The CLC informs its constituents and the wider public of issues of importance to Central Australian Aboriginal people and promotes their achievements and aspirations. Many sections of the CLC contribute to the production of a wide range of information and education materials and presentations. The CLC’s communications unit is often the first port of call for journalists and members of the public wishing to know more about contemporary Aboriginal culture and society in Central Australia.
The CLC completed audience research into its print and electronic communications tools in order to strengthen how it shares information with remote community residents. CLC members will consider research outcomes and recommendations during the second half of 2016.
The CLC raised public awareness of issues of great interest to its members. They ranged from traditional owner opposition to the shortlisting of a nuclear waste storage facility site near Alice Springs to the successes of the CLC’s community development and ranger programs. It shone a national media spotlight on the failure of the NT’s remote public housing system, and raised awareness about the loss of Aboriginal control and lack of transparency of the Aboriginals Benefit Account.
The media unit supported an awareness campaign by traditional owners of the jointly managed Watarrka National Park, who had opposed mining on their land. In November 2015 the NT Government rejected plans for oil and gas extraction in the park following representations by custodians to federal politicians in Canberra.
The communications unit organised a multi-media, multi-lingual awareness campaign ahead of the CLC membership elections in February and March 2016. It organised the CLC’s 40th anniversary celebrations and provided media support for events such as the declaration of the Katiti Petermann IPA and the Vincent Lingiari Art Award which will mark the 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NT) 1976 in 2016.
CLC website visits
Land Rights News Central Australia
Special purpose videos
Information booklets and brochures
Every hill got a story
Elders from across the region launched their long awaited oral history collection Every hill got a story at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station in September 2015, during the CLC 40th anniversary celebrations. The first comprehensive history of Central Australian Aboriginal people as told in their own words and languages, the book was published by Hardie Grant under its SBS Books imprint.
The book contains the recollections of 127 eminent men and women from Central Australia and boasts hundreds of previously unpublished historical imagess. For a richer experience the book features links to soundbites from the storytellers at http://www.sbs.com.au/features/nitv/everyhill/.
A study guide for the book, aimed at primary and secondary students, is available free of charge and the oral history interviews will be made available as podcasts on its website as funds permit.
The original interviews have been returned to the storytellers; however, the storytellers wish to share them widely with their extended families who live dispersed over a huge area, a major reason the CLC continues to seek funds to upload the hundreds of hours of interviews on which the book is based to its digital archive at http://clc.keepingculture.com (see below).
Four generations of Mack women spoke at the launch of Every hill got a story: author Jean Mack (front) with Dee and Colleen Mack and CLC permits officer Shania Satour (right).
Author Linda Dobbs celebrates the launch of the CLC’s oral history collection with Fanny Walker and Joanne White.
Land Rights News and Council News
Australia’s longest continuously published, Aboriginal-owned newspaper, Land Rights News Central Australia, maintained its circulation of 9,000. Print and online versions were produced in August and November 2015 and April 2016, coinciding with Council meetings. Distributed free of charge to remote NT communities and news agencies, the paper remains one of the few sources of accessible information and analysis of issues that matter to the CLC’s constituents. It aims to balance the relentlessly negative portrayal of Aboriginal people in the mainstream media with stories about their many achievements.
The CLC also continued to distribute Council News, a large-format printed newsletter about the decisions and discussions of the CLC delegates. It appears in print and online one week following each Council meeting.
Pamela Brown reads the November 2015 issue of Land Rights News at the council meeting at Arlparra.
Website and social media
The number of visits to the CLC web site continued to increase, particularly mobile phone traffic. New visitors again accounted for over 70% of sessions. The CLC’s Facebook activity has increased more than threefold compared to the last reporting period.
Early indications from focus group sessions Galaxy Research conducted with remote community residents are that the CLC’s printed newsletters, web site and social media outputs are highly valued, with constituents rating Community Development Newsas particularly appropriate.
Constituents continue to have very poor internet and mobile phones access, as well as very low rates of ownership of computers. Where mobile phone or wireless internet access is available, constituents are increasingly using mobile devices to make contact with the CLC.
The resulting increase in traffic to the CLC web site from mobile devices highlights the need to invest in upgrading the site, which is currently not mobile friendly.
By contrast, the CLC’s popular digital archive is now far more mobile friendly following a software upgrade; however, it is stagnating. No new records have been added since October 2014, when funding for the part time digital archive officer ceased.
The online database puts over 13,000 historical and contemporary imagess and other recordings at the fingertips of CLC constituents with internet access, no matter how remotely they live. The archive plays a very important role in the repatriation of culturally significant records and transmission of knowledge between generations.
A fresh funding application to the ABA was again not supported by the Minister. Without the funding the archive is on hold and the large backlog of culturally significant records is growing. This keeps them out of reach of their rightful owners, Central Australian Aboriginal people.