Outlet Spotlight: Yolŋu Radio
Our station promotes Yolŋu culture and law, we connect with our communities through this sharing of knowledge and hope that it promotes success for future generations
In many areas of regional Australia, specialised Indigenous broadcasters are the only radio services available to many remote Indigenous communities. These stations bridge the divide between remote Indigenous communities and the outside world, while connecting indigenous communities with their heritage and community.
For over 10 years, Yolŋu Radio has been sharing stories, news and educational programming to communities in the Arnhem Land region, under the guidance of Aboriginal Resource and Development Services Corporation. “Our station promotes Yolŋu culture and law,” says Andrew Gurruwiwi, Senior Broadcaster and Cultural Advisor at the station. “We connect with our communities through this sharing of knowledge, and hope that it promotes success for future generations.”
The station operates bilingually, broadcasting in both the English and Yolŋu languages with a broad offering, but with a special focus on education, current affairs, emergency messaging, comedy pieces and other tales from across the region. Musical content is also a major focus, with popular hits mixed with traditional Yolngu music. “What we call manikay, are songs that have been part of our history for thousands of years,” says Andrew. “They have been passed down from generation to generation. These songs are our version of a history book.”
With community at the heart of everything they do, the station also works hard to facilitate engagement and communication between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. “It’s about having an in-depth conversation between indigenous and non-indigenous worldviews and finding a mutual understanding from that space,” says Station Manager, Will Porter. “We provide specialised work in community development, language and translation services, cross-cultural training and creative media.”
Yolŋu Radio regularly reaches an audience of roughly 10,000 people, particularly during major broadcasts of festivals or sporting events and during times when emergency messaging is necessary. The station broadcasts on 88.9FM to all six major Arnhem Land communities and 16 remote homelands as well as Darwin and Palmerston.