Satellite Dreaming


Satellite Dreaming is of considerable historic importance. It narrates the emergence of Aboriginal broadcast media in Australia, and discusses its role in maintaining Aboriginal languages and culture.

In the early 1980s, the federal government announced that there would be a national satellite (AUSSAT), and encouraged the use of this satellite by Aboriginal peoples in remote areas of central Australia.

The ground-swell of concern among Aboriginal communities about the harmful effect on young people of mainstream, English-language content, led to the creation of CAAMA Radio at Alice Springs in 1980.

Growing demand for Aboriginal video and television content also prompted the national broadcasters to make forays into Aboriginal programming with such early series as Blackout (ABC) and First in Line (SBS) in 1988-89.

Satellite Dreaming also looks at the work of other Aboriginal media associations – at Yuendumu (the Warlpiri Media Association) and at Ernabella (EVTV).

In each case, broadcasting arose in response to local demand to preserve Aboriginal language and record traditional culture. Their work was instrumental in providing the impetus for CAAMA to go into video production and then to bid for a broadcast licence. CAAMA’s involvement with the winning of a TV licence – Imparja TV – created new opportunities for regular Indigenous news broadcasts and in-depth programmes.

Including interviews with key participants in the emergence of Aboriginal media, the film is an invaluable historical record of what is now a strong and important part of our national culture, albeit still with financial pressures and competition with mainstream broadcasters.


Release dates
1991 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
January 2015
G - general
Ronin Films

Website (set up by Tony Dowmunt, one of the co-producers):

Interviewees include:

Freda Glynn, Director CAAMA

Dion Weston, Station Manager, Imparja TV

Horace Winitja, P.Y. Media Committee

Rhoda Roberts, Producer, SBS TV

David Hill, Managing Director, ABC

Philip Batty, Deputy Director, CAAMA

Lester Bostock, Koori Productions

Gerry Bostock, Koori Productions

Frances Peters, Director, ABC TV

Topsy Walter, P.Y. Media Committee

Rachel Ellis, Presenter, Imparja TV

Scott Mathias, News Director, Imparja TV

Rosie Riley, Language Co-ordinator, CAAMA

Michael Liddle, Nganampa editor

Heather Campbell, Nganampa Sound Recordist

Wendy Baarda, Teacher, Yuendumu School

David Batty, Director, Manyu-wana

Murray Wood, Production Assistant

Francis Kelly, Warlpiri Media Association

Paddy Stewart, Warlpiri Media Assoc. Cttee

Paddy Sims, Warlpiri Media Assoc. Cttee

Clive Scollay, BRACS supervisor

Neil Turner, Co-ordinator EVTV

Peter Toyne, Principal, Yuendumu School

Pantjiti Tjiyangu, Director EVTV

Simon Tjiyangu, Director, EVTV

Noli Roberts, Traditional Custodian Kuruala

Roli Kanari, Traditional Custodian, Kuruala

Dicky Minyintiri, Ernabella Resident

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, Satellite Dreaming, <>, retrieved 14 June 2024

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