1. Are you ever going to make another Bush Mechanics?
  2. The men in the Bush Mechanics series were called the Jupurrurla gang. What does that mean?
  3. I'd like to volunteer at PAW Media. Do you take volunteers on?
  4. How do people get jobs at PAW Media?
  5. Why don't you put your content on YouTube?
  6. What languages are in the PAW Media area?
  7. Can we get a message or campaign broadcast over the PAW Radio Network?
  8. What are your income sources?
  9. I'd like to film or photograph in Yuendumu. How do I go about doing that?


Q1. Are you ever going to make another Bush Mechanics?

A1. We are currently in the early stages of production of an animated series of Bush Mechanics, part of which is being developed with the ABC in mind.


Q2. The men in the Bush Mechanics series were called the Jupurrurla gang. What does that mean?

A2. Jupurrurla is a Warlpiri skin name. A skin name positions a person within a network of relationships to land, Jukurrpa, people as well as establishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of people to partner with. The Jupurrurla gang are skin brothers. There are 8 skin groups for men and 8 skin groups for women. You can find out more about Warlpiri skin groups here.

Q3. I'd like to volunteer at PAW Media. Do you take volunteers on?

A3. We are interested in people with the skills to work with our cultural staff in adding data to our video asset management system. This means viewing videos together and entering data for people, places, Jukurrpa, etc. A 4 week period is the minimum placement period. However our ability to take on volunteers is limited by the availability of accommodation as well as by our overstretched funding base. Nevertheless if you are interested please contact the General Manager to discuss your ideas for volunteering. Please note that we do not take on non-Aboriginal volunteers to crew or to develop concepts and scripts.


Q4. How do people get jobs at PAW Media?

A4. PAW Media has a strong two-way model. In two-way the various strengths of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people are brought together to produce content that supports the maintenance of culture and language as well as supports community expression of ideas. In all projects and productions, Aboriginal cultural protocols are the determinants of what are appropriate subjects for production as well as who are appropriate crew and what are appropriate modes, locations and timing of productions.

PAW Media has invested heavily in media skills development for local Aboriginal people, with funding provided under a number of projects, including the NT Jobs Program. Through training and local engagement we identify people with the interest, aptitude and base level skills to join our media teams.  This generally means people based at Yuendumu, the PAW Media "main office" location. However we also work with the Central Desert Shire to provide training support to media workers employed by the Shire in other communities under the NT Jobs Program. Wherever possible we work as a team with the local media workers.

Non-Aboriginal staff are selected by the General Manager in conjunction with the PAW Media Board. The Board comprises 7 Aboriginal people from across the PAW Media area. Non-Aboriginal staff members are managed by the General Manager who is in turn managed by the Board. Non-Aboriginal staff members are required to have current access permits approved through the Central Land Council. Breaches of the conditions of the access permits are grounds for dismissal of non-Aboriginal staff.

Current vacancies are listed on our Job Vacancies page.


Q5. Why don't you put your content on YouTube

A5. We get asked this question a lot. We know that social networking is a powerful tool for communication and for sharing content. We like YouTube as much as anyone and absolutely loved seeing the Chooky Dancers dance to Zorba the Greek. On occasion we will place some content on YouTube as in the case of our feature documentary Aboriginal Rules.

So why don't we do this more? Having our own website where we can "frame" the provision of content within the protocols of the Aboriginal people participating in our productions, brings to attention the media rights of Aboriginal people. Aboriginal intellectual and cultural property has been exploited over hundreds of years and the rights of Aboriginal people to control their own property have been marginalised or ignored.  Our website content is produced and managed by Aboriginal people as a statement of their capacity to make their own media.

We also hope that not putting our content into a global website brings attention to the issue that Aboriginal content is not a consumer product in a world where everything is generally up for public access.  Content goes up on our website after approval by cultural custodians, and comes down again when the content is sensitive due to deceased content or cultural dynamics. When you interact with our site you interact with cultural protocols of the Pintubi, Anmatyerr and Warlpiri people. We hope that this enriches your experience with our site.


Q6. What languages are in the PAW Media area?

A6. Please see our Languages page.


Q7. Can we get a message or campaign broadcast over the PAW Radio Network?

A7. Yes, we can help you get your campaign broadcast over our community radio network. Please see our Radio Sponsorship page.


Q8. What are your income sources?

A8. The vast majority of our funding comes from Australian Government funding. The Australian Government's Indigenous Broadcasting Program supports our radio network operation. We are required to use the Network as an independent income source as an offset against a proportion of the running costs. The Community Broadcasting Foundation is an important funding body for us through the provision of funding for radio infrastructure upgrades as well as support for Aboriginal radio programming.

We also receive funding from the Australian Government's NT Jobs Program for our Aboriginal salaried positions.

Following the introduction of NITV, we unexpectedly lost our funding for community video production, as did other remote indigenous media organisations.  Following a lull of about 12 months while community video production languished, we were fortunate to receive community support of an allocation from mining royalties. We have now received three years of funding through the Granites Mines Affected Area Aboriginal Corporation. This funding will dry up however in the near future and we will need to source new funding for this vital area of our work.

Our Music area is not funded through government programs and we use untied income from radio to support this important area of our work. However the income is not sufficient for us to bring the operation of the Music Studio to the level that is needed by our communities.

From time to time, we gain specialist production funding through the Australian Government's Indigenous Culture Support Program and the Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records Program. We have  been fortunate to gain philanthropic funding from various sources including the POOLA Foundation and Tanami Newmont Operations.

Depending on our forward planning we also target specialist funding sources, particularly for infrastructure improvements, or specialist one-off projects. This website for example was funded through FAHCSIA's Public Awareness Program, with additional funding from our radio income.  The 2009/2010 upgrade of our Music Studio and the development of a music stage was funded through FAHCSIA's Local Priority Funding Program, the Community Benefit Fund, and the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal.

Running a remote not-for-profit Aboriginal media organisation requires a multiplicity of funding sources and the strong support of our major funding bodies. We deeply appreciate the support we receive from those bodies.

We are currently looking for donors for our documentary on the Coniston Massacre. We are a charitable organisation,with donations being tax deductible. If you are interested in donating to us please contact us, or use our online donations service.


Q9. I'd like to film or photograph in Yuendumu. How do I go about doing that?


Non-private filming, photography or recording

The Yuendumu community developed a media protocol over 25 years ago to support Aboriginal people manage the many journalists, film producers and photographers who wish to film in Yuendumu. Yuendumu's strong culture and remoteness as well as its beautiful landscapes have long been a drawcard for producers and photographers, and Aboriginal issues have at times been at the forefront of journalistic inquiry.

"The Circus Comes to Yuendumu Again" is useful background reading for the issues around the development of the Yuendumu media protocol.

The media protocol, as applied to non-private photography, filming and reporting is a six step process and was established in the context of Aboriginal people being the owners of the land within which Yuendumu is positioned:

  1. Interested people discuss their proposal with PAW Media and provide information about locations, crew, subject, distribution, etc.
  2. PAW Media Board considers the proposal in consultation with relevant community members and make a decision to approve or not approve.
  3. Where a decision is approved, the producers/photographers enter into a contract with PAW Media. The contract formalises the areas of work agreed to by the Board, and also sets out the requirement for:
    • A cultural liaison person to be attached to the project/production. The cultural liaison person mediates the many  language and cultural differences that arise when non-local people undertake work in Yuendumu.
    • Provision of a rough cut or proof sheets to PAW Media prior to publication. These requirements are mindful of the Yuendumu settlement itself and its surrounds containing many sensitive areas and within which sensitive cultural practices are carried out.  Knowing what has been filmed or photographed can avoid issues further down the track where community members could take offense at culturally inappropriate content being published/distributed.
    • Deposit of the Yuendumu content in the Warlpiri Media Archive. This requirement is mindful of the large amount of film and photographs that have been taken of Aboriginal people and taken away from country. In some cases the content involves sacred sites and sensitive content, and in many cases there are significant issues of deceased content. Warlpiri have established the Warlpiri Media Archive not only as an archive of their own productions but also as an archive of any content filmed or photographed on the Warlpiri Lands for which they are owners. This requirement supports their ability to negotiate over use of their cultural and intellectual property and exercise their moral rights under copyright law.
  4. A contract is signed with PAW Media, pending the outcomes of the Central Land Council processes for approval of a special purpose access permit.
  5. The producers or photographers make application to the Central Land Council for a special purpose access permit. The consultations and discussions with the PAW Media Board will facilitate the provision of information requested in the application for a special purpose permit.
  6. PAW Media informs the Central Land Council, who have the role of managing requests for access permits to communities, of their decision and the access permit requests are then provided to the traditional owners for final approval. Any queries can be discussed locally between the traditonal owners and PAW Media Board members.

The NT Emergency Response legislation of 2007 has removed the ability of communities to approve or otherwise the entry of journalists into communities for news of the day and current affairs type coverage. However the Yuendumu media protocol remains in place for other media productions.

Private photography

Persons wishing to take photographs for their own private use can come to the PAW Media office when in Yuendumu and sign an authority form which sets out the parameters of private photography.


If you have a question that isn't answered here, please use the form on the Contact us page to send us your enquiry.