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Address at the launch of the Media Ring Indigenous Employment Strategy, Canberra



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JULIE COLLINS MP

MINISTER FOR COMMUNITY SERVICES

MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

MINISTER FOR THE STATUS OF WOMEN

SPEECH

LAUNCH OF MEDIA RING

INDIGENOUS EMPLOYMENT STRATEGY

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA

22 AUGUST 2012

Good evening.

I acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land on

which we meet today - the Ngunnawal people - and pay my respects

to their elders, past and present.

I extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

peoples who are here.

I’d also like to acknowledge my parliamentary colleague, Simon

Crean, Minister for the Arts, Ms Susanne Larson Chair of Media

RING, Ms Ruth Harley, Chief Executive Officer of Screen Australia,

Ms Erica Glynn, Head of Indigenous Screen Australia, Stars of The

Sapphires, ladies and gentlemen.

It’s wonderful to be able to be here at the launch of an employment

strategy that will get more Indigenous Australians working.

Media Reconciliation Industry Network Group - Media RING - is a

partnership between the Australian Government and Screen

Australia. It will create 40 new jobs and an additional 40 training

opportunities for Indigenous Australians in the media and screen

industries over the next two years.

The $1.1 million strategy we’re launching today is a part of the

Government’s $650 million Indigenous Employment Program, which

we reformed in 2009. Since then, it has achieved 93,000 job and

training placements.

Media RING Indigenous Employment Strategy

Media RING is made up of more than 40 broadcasters, government

media agencies, Indigenous organisations, trade associations and

media buyers and newspaper groups. Current members include the

ABC, SBS, Foxtel and News Limited.

The strategy was the result of the Review of Australian Government

Investment in the Indigenous Broadcasting and Media Sector

released last year. It recommended establishing an Indigenous

employment strategy for the industry.

The review noted that: “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

presenters, producers and journalists will give communities a voice

and role models, as well as give non-Indigenous Australians an

alternative perspective on issues that will support reconciliation by

providing a cultural bridge between communities.”

The overriding conclusion of the review was that Indigenous

broadcasting and media is a powerful tool that needs to be more

effectively harnessed to assist the Australian Government realise its

broad Indigenous affairs policy such as closing the gap.

The Indigenous broadcasting and media sector provides essential

services for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The sector needs to be resourced and empowered to take full

advantage of future developments such as the National Broadband

Network and the converging multi-media world, including the

development of an Indigenous free to air digital TV channel in

partnership with SBS.

That channel has now been established between SBS and National

Indigenous Television and will be on air in January 2013.

The flow-on effects from the early investment in this sector will bring

long-term benefits - as well as boosting the employment of highly-skilled Indigenous Australians within the broadcasting and media

sector.

Closing the gap

Indigenous Australians have a right to the same opportunities as all

Australians.

In the past decade, there has not been a large enough core of

Indigenous people trained to work in the media sector.

But some of our best known ones are here this evening! They include

Sapphires’ stars Debra Mailman and Jessica Mauboy and the director

Wayne Blair, broadcaster Natalie Ahmat and journalist Karla Grant.

With the announcement of this program there is now a focus on

investing in Indigenous employment opportunities across all sectors

of the media industry.

The initiative will create more diverse workplaces that will reflect

and help share Australia’s rich Indigenous heritage and paint a more

accurate picture of Australia today.

It is important we continue to work together and it is through strong

partnerships like this one with Media RING that we will help to close

the gap.

Thank you.

ENDS