2018 is already shaping up to be another big year for IRCA and the First Nations media industry. We are now in the final stage of the transition from our former role as remote media peak body to becoming your national peak body. We are pleased to see our membership growing steadily and strong sector engagement in IRCA activities.
IRCA is currently focused on expanding our range of member services to meet the needs of our national membership. New services will be announced over the coming months. We have expanded our newsletter and increased our promotion of the industry’s outcomes – please keep sharing your stories and achievements with us.
In the coming weeks, we will begin facilitating Industry Advisory groups around two key industry development areas; employment and skills development and radio content development sharing, including news and current affairs capacity. Thanks to all who have nominated to be on these advisory groups. We will also begin development of an Employment and Skills Development strategy (for completion by mid 2018) and begin running a monthly webinar series.
IRCA is also preparing for the CONVERGE First Nations Media National Conference. This event will be our first conference and AGM as national peak body, building upon the successful CONVERGE Summit held in Alice Springs in May 2017. We have a packed agenda, including the decision for the new peak body name. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
We will be holding a second national CONVERGE conference in November 2018 (location TBC), to get the timing of the annual conference in line with the AGM period. We will start the inaugural national First Nations Media Awards at the November conference. As a result, IRCA will not be holding a Remote Indigenous Media Festival in 2018. This will now be a biennial event, with the 20th Festival to be on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait in 2019 – planning is already underway.
Also coming up is the Broadband for the Bush Forum (7-8 June) and Indigenous Focus Day (6 June), hosted by IRCA. These events will be held at Charles Darwin Uni in Darwin. We will be showcasing the outcomes of our inDigiMOB Digital mentors project which is being delivered in 10 remote NT communities. For more information on the B4B Forum and IFD, see broadbandforthebush.com.au.
We are also in the process of a major re-development of the IndigiTUBE online showcase and content sharing platform. 2018 will be an important year for the growth and development of First Nations media in Australia, with IRCA playing a key role in spearheading this development. Together we will continue to build a powerful and connected First Nations media industry.