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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Languages, culture and broadcasting to benefit from this year's Indigenous funding round

Media release
16 July 2009

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Arts Minister Peter Garrett today announced $29.2 million in funding in 200910 for three key Australian Government Indigenous cultural programs that will help build successful and sustainable communities, and help ensure that culture is maintained and transferred to future generations.

“I'm very pleased to announce the introduction of triennial funding for five key organisations under the Indigenous Broadcasting Program, two organisations under the Indigenous Culture Support Program and two organisations under the Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records Program,” said Mr Garrett, who visited the Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association (TEABBA) near Darwin.

“The stability and certainty that long-term funding brings will mean that these committed and hardworking organisations will be able to build on their successes from year to year. I expect that a larger number of organisations will receive triennial funding in future years,” he said.

The Indigenous Broadcasting Program will provide $14.5 million to support 59 Indigenous community broadcasting projects in metropolitan, regional and remote Australia.

“Content producers, training providers, peak bodies and the broadcasters themselves, such as Imparja TV and Indigenous Community Television, will receive funding,” Mr Garrett said.

“Indigenous community broadcasting is a cornerstone of Indigenous health and education, assisting training and employment opportunities, and of course maintaining language and culture.”

The Australian Government is ensuring improved and more reliable remote Indigenous radio services under the Indigenous Remote Radio Replacement program.

“I'm particularly pleased that we've been able to extend the Indigenous Remote Radio Replacement program to include additional RIBS (Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Service) sites following consultations with the Indigenous broadcasting sector,” Mr Garrett said.

Fifty-two upgrades have been completed, and a further 10 are in progress, with 12 still to commence. Up to 15 sites are being upgraded over and above the 74 that were supported under the first stage of the program.

“Participation in culture, telling stories through music and dance, and the sheer enjoyment of culture, all are critical to building successful communities and strong Indigenous identity,” he said.

There are 127 projects sharing almost $7 million under the Indigenous Culture Support Program so they can engage in cultural activities and transmit knowledge and skills.

“We're funding multimedia workshops with people in remote communities, the continuation of traditional cultural practices amongst young mothers living in remote areas, as well as music, dance and theatre production showcasing Indigenous talent across Australia.”

“For example, Ilbijerri Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-op Ltd will benefit from triennial funding to explore, develop and maintain Indigenous community cultural expression through creative performing art platforms and media.”

Mr Garrett said he was also pleased to announce that the Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records Program continued its work helping to maintain and revive Indigenous languages.

“Australia once had more than 250 thriving Indigenous languages and today many are struggling to survive”, he noted.

“These languages are an invaluable part of the cultural heritage of all Australians. Many of the projects that the program supports record and document the last remaining speakers, so that a language can be retained and passed on to future generations. Many others support the continued use of the languages in daily community life.

“For the example, the Government is providing $60,000 to encourage the practice, preservation and maintenance of Yolngu Matha and support the Key Forum at the Garma Festival of Traditional Culture at Gulkula.”

The projects funded by the Maintenance of Indigenous Language and Records Program in 2009-10 to a total of $8.9m include a network of regional Indigenous language centres across Australia. They document, record and revive Indigenous languages and develop language resources and teaching programs.

For details of successful funding applications see: 

Commonwealth of Australia