Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA) is the peak body for First Nations not-for-profit broadcasting, media and communications. Founded in 2001 as the peak body for remote Indigenous media and communications, we undertook a structural change and expanded our membership and role to become the national peak body in 2016/2017. Up to 105 Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS), 33 additional licensed retransmission sites across Australia, 8 Remote Indigenous Media Organisations (RIMOs) and 28 urban and regional First Nations radio services are eligible for representation by IRCA.
First Nations managed media and communications are an essential service in our communities. They provide access to locally relevant information services, support health and wellbeing, provide meaningful employment and skills, strengthen cultural identity and support social and economic development. First Nations media is evolving from its community broadcasting origins into an expansive and convergent industry. While broadcasting remains the core media activity, we acknowledge that the industry has diversified significantly and embrace all the mediums and platforms used to communicate, connect and share knowledge; radio, film, TV, print, online and mobile.
Media practice has an historical and proven role in the maintenance of language and culture, self-representation, community development and cultural safety. Committed to the development of our industry, IRCA provides forums, networks and resources to support First Nations media organisations and workers to upskill and build their capacity. Our activities also include regular newsletters and industry updates, networking events and meetings, annual awards, policy development, research and data collection, content sharing, and industry promotions. We continue to advocate for digital inclusion and access to relevant media services in our communities nationally.
While we all work in different ways and different places across Australia, it is important to work together toward innovative solutions for the challenges faced by our media industry. Together we can build a powerful and connected vision for generations to come.