About the Archive

Warlpiri Media Association is widely accredited as being the first community organisation to develop and facilitate video production in remote Aboriginal communities. As a result,we have a rare and unique collection of  videotapes (VHS) produced during the period 1983-2001. From 2001 our productions were  shot in digital, and productions from 2001 are stored on our RAID storage system and accessed through our CatDV system.

We estimate that there are over 1000 tapes in the Archive collection, consisting of WMA News presented by Warlpiri speakers, recorded ceremonies, Yuendumu School Country Visits, 15 years of Yuendumu Sports Weekends and 13 episodes of the Warlpiri language children Manyu Wana. The Archive also contains still photographs and audio recordings, generally donated to to the Archive, rather than produced by PAW Media.

The Archive is stored at the Yuendumu offices of PAW Media under the cultural custodianship of the Archive Office, Simon Japangardi Fisher. It is a "living" collection with the content used for community TV scheduling.

The 400 most significant items from the collection are also stored at the National Film and Sound Archive. These items are those produced during the early years of Warlpiri Media Association. During those early years, the researcher Dr Eric Michaels undertook an Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies fellowship at Yuendumu with the title to "Assess the Impact of Commercial Television on Remote Aboriginal Communities".  A video was produced outlining the findings of the fellowship, which findings remain relevant to our work today.