Indigenous Community Television

Last updated

Indigenous Community Television
Indigenous Community Television (ICTV) logo, 2013.png
Broadcast areaRemote Central and Eastern Australia, Regional and Remote Western Australia
Slogan Showing Our Way
Headquarters Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Picture format anamorphic 576i (SDTV)
OwnerICTV Limited
(membership-based public company)
Launched2001 – 2007 (original run)
13 November 2009 (revival)
Freeview (virtual)41 (Alice Springs)
VAST (virtual)601

Indigenous Community Television (ICTV) is an Australian free-to-view digital television channel on the Viewer Access Satellite Television service. It broadcasts television programs produced by, and for, indigenous people in remote communities. The channel is owned by membership-based company Indigenous Community Television Limited. Although ICTV is a community television channel by name and content, it broadcasts using an open-narrowcast licence instead of a standard community television licence.



In 2001, ICTV Limited was formed and began broadcasting a part-time segment on Imparja Info Channel, an open-narrowcast community-style channel already broadcasting occasional indigenous content from Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Media (PY Media) and Warlpiri Media Association (PAW Media). The channel operated from Imparja's broadcast facility in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, [1] [2] and was available on the Optus Aurora satellite service and via Imparja's analogue terrestrial transmitter network. The segment from ICTV was named 'IRCA in Action' and showcased predominantly local indigenous programs from a range of remote indigenous media organisations, including PAKAM, Ngaanyatjarra Media (NG Media) and organisations such as Bushvision. [3]

By 2006, the programming from ICTV grew to encompass the channel 24 hours a day and the satellite channel was renamed to ICTV. Many remote indigenous communities in central and north eastern Australia had analogue terrestrial repeaters for this channel, which utilised community licences and later open-narrowcasting licences. [3] In October 2006, ICTV was formally incorporated as a public company. [4]

ICTV ceases transmission

On 12 July 2007, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts had implemented changes to the Indigenous Broadcasting Program in support of a new national indigenous TV channel. It was decided that the existing open-narrowcast licence from Imparja would be used to initially carry the channel, which resulted in ICTV ceasing transmission. [3] For 2 years, ICTV Limited had no means of broadcasting content unless it was commissioned by National Indigenous Television, which was at odds with the company. The NITV commissioning model allegedly left out remote community producers due to the nature of how funding was allocated and other mandatory requirements. [3]

ICTV Limited launched an online video service, IndigiTube, in April 2009.

The revival of ICTV

After a successful appeal to the Government of Western Australia, ICTV resumed broadcasting part-time on Westlink Network on 13 November 2009. Westlink Network was already carried on the existing Optus Aurora service as an open-narrowcast channel. Programming from ICTV was scheduled every weekend from Friday night to Monday morning. [5] Remote communities with analogue terrestrial repeaters had begun to install equipment to automatically switch the NITV channel to Westlink Network every weekend. [3]

On 28 May 2012, the Department for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy awarded ICTV with an open-narrowcast licence to broadcast on the Viewer Access Satellite Television service. The channel commenced trial transmissions on 6 December 2012. [4] On 18 April 2013, ICTV officially relaunched and began broadcasting 24 hours a day on virtual channel number 601 in standard definition 576i format. A launch party was held at the PAW Media grounds in Yuendumu, Northern Territory to mark the occasion. [6]

ICTV commenced broadcasting in Alice Springs on 5 April 2017, after being awarded a digital terrestrial free-to-air licence. The channel resides on virtual channel number 41. [7]


ICTV broadcasts a diverse range of indigenous programming, usually in the language of its contributors. [8] Regular contributions are made by Aboriginal Resource and Development Services (ARDS), Pilbara and Kimberley Aboriginal Media (PAKAM), Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Media (PY Media), Warlpiri Media Association (PAW Media) and Ngaanyatjarra Media (NG Media). [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

Television broadcasting in Australia

As early as 1929, two Melbourne commercial radio stations, 3UZ and 3DB were conducting experimental mechanical television broadcasts - these were conducted in the early hours of the morning, after the stations had officially closed down. In 1934 Dr Val McDowall at amateur station 4CM Brisbane conducted experiments in electronic television.

The Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) is an organisation founded in 1980 to expose Aboriginal music and culture to the rest of Australia. Based in Alice Springs, the organisation is particularly focused on the involvement of the local Indigenous community in its production. CAAMA is involved in radio, television and recorded music.

TND Television station in Darwin, Northern Territory

TND is a television station in Darwin, Northern Territory. The station, launched in 1998 as Seven Darwin and broadcasting across Darwin, Palmerston and surrounding areas, is owned by Southern Cross Austereo. Its main competitor is the Nine Network's owned-and-operated station, NTD.

Television in Australia Overview of television in Australia

Television in Australia began experimentally as early as 1929 in Melbourne with radio stations 3DB and 3UZ, and 2UE in Sydney, using the Radiovision system by Gilbert Miles and Donald McDonald, and later from other locations, such as Brisbane in 1934.

In Australia, regional television is the local television services outside of the five main Australian cities.

Imparja Television (IMP) is an Australian television station servicing remote eastern and central Australia, and the Mitta & Eskdale region in the heart of the Victorian high country. Broadcasting began on 2 January 1988. It is based in Alice Springs, where it has a studio and satellite uplink facility. Notably, it is controlled by Australian Aboriginals through ownership by Imparja Television Pty Ltd, and is widely regarded as a symbol of Aboriginal Australia. Most viewers receive Imparja via free to view satellite transmission, whilst a smaller proportion receive it via analogue terrestrial transmission.

Community television in Australia (CTV) is a form of free-to-air non-commercial citizen media in which a television station is owned, operated and/or programmed by a community group to provide local programming to its broadcast area. In principle, community television is another model of facilitating media production and involvement by private citizens and can be likened to public-access television in the United States and community television in Canada.

Yami Lester Australian activist

James Yami Lester was a Yankunytjatjara man, an Indigenous person of northern South Australia. Lester, who survived nuclear testing in outback Australia, is best known as an anti-nuclear and indigenous rights advocate.

Digital Forty Four

Digital Forty Four was a Sydney-only trial datacasting service that was licensed by the Australian Broadcasting Authority beginning on 17 March 2004 for an initial three-year run until late 2007. The license was extended on several occasions past 2007, however on 29 January 2010 it was announced that Broadcast Australia's datacasting licence for Digital Forty Four would not be extended past 30 April 2010. At midnight on 30 April 2010, all services from Digital Forty Four ceased broadcasting.

QQQ Television station in Queensland, QQQ: Remote Central and Eastern Australia

QQQ is an Australian television station broadcasting in remote central and eastern areas of Australia, owned by Southern Cross Austereo. The station is available via satellite and terrestrial platforms – mostly through community retransmission sites, although it also transmits into the town of Mount Isa, Queensland under the call sign ITQ. The station is solely affiliated with the Seven Network.

Imparja Television Pty Ltd is a commercial television company servicing remote eastern and central Australia that began broadcasting on 2 January 1988. It is based in Alice Springs, where it has a studio and satellite uplink facility. Notably, it is controlled by Australian Aborigines and is widely regarded as a symbol of Aboriginal Australia.

Amata, South Australia Town in South Australia

Amata, formerly known as Musgrave Park, is an Aboriginal community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia, comprising one of the six main communities on "The Lands".

National Indigenous Television Australian television channel

National Indigenous Television (NITV) is an Australian free-to-air television channel that broadcasts programming produced and presented largely by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It includes the half-hourly nightly NITV News, with programming including other news and current affairs programmes, sports coverage, entertainment for children and adults, films and documentaries covering a range of topics. Its primary audience is Indigenous Australians, but many non-Indigenous people tune in to learn more about the history of and issues affecting the country's First Nations peoples.

Optus Aurora was a free-to-view satellite television platform in Australia, which aimed at providing television and radio services to remote and black spot areas using the Optus C1 and B3 satellites. The service was available in all areas, using a standard satellite dish and set top box, however commercial stations carried on the platform were restricted to their respective coverage areas.

Westlink (Australian TV channel)

Westlink, formerly known as Westlink Network, was an Australian free-to-view digital television channel broadcast to regional and remote areas of Western Australia on the Viewer Access Satellite Television service. Funded by the Government of Western Australia, the channel was managed and operated by the Department of Regional Development and broadcast a range of community-based content, particularly training and educational programs, using an open-narrowcast licence. The channel was received in over 150 remote locations such as telecentres, schools and colleges.

This timeline of Australian television lists important station launches, programs, major television events, and technological advancements that have significantly changed the forms of broadcasting available to viewers of television in Australia. The history of television in Australia can be traced back to an announcement from the Menzies' government concerning plans for television services in Sydney and Melbourne.

CDT is an Australian digital television station broadcasting in remote central and eastern Australia. It is jointly owned by Southern Cross Austereo and Imparja Television Pty Ltd and operates under the company name Central Digital Television.

The Viewer Access Satellite Television service, or VAST, is a satellite television platform in Australia, providing digital television and radio services to remote and rural areas, as well as viewers in terrestrial black spots. The service using the Optus C1 and Optus D3 satellites. It is partly funded by the Australian Government and managed through a joint-venture between Southern Cross Media and Imparja Television. It is an even more restricted free-to-view replacement for Optus Aurora providing channels which have been absent on the remote service until now. The platform uses only H.264 video encoding and 8PSK, which allows for more lower bit rate channels on the limited transponder space that's available. The EPG uses an MHEG-5 guide instead of the usual more compatible DVB EIT.

West Digital Television is an Australian digital television network jointly owned by Prime Media Group and WIN Corporation. It broadcasts free-to-air on a number of digital terrestrial transmitters in regional and remote areas of Western Australia, as well as free-to-view on the Viewer Access Satellite Television service. The network is an affiliate of Nine Network, broadcasting a direct feed of STW-9 Perth. It was an affiliate of Network Ten until 1 July 2016.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise of the NPY Women’s Council, representing over 400 women from 26 unique communities in the NPY region. Tjanpi is the Pitjantjatjara word for a type of spinifex grass. The weavers harvest and weave local grasses and some other materials to create handmade works and pieces of art. In producing these works, which mostly consist of baskets, jewellery, beads and fibre sculpture, the enterprise encourages women's employment and economic independence.


  1. "ICTV channel on VAST". Indigenous Remote Communications Association. 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  2. "ICTV Limited Annual Report 2012/2013" (PDF). Indigenous Community Television Limited. 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "History of the Remote Indigenous Media Sector". Indigenous Remote Communications Association. Archived from the original on 26 January 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  4. 1 2 "A Brief History of ICTV". Indigenous Community Television Limited. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. "ICTV launch success!". Indigenous Remote Communications Association. 22 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. "ICTV In Alice Springs: Well Worth the Wait". Indigenous Community Television Limited. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  7. "Sponsorship and Information Campaigns". Indigenous Community Television Limited. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  8. "Links to Other Organisations/Contributors". Indigenous Community Television Limited. Retrieved 23 November 2013.