Dominic Santangelo


Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaboration in community broadcasting.



Over the past 30 years in Australia there has been considerable growth in the Indigenous community media sector, particularly broadcasting. In its role as educator, representative and documentarian of cultural diversity, network for social and political activism and producer of locally appropriate media alternatives, Indigenous produced media plays a vital role in extending the voices of Aboriginal people in a history of mediated expression dominated by colonial perspectives. Underlying the development of Indigenous media in Australia are strong relationships of collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous media workers and other stakeholders. The growth of Australia's Indigenous community broadcasting sector relies ever more on successful collaboration between individuals from different cultural and language groups, working together to manage flows of knowledge and information in culturally appropriate ways. This research aims to investigate the nature of Indigenous/non-Indigenous collaboration in areas of the community broadcasting sector, in order to better understand how cross-cultural collaboration can be most effective in maintaining and proliferating Indigenous voices in what is Australia's largest independent media sector. Past research has focused on evaluating the effectiveness of the sector in representing Aboriginal Australia accurately and adequately to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences, while also demonstrating that grassroots, locally oriented Indigenous media plays an important role in cultural and language maintenance. Additionally, research suggests that Indigenous citizens who have enlisted community media for their own purposes are able to participate more fully in democratic processes.