CONVERGE Alice Springs

APURTE IRRETYE-KE IWERRE ANYENTE-LE

meeting together – moving in one direction

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media workers and organisations from across Australia met up at CONVERGE, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Media Summit in Alice Springs 22-24 May 2017. Older and new generations shared their experiences, histories and dreams for the future, connecting the remote, regional and urban media family.

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The delegates came together to determine the directions needed for the maintenance and growth of the vital work of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media industry for its remote, regional and metropolitan audiences. Forum Facilitator and industry pioneer Dot West said “It was great to see so many of our media organisations from across the country represented at CONVERGE. Everyone worked together constructively towards building a new policy agenda and direction for our industry – showing how we can achieve unity through diversity."

Delegates committed to the development of a Communique to Government addressing the sector’s concerns about the decline in funding and consequent capacity challenges to meet new audience needs and migrate to new technologies. 

CONVERGE was IRCA’s first gathering in our new role as national peak body. The Opening Ceremony, led by local Elder Kumalie Riley, welcomed all delegates to celebrate the rich culture of Eastern and Central Arrernte. Throughout CONVERGE the pioneers of the industry were celebrated and acknowledged for their hard work over the past 40 years in the struggle for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to create their own media – to have their voices heard on the airwaves, their faces and stories on film and TV, their journalism and images in print and online. 

A massive thank you to everyone who attended CONVERGE and helped set the future direction for our media industry. Our outgoing IRCA Chairperson John ‘Tadam’ Lockyer said “While we all work in different ways and different places across Australia, it is important to come together to share in our ongoing struggle to grow our sector into the future. Together we can build a powerful and connected media industry for our children and grandchildren to learn and benefit from.”