Working to help reinforce a positive narrative of and about the First Nations People of Victoria and Australia.
Jumping from a well-paid position as the Aboriginal Liaison Officer in local government to an unpaid gig on Aboriginal community radio, it was step one along a path driven by passion – a passion to help reinforce a positive narrative of and about First Nations People of Victoria and Australia.
Returning to my journalist’s roots, I prepared and hosted a weekly one-hour Aboriginal current affairs program. The big surprise was audience response. It was so huge and supporting that the program, Connection Matters, moved to three on-hour slots every week.
One of the great pleasures of the program at that early stage was having my great mate Ron Prasad sitting beside me in the studio as the production manager.
With the creation of the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission by the Victorian Government, Connection Matters transitioned to a full-time position as Australia’s first Treaty Correspondent.
The opportunity to report on this groundbreaking work for 12 months soon led to being contracted as a Communications and Media Officer at the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.
This provided a further insight into the Victorian Treaty/ies process, which has been invaluable in continuing to report on this work upon completion of the contract.
Reporting on the Victorian Treaty front continued with submission of articles and interviews to key Aboriginal media outlets such as Koori Mail and NITV Radio. The focus on this historic process is maintained under the Victorian Aboriginal News banner.
With the outbreak of COVID across Victoria and the commencement of statewide and Melbourne lockdowns, Connection Matters returned (fully self-funded) as Connection Matters Radio (CMR) five days a week for half-an-hour.
That was only after convincing station management that a daily half-hour positive stories bulletin would help community well-being. The program continued up until November 2021 when, due to a lack of personal funding, it was forced to cease going to air.
The Big Transition
In February 2021, Connection Matters Radio (CMR) moved full-time into a 2019 Ford Transit van. It became home and studio, providing a means by which Victoria-wide truly independent Aboriginal current affairs podcasting and vidcasting could be achieved. Later that year, came the change of name to Victorian Aboriginal News Pty Ltd. For 2022? With greater travel freedom being achieved, the focus is on “Working to help reinforce a positive narrative of and about the First Nations People of Victoria and Australia.“