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Fellowship To Support Preservation of Audiovisual Indigenous Heritage

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations in remote Australia can now apply to receive support and be empowered to archive and preserve their audiovisual cultural heritage.

Now in its second year, the Indigenous Remote Archival Fellowship is a partnership of the Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA), the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

The opportunity is open to organisations developing strategies and structures to archive and preserve cultural heritage materials, particularly in audiovisual formats. Representatives of the successful organisation will travel to Canberra to spend three days at the NFSA and AIATSIS, and take part in a workshop organised in Alice Springs and/or their home community.

IRCA’s General Manager Daniel Featherstone said: “We are proud to partner with NFSA and AIATSIS again to present this fantastic initiative. It has grown out of the partnerships formed through our Remote Media Archiving Strategy. There are many community-produced audiovisual collections across remote Australia desperately in need of preservation. This Fellowship aims to help Indigenous organisations build their capacity and skills to locally manage these collections and keep for future generations.”

NFSA CEO Michael Loebenstein said: “The Fellowship was a huge success in its inaugural year, and it is hugely satisfying for the NFSA to be able to share our expertise and empower communities to archive their unique collections. These are not just tapes and films; they are powerful self-representations of culture and community life, which must be preserved.”

Russell Taylor AM, CEO of AIATSIS, said: “We are very pleased to be part of this important program to equip communities with the skills to archive their culture, knowledge and histories for future generations. These are important records not just for the communities, but for the telling of our nation’s story as a whole.”

Applications for 2016-17 the Indigenous Remote Archival Fellowship will be open from 29 August to 16 September 2016; application forms can be downloaded from the IRCA website.

The successful applicant will be announced at the 18th National Remote Indigenous Media Festival, to be held in Yirrkala, NT, on September 26-30.

Indigenous remote archival fellowship 2016-17


Return trip to Canberra, and three nights’ accommodation and meals for delegates; costs to attend a training workshop in Alice Springs (if applicable) or in community; and costs for delegates to attend the 2017 IRCA Festival the following year.


To be eligible to apply, candidates must:

  • Hold a remote audiovisual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection that is recognised by IRCA, NFSA and AIATSIS;
  • Be able to nominate workers to travel to and stay in Canberra for three days;
  • Be able to participate in workshops provided in Alice Springs or in community; and
  • Be willing to further promote the program in ongoing marketing campaigns.


  • 29 August 2015: Applications open; form available from http://bit.ly/FellowshipApplication2016.
  • 16 September 2015: Applications close
  • 26-30 September 2016: The successful applicant will be announced at 18th National Remote Indigenous Media Festival in Lajamanu, NT.
  • October 2016 – June 2017: Exact timing of the program to be negotiated with the successful applicant.

Testimonials from previous recipients

“It’s been a really powerful couple of weeks, meeting these specialists who have generously shared their skills and their knowledge. There are many young Indigenous people out there, working in important institutions and communities all over Australia, and for them to have the same opportunity as me can only be a good thing. It’s important for us to go back and inform our old men about how this content is stored and preserved; it has a really special role in regards to cultural maintenance and preservation.”

Shaun Angeles, Strehlow Research Centre (Alice Springs, NT)

See more of Shaun’s story on YouTube.

“It’s a real eye opener, coming here to the NFSA. I took photos of everything that I’ve seen, and what I want to happen at our archive. For example, I do a lot of audio recording, and I’ve been shown the best software to use in order to digitise it. They also showed us how to do 360o photography on an object, and that’s something we really need for our items back home.”

Sherika Nulgit, Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre (Derby, WA)

See more of Sherika’s story on YouTube.

More information

Miguel Gonzalez (NFSA National Media Manager), (02) 8202 0114, miguel.gonzalez@nfsa.gov.au, or Jemma PIetrus (NFSA Publicity Coordinator), (02) 6248 2248, jemma.pietrus@nfsa.gov.au


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