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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, culture, democracy, diversity, identity, Indigenous Australia, media and society, power, stereotypes, television programs, see all tags


CAAMA & Indigenous Broadcasting

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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


Students have the opportunity to evaluate Australian society’s effectiveness in balancing majority rule and respect for minorities in civic decision making.

Students analyse how media and information and communication technologies are used to exert influence.

Students have the opportunity to evaluate ways in which individuals, groups and governments use the media and ICT to shape opinion and manage controversy.

Students have the opportunity to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people’s pursuit of Citizenship rights including democractic representation.

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. How does any group of people have the opportunity to broadcast on radio and/or television to their own community? Listen to SBS radio (AM 1224 and FM 93.1) and SBS television (mainly mornings) for evidence of community broadcasting. Using the radio/TV guide list the communities who broadcast on SBS. Investigate who owns the media – newspapers, television, radio, internet – outlets in Australia. Why do ‘major’ radio and TV stations appear not to broadcast minority community programs?

2.The video clip recalls indigenous broadcasting in Redfern, a suburb of Sydney, in the 1980s. By using the video clip, the internet, television and radio guides and other sources, students investigate the extent of indigenous broadcasting programs today. What arguments are made by Christina Spurgeon about the importance of providing media services to remote indigenous communities? How convincing are her arguments? Find out more about Tiga Bayles using the links below in which Tiga explains why it is important for Aboriginal Australians to be involved in radio.

3. In a democracy, creating opportunities for a range of viewpoints from a range of people is a central idea. Is it possible to provide media opportunities for all minority groups? In small groups create an action plan for how this opportunity might be developed.

4. In Australia, which government has legislative powers over the media? Who currently is the Minister for Communications? Write a letter to the Minister for Communications explaining, using your action plan, why Aboriginal radio programming should be given government support. Use the links below to help you to find examples of Aboriginal programming which will help you to support your points.

Further Resources


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

Go to Tiga Bayles – one of the legends of Aboriginal broadcasting, CBOnline

Go to Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association