CAAMA and the future of Indigenous Broadcasting
This paper is a cry for help from one of the world’s most innovative and effective Indigenous broadcasting services, which is now in danger due to a lack of appropriate government financial support. It explains the operations of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA); describes its impressive track record of achievement over 30 years of operation; analyses the current arrangements for its funding from Government; demonstrates how these arrangements are badly designed and inadequate; and proposes an alternative approach.
Government Funding Acknowledgement
CAAMA Radio 8kinFM station is supported by the Australian Government through the Indigenous Broadcasting Program of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
A.1 Program Name: Indigenous Broadcasting Program
A.2 Program Objectives:
- Support the operation of Indigenous owned and controlled community radio broadcasting services, including Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS) and Remote Indigenous Media Organisations (RIM0s) who provide training and technical support for RIBS;
- Develop and broadcast programming that focuses on the promotion of local Indigenous culture and language(s);
- Enhance Indigenous broadcasting services by supporting national representation that serves and develops the sector's capacity;
- Provide broadcasting services that are able to inform and educate Indigenous Australians on accessing the range of health, legal, education and housing services available to them;
- Develop an Indigenous broadcasting sector that meets all governance and business management requirements; and
- Provide opportunities for broadcasting workers to develop professional skills and experience.
CAAMA Radio 8kinFM Broadcasting Services
To support radio station operations. Funding is conditional, dependent on an organisational review being undertaken.
Provide an Indigenous radio service (CAAMA Radio 8 KIN-FM) to Central Australian communities and the CAAMA footprint area.
- Provide Indigenous people in regional, rural, and remote Australia access to 24 hour Indigenous radio broadcasting service, equal to the wider Australian public.
- Develop and produce Aboriginal Language and culturally appropriate radio programs.
- Produce and broadcast daily programs for educating Indigenous Australians about gaining and accessing a range of health, economic participation, safe communities, governance & leadership, legal, family violence, education and housing services.
- Broadcasting Aboriginal 8, Torres Strait Islander voices, stories, songs and information into Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities in the CAAMA Radio footprint area. Increase Indigenous content and media exposure for Indigenous broadcasters and & technicians.
- Enhance the profile of remote Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander broadcasters through broadcasting their programs on Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander radio stations. Increase revenue leading to reduce dependency on government funding.
- Broadcast Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages to the regional footprint area to maintain and preserve Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages.
- Broadcast Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander music to the regional footprint area to maintain and preserve Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander language through music.
- Employ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people.
- Maintain national exposure of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander issue on Radio 8 KIN-FM.
- Provide news and current affairs programming with an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander perspective.
Support for RIMO service delivery to 10 licensed RIBS in the Alice Springs region: Santa Teresa, Hermannsburg, Papunya, Imanpa, Apatula (Finke) Batchelor, Alpurrurulam, Areyonga, Titjikala and Elliott.
Support for Remote Indigenous Media Organisation (RIMO) service delivery to 10 remote Indigenous broadcasting units in the Alice Springs region.
To provide technical support and training to 10 remote indigenous broadcasting units in the Alice Springs region.
- To provide technical and training support to the operations of a RIMO in support of 10 RIBS located at Santa Teresa, HermansIDurg, Papunya, lrnanpa, Aputula, (Finke) Batchelor, Alpurrurulam, Areyonga
- Titjikala and Elliott.
- Revive, rebuild and maintain indigenous cultural identity through radio broadcasting
- Provide Indigenous people in remote Australia access to local Indigenous radio broadcasting services
- Develop Indigenous language and culture radio
- Promote Indigenous language through radio
- Positively reinforce Indigenous achievements
- Advocate on behalf of RIBS communities at a local and national level to Government and associations.
- Maintain open communications with Shire Councils and remote communities, e.g. MOU. – Maintain and increase participation of RIBS communities to Broadcasts on 8KIN FM
- Increase the profile of remote community broadcasters through the CAAMA network – Increase employment and training of Indigenous people in remote communities.
- Contract Consultant to prepare applications for Temporary Community Broadcasting Licenses for up to 11 unlincensed sites within its service region.
- Visit all sites for evaluation of maintenance required to make them fully functional, bring them up to license requirements and generally tidy them up. Log all assets on database and consult/advise Shire councils on problems and arrangements of CAAMA support. Will have MOU's signed by Shire's to establish roles & responsibilities of each organization, this will formally recognize the organizations commitment to this arrangement
- Purchase spares required to cover most foreseeable problems and repairs required.
- CAAMA RIMO Technical Manager will meet with the community shire's to assess repairs and maintenance for each of the RIBS communities and a schedule to deliver the R&M. CAAMA RIMO Training Coordinator will visit the 10 communities twice a year for Radio Training.
- CAAMA RIMO Technician will visit the 10 communities twice a year for technical maintenance. Continue with follow up visits to sites doing maintenance and repairs noted on previous visit. Phone support of problems and technical queries.
- Continue relationships with local shires on progress of maintenance
- Each community will broadcast locally daily and once a week, on CAAMA Radio once a fortnight.
- What services or actions will your organisation or group carry out in the activity?
- RIMO Technical service will provide:
- Ongoing technical support for the development of RIBS services Assess RIBS equipment
- Update the RIBS Asset Register
- Upgrade communication services
- Assist with renewal of their Community licenses
- RIBS Equipment Assessments with the aim of standardising all equipment and maintenance procedures as a cost effective saving' for DEWHA and the Aboriginal community. Two maintenance trips per year to each community including:
- Opening and cleaning all gear
- Checking performance of equipment and fixing problems
- Routine replacement of minor consumable parts, fans, air filters etc
- Checking satellite dish, tower, antennas etc Servicing of air conditioner filters
- Conduct field strength checks for Radio in each community, initiate response to improve reception
- Implement an across the board labeling system Provision of a written report at the end of each visit to community Shire office.
- Enter visit details in technician's logbook at site, to record any work done by whom and when, so an effective record exists. This promotes accountability of technical work on sites. Provide consultation on Technical planning and upgrades to site Provide over the phone technical support
- Provide backup satellite receivers, Radio transmitters. Co-ordinate OPTUS Satellite upgrades