Celebrating 25 Years of Ngaanyatjarra Media

Festival co-host Ngaanyatjarra (Ng) Media is a pioneering Indigenous-owned media organisation supporting 14 remote communities in the Western Desert region of Western Australia. From its hub in Irrunytju (Wingellina) community, Ng Media runs the Radio NGM radio network and manages programs in video production, music development, IT training and support, training and employment, archiving and cultural and music events. It employs up to 35 Yarnangu in various roles across the Ng lands. 

Ngaanyatjarra Media began operating as Irrunytju Media in 1992, with funding through the Broadcasting for Remote Aboriginal Communities Scheme, to establish local radio and video production. The original media team included Noeli Mantjantja Roberts, Belle Karirrka Davidson, Simon Butler and Roma Butler, all of whom continued to play a key role throughout the next two decades. The primary focus from the start was language and cultural maintenance through organising cultural recording of Turlku dance performances and Tjukurrpa, building upon the model of Ernabella Video and TV in the APY lands. Pantjiti McKenzie shares her story with us (produced by Neil Turner, PAKAM).  



Ng Media was the last of the eight Remote Indigenous Media Organisations to be formed, taking on a regional coordination role from 1996. In 1999 the organisation was re-named Ngaanyatjarra Media and became a division of Ngaanyatjarra Council.  In 2002 the organisation was separately incorporated as Ngaanyatjarra Media Aboriginal Corporation.

Ngaanyatjarra Media’s achievements over 25 years include:

• Building and fitout of a dedicated Media and Communications Centre in Irrunytju in 2008.

• Establishment of Irrunytju Telecentre in 2004 and 12 community access e-centres 

• Across the region since 2005.

• Played key role in Ngaanyatjarra Lands Telecommunications Project (completed 2008), resulting in fibreoptic network to six (6) communities plus satellite broadband in 6, with WiFi networks in all 12 sites (mobile since rolled out to 6 sites).

• Ongoing video production with an emphasis on cultural content and community productions for ICTV and NITV, with numerous awards at Remote Indigenous Media Festivals. Highlights include the award-winning ‘Minyma Kutjarra Tjukurrpa’ (Two Sisters Story) Part 1(1998) and part 2 (2009), and the ‘Kapi Ungkapayi’ films (2015 and 2016). 

• Regular Media and Computer training across the region. 

• Establishment of Ngaanyatjarra Music Development Program (from 2010), leading to numerous CD recordings and increased national profile for regional bands, and the launch in 2016 of the Manta Tutura music label.

• Establishment and Coordination of the annual Ng Lands Music and Culture festival

• Rollouts of upgraded transmission facilities and new broadcast towers 2008-9.

• Establishment of Technical Services Unit and purchase of truck.

• Purchase and fitout of Outside Broadcast truck 2016

• Staged ‘Ngaanyatjarra Turlku’ performance at 2007 Perth International Arts Festival, plus

• Regular Turlku (traditional dance) events within the region.

• Rollout of stereo transmitters ready to commence transmission in stereo 2017

• Upgrade of hub studio to digital desk with Zetta playout software 2016-17