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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, changing communities, culture, diversity, identity, Indigenous Australia, media and society, media influence, media ownership, technology, 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.

Curriculum Focus


Area of study 3. Australian media organisations

This area of study focuses on an analysis of Australian media organisations and the social and industrial framework within which they operate.

Media products are produced within a cultural, aesthetic, legal, political, economic, institutional and historical framework. Their production, distribution and circulation is affected by law, self-regulatory codes of conduct, industry pressures and the practices of particular media organisations. Other factors (for example, sources of revenue, ratings, circulation, ownership and control) influence the nature and range of media texts produced by individual organisations. Consideration of the impact of these factors on media organisations and their products is important in developing an understanding of the production role of different Australian media organisations.

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


Answer the following questions from the Video Clip Context and the video clip:

  1. What communities in Australia may have felt (and may still feel) left out or ignored by mainstream media broadcasters?
  2. What needs do you think these communities might have that were (or are) not being met?
  3. How do you think the Radio Redfern broadcast differs from a commercial broadcast? Look at both program content and production facilities.

Further Resources


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

Go to Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association