New partnership for remote indigenous media

Listeners in more than 50 remote communities will benefit from a new partnership between two of Australia’s most significant remote media organisations.

TEABBA, based in Darwin, manages a network of 29 remote radio stations. In Cairns, QRAM manages a network of 17 services reaching more than 25 communities. Together this is a total of 54 services across Northern Australia; by far the most powerful media voice in remote Australia.

The partnership agreement will see QRAM and TEABBA move towards mutually-beneficial sharing of content, training and technology, with each partner contributing expertise in key areas to develop and enhance their services.

It will ensure that Indigenous radio remains the go-to-place for information, entertainment, news, weather and local voices in the North and provide the benchmark for all remote area services.

Through sharing access to their two stereo satellite services and a unique Wide Area Network (WAN) delivery system, the TEABBA and QRAM hubs will provide each of their local Indigenous stations with a great increase in content options for their local audiences, also the opportunity to receive and contribute content back to other services, such as festival events and live shows.

The WAN will also allow TEABBA and QRAM, to co-ordinate delivery of local community announcements sponsorship and government information spots, news and weather; tailored for each service.

TEABBA Manager Don Baylis said “the new technology allows us to share systems that are far advanced on any in Australia and match the best internationally for remote media. The combination of WAN and satellite delivery gives us many options, from shared school programs across the Top End, to health programs, live festival and sporting events.”

Local stations in the network are largely local community-based services in Indigenous communities and towns, with 1 or 2 part-time staff at most, often no staff.  Access to content produced by other sister services will make each service more dynamic on a 24-hour basis.  Jim Remedio, Acting General Manager at QRAM  said that combining the skills and knowledge in these two services will bring Indigenous remote radio broadcasting to an exciting new level.

“The sector overall has been in the doldrums for some years, but this initiative is a spark that will ignite a fire.”

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