Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media (QRAM) is a non-profit Aboriginal Corporation and is one of eight Remote Indigenous Media Organisations (RIMO’s) in Australia.
Based in Cairns, QRAM provides a range of services to radio stations in the remote Queensland communities of Atherton Tablelands, Aurukun, Coen, Cooktown, Doomadgee, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mapoon, Mornington Island, Napranum, Northern Peninsula Area (NPA), Normanton, Pormpuraaw, Woorabinda, Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah.
QRAM is funded by the Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Most of these stations are funded under the Remote Indigenous Broadcast Services scheme and are often called RIBS stations, or their original name, BRACS services. The name BRACS comes from the original scheme that enabled them to be set up in the 1980 and 1990’s. Many people in communities still call their station BRACS.
QRAM’s services are ‘tailor-made’ to the requirements of each individual station, include training, technical support, general administrative support, representation of the region to Government and Broadcasting Industry bodies, assistance with licensing including renewals, and secretariat support. QRAM specialises in finding innovative solutions to the many challenges faced by broadcasters in remote areas, including the Black Star service you can read about here.
QRAM Aboriginal Corporation was formed in 2006/2007, becoming fully operational in July 2007. Our services were sorely needed as Queensland RIBS had received minimal support over the previous 7 years, with the demise of the previous co-ordinating body, RIMAQ, in 1999.
Since the formation of QRAM, there has been a revitalisation of broadcasting activities in remote Queensland and stations that had been dormant have ‘dusted themselves off’ and are back providing an essential service to their communities.
Achievements since QRAM’s formation include:
- Successful completion of the IRRR Remote Radio Refurbishment – bringing the entire region’s RIBS back to a modern, reliable and functional state.
- Establishment of Accredited Training based in Cairns, in conjunction with Tropical North Queensland TAFE and industry experts from commercial and community media organisations. This has provided unique opportunities for members of QRAM’s remote communities to be trained by seasoned industry experts.
- Establishment of a regional marketing scheme that allows the area to directly participate in its own marketing strategies. Importantly, for the first time, funds being generated as the result of this marketing are being used entirely to the direct benefit of the Cape and Gulf RIBS communities. The Cape and Gulf stations now have their own mechanism to represent their interests directly to agencies and project bodies, reducing the opportunity for organisations outside of the region to siphon funds away from the region.
- Development of the Black Star network – an exciting new approach to networking programs and programming content and the subsequent raising of local community interest in their own radio service. For the first time, Cape and Gulf communities can hear a modern, progressive and informative voice that they and they alone own and control, with greater security of service, especially during extreme weather events
- For the first time in many years, a strong flavour of independence and great pride in our regional broadcasting landscape.
- Responsible and sound financial management and governance.