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Industry pioneers celebrated at First Nations Media Awards 2019


An elderly Aboriginal woman with long hair and wearing a black and gold dress stands at a pulpit with attached microphone. In the background are blue, red and black colours.
Freda Glynn
2 Dec 2019

Media release - First Nations Media Awards

The annual First Nations Media Awards celebration was held at the Old Quarry, just outside Mparntwe (Alice Springs) on Friday night, 30th November. Hosted by First Nations Media Australia and the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), the event recognised excellence in all forms of media production.

Around 150 guests travelled from communities in the Torres Strait, Kimberley and Pilbara regions, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Port Augusta, Arnhem Land, Lismore, Brisbane, Yuendumu and other remote Northern Territory communities, the Ngaanyatjarra lands, Canberra, Wilcannia, New Zealand to join local Alice Springs community members for a night of entertainment and celebration in a magical location, starting with a welcome from Kumalie Riley and the Tinkerbee Dancers.

The evening got off to a light-hearted start with guests joining The Everlastings for a sing-a-long and a special guest appearance from 6DBY Chairman, Cyril Archer who gave a fabulous rendition of Stand By Me. MCs, Lola Forester (Koori Radio) and Bernard Namok Jnr (TEABBA) kept the evening on track throughout the presentation of 19 award categories. Stuart Nuggett performed in Jingili, an endangered language from the Elliott region in the Northern Territory. The Black Rock Band got everyone rocking the dirt dance floor to wrap up the night.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the First Nations Media Lifetime Achievement Award to Freda Glynn, who had traveled from Cooktown to attend the event. Freda was a  founder of CAAMA and then Imparja television. She was recognised for her vision to deliver essential information and news to communities in all the Central Australian Aboriginal languages, something that remains in action today with CAAMA going from strength to strength in the heart of Australia. In presenting the award, First Nations Media Australia Chair, Dot West thanked Freda for her leadership, acknowledging that it was CAAMA that inspired and guided many of communities around Australia in establishing their own media organisations.

"Just looking around, and watching in the last few days, the group working together, I know with all the praises that you give me, I've left it in good hands," said Freda on accepting the award, "I was so excited walking around yesterday and seeing everybody so busy, everybody there, so excited about what you're going to do next. It's all going to be just keeping that momentum up and loving what you do, because I must tell you I loved every minute of CAAMA. And watching it grow and watching the influence its had around the country, I can watch all the channels and hear all the radio and films and I just think, wait til they see us in another ten years, you wait Australia, we've got stories to tell."

While the awards recognised both Freda Glynn and John Macumba's contributions to the establishment of the First Nations media industry, modern media formats were also celebrated, including messaging about mobile phone use, podcast content and digital production development, alongside upcoming talent in traditional media formats. Wayne Bynder received the Outstanding Contributor Award in recognition of over 40 years of igniting passion for broadcasting across the Kimberley and generously sharing his knowledge across the industry.

The evening was broadcast live to remote Australia on ICTV, who contributed valuable in-kind support for the event, and via the First Nations media platform, indigiTUBE and Facebook Live. It can be viewed in full on the First Nations Media Australia Facebook page. The full list of award recipients appears below.

The First Nations Media Awards was held on the final evening of CONVERGE Alice Springs the  annual conference for the First Nations media industry. The conference was a productive few days of sharing knowledge, networking, skills development and planning for the future direction of the First Nations media industry. The full conference program can be viewed here with a communique to follow shortly.


Find out more

To view the original media release and more information including contact information, visit First Nations Media.

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