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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 - changing communities, communication, culture, family life, Indigenous Australia, indigenous cultures, language, social justice, technology and society, television, The Dreaming, 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.

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


Making and Producing

  1. Using either Powerpoint or video, produce a visual account based on the students’ investigation into the cultural contributions of Indigenous Australians. Students must select one of the following themes:

*Aboriginal Music
*Aboriginal Dance
*Rural Aboriginal Art
*Urban Aboriginal Art
*The Relationship of the Land and Aboriginal Culture
*The Dreaming
Use a number of sources for this project and the Imparja website ( If possible, see if someone from the local Australian Aboriginal community could come and discuss the project with the students.
# Using either mobile phones that have a video camera or a digital video camera, make a micro-movie about Aboriginal spirituality. The film should suggest aspects of spirituality and its relationship with Indigenous Australian culture. The duration of the video is to be less than 1 minute. If there is a local intranet site at school, arrange to have these placed on the server for viewing and assessment.

Critical and Historical study

  1. Look at the website Imparja: Indigenous Television ( and provide a historical account of its formation and the impact it has had on the Australian audience.
  2. Select an Australian film that deals with the representation of Indigenous Australians. Write a critical analysis of the film in terms of the how it represents Aboriginal culture. Consider the following:
    1. Ethical implications of the film
    2. Complexity of the story
    3. Connection with and understanding of Aboriginal culture
    4. Historical value
  3. The concept of post-colonisation is the process of reviewing the past and critically scrutinising history in terms of ‘who’ it is written for and ‘how’ it favours the more powerful. Within Australia, post-colonial theories are prompting filmmakers to review and re-present the past and value the input and significance of Aboriginal culture. Discuss how Imparja contributes to the valuing of Australian Aboriginal culture.

Further Resources


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

Go to Imparja Television