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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 - audiences, broadcasting, identity, Indigenous Australia, indigenous cultures, media and society, media ownership, see all tags


Imparja: Indigenous Broadcasting

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Additional help.

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


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.

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority 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


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

  1. Why do you think it is important for Indigenous people to own their own television station?
  2. What advantages can you see for remote communities in having access to Imparja?
  3. Create a map of Imparja in terms of its national reach.

Further Resources


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

Go to Imparja Television