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Imparja: Indigenous Broadcasting

Video clip synopsis – Imparja Television allows Indigenous communities to tell their stories and to communicate both with each other as well as the wider Australian community.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 0min 40sec
Tags - broadcasting, diversity, identity, Indigenous Australia, indigenous cultures, leadership, media and society, media ownership, self-determination, television, see all tags


Imparja: Indigenous Broadcasting

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About the Video Clip


The interview with Mac Gudgeon was recorded for the website From Wireless to Web, produced in 2005.

Mac Gudgeon is a screenwriter and a community television advocate. You can view his full biography at From Wireless to Web

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Inquiry Questions
How have the rights and freedoms of Aboriginal peoples and other groups in Australia changed during the post-war period?

A student:
5.1 explains social, political and cultural developments and events and evaluates their impact on Australian life
5.3 explains the changing rights and freedoms of Aboriginal peoples and other groups in Australia
5.8 locates, selects and organises relevant historical information from a number of sources, including ICT, to undertake historical inquiry
5.9 uses historical terms and concepts in appropriate contexts
5.10 selects and uses appropriate oral, written and other forms, including ICT, to communicate effectively about the past for different audiences.

Students Learn About:
changing government policies towards Aboriginal peoples over time, including:

  • protection
  • assimilation
  • integration
  • self-determination

Students Learn To:

  • account for continuity and/or change over time in the relevant study
This material is an extract. Teachers and students should consult the Board of Studies website for more information.

Background Information


'Imparja is the anglicised spelling and pronunciation of the word Impatye, meaning tracks or footprints in the Arrernte language. Arrernte (pronounced AH-RUNTA) is the traditional tribe and language of the Alice Springs region.’ (Imparja Television)

In 1986, the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) formed Imparja as a company to bid for the proposed commercial television licence for Australia’s Central Zone. Imparja’s bid was supported by State governments in both the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Imparja’s first transmission – coverage of the Australia vs Sri Lanka cricket Test – was broadcast to Alice Springs on 2 January 1988. Broadcasting live via retransmission sites at Ceduna, Coober Pedy, Leigh Creek and Woomera in South Australia, and Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory, Imparja reached a total audience of 62,000 people.

Imparja has expanded at a steady rate since 1988. In 1990, the station launched Imparja Local News – a 15-minute insert of local news into the national network bulletin. Imparja also covered the Northern Territory elections live from its Alice Springs studio. By 1993 Imparja’s viewing audience had grown to 125,000 people.

In 1994 Imparja produced and launched Yamba’s Playtime, a daily half-hour program for children. 'As well as Indigenous and locally-produced programs, Imparja today buys programming from the Nine and Ten networks, with the most highest rating programs broadcast to an audience of over 430,000 people.’ (Imparja Television)

Classroom Activities

  1. According to Mac Gudgeon why is Imparja Televsion important?
    1. What was the name of government policy that was in place when Imparja was set up? How is the setting up of Imparja a good example of this policy in action?
  2. Use all of the information in this digital resource to create a presentation on why it is important for Aboriginal Australians to control an asset such as Imparja Television or to create a poster which shows why Imparja Television is an important part of Australia’s history.

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.

Go to Imparja Television