What makes a good Bureaucrat? Nugget Coombs is an example many people quote. He got down on the ground with people, he listened and learnt about cultural issues and turned that into nation-building policy .
In the area of Indigenous Media we were lucky to have one bureaucrat, Gail Bennett, who worked with the sector in the same way: getting down on the ground, working with the large diaspora of Indigenous broadcasters and Indigenous people, respecting them and the many different cultural groups.
In the early days Gail worked alongside Graham Dash and Chris Lee, also great servants of the public and Indigenous Broadcasting.
Gail played a role in many of the achievements of Indigenous Broadcasting. Many projects she was instrumental in setting up are still in place and functioning.
One was assisting Queensland remote Indigenous media services to work well again, after they had failed many times. It needed someone who could cut through the polemics and stick to the principles of remote broadcasting. Gail was one of those people who had that rare talent.
Her time in North Queensland led to the establishment of QRAM and Black Star network, supporting modern programming techniques and technology, which have allowed us to expand the service to communities that never had services before.
We were deeply saddened to hear that Gail had passed away in Sydney after an illness on 9 February 2017. QRAM staff and Board send our condolences to her family and friends.
Jim Remedio and Gerry Pyne for the Board of QRAM