people."

NITV also saw a suite of awards come through, winning Best Interview or Oral History Award for it's Current Affairs program, Living Black, Best Promotion or Station ID Award and Best News or Current Affairs Story by NITV journalists Madeline Hayman-Reber & Sylvia Rowley. Two of the broadcasters commissioned works, teen series Grace Beside Me and feature documentary, Wik Vs. Queensland were also among the winners. 

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NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman, said that the event celebrates the work of Aboriginal people across the nation. 

"It's incredible isn't it. It's amazing to be here with everyone," Ms Orman said.

 "Everyone works so extremely hard all year, and its so nice just to be here and celebrate and also acknowledge the stories of the year as well."  

The night welcomed a performance by Alice Skye, a Wergaia and Wamba Wamba woman from Western Victoria, with her intimate music, captivating the audience as she sung about being a light-skinned Indigenous person and having to prove herself to those questioning her identity. 

Jazz blues artist, Marlene Cummins, a Kuku Yalanji woman, also performed, where she acknowledge our 'wonderful musicians from the past'. 

Popular artist, Baker Boy and his supporting act, Dallas Woods, closed the night with hip-hop, where Baker Boy incorporates both English and Yolŋu Matha. 

The night also celebrated the launch of indigiTUBE, a platform designed to be the go to First Nation’s media content platform for users to access radio, music, video, oral histories and language resources.

First Nations Media Awards 

The First Nations Media Awards Friday night closed the annual First Nations Media National Conference Converge, held in Sydney this year.  

The conference brings together media professionals and organisations where attendees discuss policy around the role of Indigenous media, providing for the opportunity to self-determine how these stories are shared and reported.

The awards submissions are reviewed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the media, with a variety of experience in different sectors.


Lifetime Achievement Award - Dot West

First Nations Outstanding Contribution Award - Vince Coulthard 

‌‌Best Short Documentary Award - Ŋambi by Mark Watjana (ARDS).

‌‌Best Long Documentary Award - WIK vs Queensland by Dean Gibson, Helen Morrison & Trish Lake (Bent3land Productions/NITV Commission). 

Best Radio Production Award Ngaanyatjarra Dreaming series by NG Media 

Best Language/Culture Production Award - Yarripirri's Journey by PAW Media

‌‌Best Sports Coverage Award - Yuendumu Sports Weekend by PAW Media

Best Drama or Comedy Award - Grace Beside Me by Dena Curtis (NITV) 

‌‌Best Music Video Award -  Native Tongue by Mojo Juju. 

Best News or Current Affairs Program - Our Voices by Noongar Radio

Best News or Current Affairs Story - Guilty of Being Stolen by Madeline Hayman-Reber & Sylvia Rowley

‌‌Best Interview or Oral History Award - Living Black NITV 

Best Photography Award - Jillian Mundy from Koori Mail 

‌‌Best Promotion or Station ID Award - NITV

Best Training & Professional Development Award - Rebekah O'Meara from 6DBY Radio