Traditional Owners from the Kaurareg nation welcomed over 150 delegates from the First Nations media industry to Waiben (Thursday Island) this week for the 20th Remote Indigenous Media Festival. Running from 22nd to 27th September, 2019 the 20th celebration of remote Indigenous media was the biggest yet with delegates travelling from every state, including some of the most remote communities in Australia.
The event was co-hosted by the Torres Strait Islander Media Association (TSIMA Radio 4MW) and First Nations Media Australia, the national peak body for the First Nations media sector.
Delegates from 34 organisations participated in a packed week of skills workshops, forums and discussions, nightly cinema screenings, awards, cultural activities and a showcase of local contemporary music and arts.
Throughout the week representatives participated in six skills development workshops to expand their media skill-set in areas of podcasting, news production, digital storytelling, digitisation of archives, cinematography and producing music for film. The work produced within the skills workshops was incredible and will be shared on the First Nations Media Australia website soon after the festival.
Reflecting on the cinematography workshop, Mark Pindan from Pilbara and Kimberley Aboriginal Media (PAKAM) said, “I’m a cameraman, but with the iPad it’s easier. Everything is really simple. And I learned new skills and made new friends, thank-you.”
“I wanted to do this workshop because I don’t know anything about digital media," reflected Jen Enosa from TSIMA, "It was a really good learning experience for me. What I learned made me understand about the powerful tools that we have here, not just for our communities, but reaching out to the world to tell our stories our way. I think the learning continues after this.”
While the focus of the Remote Indigenous Media Festival was learning and sharing,
there were plenty of opportunities for networking and developing partnership relationships between media organisations. Remote media workers and support teams shared information about training and industry development activities, connecting with audiences through new technology, storytelling in a digital age and sharing a preserving community collections, a particularly urgent issue of focus for media practitioners. Delegates engaged directly to ask questions of Representatives from the National Indigenous Australians Agency, the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks), Bureau of Meteorology, AIATSIS, training organisations, screen agencies, funding bodies and community media supporters. Throughout the festival delegates contributed to the policy agenda of the First Nations media industry and heard updates on the progress of their national peak body, First Nations Media Australia.