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CAAMA & Indigenous Broadcasting

Video clip synopsis – A broadcast studio at Radio Redfern in the late 80s. Christina Spurgeon talks about the importance of providing media services to remote Indigenous communities to the culture, identity and language of Aboriginal Australians.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 2min 29sec
Tags - broadcasting, communities, culture, diversity, identity, Indigenous Australia, media and society, media industry, media ownership, power, radio, self-determination, stereotypes, technology and society, see all tags


CAAMA & Indigenous Broadcasting

How to Download the Video Clip

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

download clip icon Premium MP4 caama_pr.mp4 (18.3MB).

ipod icon Broadband MP4 caama_bb.mp4 (8.6MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.

Additional help.

About the Video Clip


Radio Redfern is an excerpt from the film 88.9 Radio Redfern produced in 1988 by the Film Australia National Interest Program. 88.9 Radio Redfern is a portrait of Sydney’s Aboriginal radio station. This video clip is on the From Wireless to Web website, produced in 2005.

The interview with Christina Spurgeon was recorded for the website.

Christina Spurgeon is a lecturer in Media & Communication in the Creative Industries faculty of the Queensland Universtiy of Technology. You can view her 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


In 1972 the first Indigenous-produced community radio program went to air on 5UV in Adelaide. Two years later ABC Radio started broadcasting in several Indigenous languages to Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in Far North Queensland.

At the same time in Alice Springs, two Aboriginal people and their non-Aboriginal associate – John Macumba, Freda Glynn and Phillip Batty- helped to establish the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA). Their goal was that Aboriginal voices be heard throughout the world and for Aboriginal people to take ownership and control of their own future through a strong, vibrant media centre. That goal became a reality in 1980 when the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) was established.

The CAAMA website states:
'The Aboriginal people of Central Australia own CAAMA, and its objectives focus on the social, cultural and economic advancement of Aboriginal peoples. It has a clear mandate to promote Aboriginal culture, language, dance and music while generating economic benefits in the form of training, employment and income generation. CAAMA produces media products that engender pride in Aboriginal culture, and informs and educates the wider community about the richness and diversity of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.’

Today CAAMA’s radio network broadcasts on 8KIN FM.

Classroom Activities

  1. Getting started
    As a class view the archival video clip about Radio Redfern and the interview with Christina Spurgeon then discuss and write notes on the following:
    1. From the Radio Redfern archival clip, comment on the ways in which community radio is of value to Aboriginal people, and how it may help to link and unite individuals and communities over large distances and in different environments.
    2. Describe the role and the importance of BRACS. (Spurgeon interview)
    3. Comment on whether broadcasters such as Radio Redfern also have a responsibility to reach out to the wider non-Indigenous community, and whether you think there is any evidence of this shown in the video clip.
  2. Drafting, editing and formatting a magazine article about CAAMA
    Research then prepare, draft, edit and proofread an illustrated, informative two-page article for a magazine, about the history, growth, activities and importance of CAAMA. You should format the article using word-processing or desktop publishing software.
  3. Speaking to the class about BRACS/RIBS projects
    In pairs, research, prepare and deliver a short talk (approx. 5 minutes) to the class about one past or current BRACS or RIBS media broadcasting project involving an Aboriginal community. Your talk should include a brief assessment of the aims and importance of the project, the work required to carry it out, and if possible the financial costing and the outcome. (As there have been many of these community projects, you should attempt to avoid repeating another pair’s discussion on the same project.)
  4. Preparing and delivering a community radio broadcasting item
    Discuss in class the possibilities for topics, then in pairs plan and write a short community-based news or information item of your choice for a radio station such as Radio Redfern. Record and edit your item for playback in electronic mode, such as in mp3 sound file format.

BRACS: Broadcasting in Remote Aboriginal Communities Scheme
RIBS: Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services

Further Resources


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

Australian Government, Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Indigenous Broadcasting

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association

Imparja Television

Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association

Community Broadcasting Foundation

Koori Mail