IMAA & Aboriginal Health Television Host Community Engagement For National Reconciliation Week

IMAA & Aboriginal Health Television Host Community Engagement For National Reconciliation Week

Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA), the national, not-for-profit industry association for the independent media agency industry, and Aboriginal Health Television (AHTV) hosted a community engagement morning to hear from leading Aboriginal organisations in the Sydney community ahead of National Reconciliation Week on 27 May – 3 June.

The morning, led by the Head of Aboriginal Health Television and Wiradjuri Gibir man, Jake Thomson, led representatives from the IMAA board, and agencies through the heart of the community in the south Sydney suburb of Redfern to visit and learn from some of the organisations that have supported the Aboriginal community since the early 1970’s.

The walk, attended by 15 people, visited Redfern Community Centre, Eloura Tony Mundine Gym, the Aboriginal Housing Company, Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation the Aboriginal Medical Service, and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. At the completion of the walk, lunch was held at local First Nations restaurant, Café Dreaming.

“The theme for National Reconciliation Week this year is ‘Be a Voice for Generations’, so the IMAA took the opportunity to hear from leaders within the Aboriginal community. It is also an important part of the IMAA’s Reconciliation Action Plan, with our mission to make a difference in the media industry by educating our member agencies on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures,” IMAA RAP Committee Lead and Media Republic Director, Steve Fagan, said.

“It was both fascinating and enlightening to hear from leading Aboriginal organisations who play such an important role in the community, and having Jake explain the walk and significance of the organisations and the area. Our members were very grateful for the privilege of meeting these organisations and learning from them. One of the key take outs from the day is that there are plenty of opportunities and ways that we can help the Indigenous community in urban areas, and the IMAA will be looking and sharing these. One of our first steps is offering the IMAA Academy to First Nations students.”

AHTV Head, Jake Thomson, said: “Since time immemorial my people have communicated through verbal stories, song, dance and art. Passing this knowledge down from generation to generation. The IMAA were lucky enough to hear stories from community members who are working to create real change for the next generation. I am thankful for this partnership and I’m excited to see what the future holds for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation within the media industry.”

Aboriginal Health Television (AHTV) is part of Tonic Media Network, Australia’s largest health and wellbeing media network. AHTV’s mission is to improve health outcomes amongst First Nations people by delivering health and wellbeing messaging into around 200 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS).  AHTV reaches more than 507,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and their support people each month across Australia’s urban, regional and remote communities.

Tonic Media Network and AHTV are in the first stages of the ‘Innovate’ RAP, with a continued focus on delivering culturally appropriate and relevant health information to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities and bringing partners closer to their stories, in an effort to effect real, positive change. 

The IMAA’s  ‘Reflect’ RAP is the first of four stages in the reconciliation journey designed to prepare the association and its members for reconciliation initiatives in future RAPs. Committing to a Reflect RAP includes scoping and developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, deciding on a vision for reconciliation, and exploring the IMAA’s sphere of influence.

As part of its RAP, the IMAA has introduced a Reconciliation Hub resource to provide education and learning for members, including encouraging participation in NAIDOC week activities. The association’s long-term goal includes creating pathways and job opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The IMAA’s chosen indigenous social enterprise is Kings Narrative whose aim is to improve the lives and outcomes of Aboriginal men.

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