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Indigenous Media and OPTUS Digital Satellite Service (VAST)

Support was procvided by the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) through the Indigenous Broadcasting Program to support the migration of our National Broadcasting Service to the new Optus Digital Satellite Service commonly called VAST.

The Australian Government has decreed that all broadcast services must switch to digital to address long-standing broadcast and communcation issues in regional and remote areas of Australia.  NIRS supports such a policy but asks that First Nations Communities who in many case have poor, or in some cases, no access to terrestrially broadcast TV or radio services, be considered.  Additionally, our   First Nations Broadcasting Sector is one of the largest and most diverse networks in Australia, and aas such NIRS seeks to maintain our  presence as an essential service and continue to provide of our broadcast programs, services and support for First Nations Community Broadcaster across Australia and we seek DBCDE’s support to achieve this.

Through the direct-to-home digital TV service, all Australian homes with satellite receivers installed, will be able to receive NIRS.  NIRS will reciprocate by providing a program distribution service to relay radio programs produced by all metropolitan, regional, rural and remote First Nations broadcasters through our satellite service.  If we are successful in our bid, all Australians will a choice of NIRS radio programs that will feature current affairs, news, talkback, arts, culture, language and heritage.  This opportunity will encourage higher production values and program quality which NIRS will distribute via four channels on VAST and in a convergence sense through Smartphone’s and mobile devices that access the World Wide Web.

NIRS represents “The Voice of Our People” and our Strategic Plan sets out vision, aims and objects of instilling a sense of pride and identity in First Nations People.  By facilitating high-quality, informative, enlightening and entertaining radio programs for all audiences, NIRS believes all Australians will appreciate, understand and respect the rich diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, language, cultures and heritage.

This transition requires an upgrade of our network’s broadcast equipment, both within NIRS studio and each contributing and receiving First Nations Broadcaster.  NIRS must transport a MPEG-1 Layer II or HE-AAC v2 encoded DVB compliant signal from our Program Control Room (PCR) in Brisbane as a single ASI stream (“Encoded Signal”) to the Customer Equipment Room (CER) at the Optus Satellite Uplink Facility in Belrose, NSW.  This transport link is supplied by Telstra through their Connect IP Service that provides the necessary IP bandwidth to support the transmission of 4 channels of programming for uplinked at Optus in Sydney and subsequent circulation via Satellite throughout Australia. 

Most importantly, the NIRS satellite service allows RIMOs and RIBS to receive NIRS along with ABC and SBS services.  Attached A represents the list of RIBS communities that will receive NIRS once each RIMO hub site receives a new VAST STB.  This upgrade requires new dual-band LNBs for some broadcasters to be able to broadcast via VAST to their RIBS.  IRCA will be coordinating their part of proceeding for RIMOs and RIBS, however NIRS will coordinate the upgrades for licensed Community Broadcasters in all Metropolitan, Regional and Rural locations.

The NIRS studio requires VAST decoders to receive programs contributed by each station including each RIMO or RIBS station.  NIRS has been advised by Optus that the UEC DSD-4121 receivers, even though a domestic solution is VAST certified. In any event, NIRS has engaged our technicians to ensure each STB is configured so that its default configuration will maintain its settings in the event of power failure. 

NIRS is also working with IRCA with respect to this project.  NIRS agrees and supports IRCAs timeframe for this project as follows:

  1. Data collection by IRCA, consultation, confirmation of technical specification – Feb 21
  2. Budget confirmation – Feb 28
  3. Order and purchase – Mar 31
  4. Configuration of STBs, freight and delivery - April through July

At this stage, the NIRS component for this project is limited to the roll-out of VAST STB and the upgrade of dual band LNBs for Licensed First Nations Broadcasters.  Please find our list of stations in Attachment B and our proposed budget.


98.9FMs Country Music
What’s new, what’s hot and what’s been in country music? This mix of great modern and traditional country music will have you moving to the beat! The mix is programmed out of 98.9FM in Brisbane.

NIRS East Coast - 2.00PM – 3.00PM SATURDAYS 7.00PM – 12.00AM FRIDAYS
Join the National Indigenous Radio Service as we bring you live coverage every week of the 2015 AFL premiership season!

Saturday October 3
Grand Final Pre Match
12 Noon - 1.00pm (AEST)

Saturday October 3
2015 AFL Grand Final
Hawthorn v West Coast Eagles (MCG)
1.00pm - 6.30pm (AEST)

Click here for more information



Tune in live to NIRS AFL via the NIRS National channel or the AFL website.

Follow NIRS AFL on Facebook or Twitter.

Sponsorship opportunities are available! Please call (07) 3226 4200 or send us an email for more information.


Awaye! is a national arts and culture program produced and presented by First Nations broadcasters at ABC Radio National. 'Awaye' means 'listen up' in the Arrernte language of central Australia, from where the program was first broadcast in 1993. The program covers a wide range of areas, including the visual and performing arts, music, literature, history and politics, documenting the healthy and vibrant diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities across the country.

NIRS National - 2.00pm-3.00pm (AEST) FRIDAY
Black Chung
Black Chung, hosted by Russell Dann from Goolarri Radio, is a Kimberley-based, one-hour Indigenous music and talk program.

Koori Radio presents an hour of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander news and views from the studios of 93.7FM 2LND in Redfern, Sydney, on the home of the Gadigal people. Deserving its reputation as the station’s flagship program, Blackchat informs its national audience on a range of current issues and celebrates the excellence of First Nations people across Australia.

The multi-award-winning program is driven by a team that's committed to playing both established and up-and-coming First Nations musicians, giving artists new to the industry the chance to have their music played. Koori Radio has launched and supported the careers of many famous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Blak Law: Tribal Edition
Blak Law: Tribal Edition is the continent's first radio show exclusively looking at tribal societies and their rights.  It aims to inform and educate Australians about the laws of the land that have been present since the beginning of time.  Host Murrumu: Walubara Yidindji investigates international law and tribal societies to discuss their position in the geopolitical arena.

The show is broadcast weekly on Bumma Bippera Media Cairns 98.7FM.

NIRS National - Wednesdays from 1:00pm - 2:00pm (AEST)
Blues with a Feeling
Blues with a Feeling is produced and presented by 'Shakey' Shaun Bindley. Now in its 20th year, join 'Shakey' for an evening of great blues music on the National Indigenous Radio Service network via 98.9FM.

Monday 8.00pm-12.00am
Country Affairs
Hosted by the lovely Sandy Dann, Country Affairs focuses on Indigenous current affairs, lifestyle stories, community information and topics that effect the day-to-day life of First Nations people across the Kimberley and the nation.

Country Affairs is broadcast by Goolarri Media out of Broome.

NIRS National and NIRS West Coast - Monday to Thursday 12.00pm-1.00pm (AEST)
Deadly Sounds
Deadly Sounds is a weekly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music program presented by journalist, actor and author Rhoda Roberts. The program features music, culture, information and sport.

For more info, visit the Deadly Sounds website.

Tuesday 4:00pm - 5:00pm (AEST)
Brekky with Dan Rennie
98.9FM's Brekky Show with Dan Rennie is full of great music and heaps of interviews with the biggest stars in country music. Dan has a wealth of knowledge about the music industry and provides insights into the industry through news, reviews and interviews. His program is broadcast out of Brisbane.

5.00AM – 9.00AM WEEKDAYS
Indigenous Hip Hop Show
The Indigenous Hip Hop Show is hosted by Munkimuk and is the only show in the nation that exclusively features interviews and music from Indigenous hip hop artists. The Hip Hop Show can be heard every Tuesday 5.00pm-6.00pm (AEST) and is broadcast by Gadigal 93.7FM out of Redfern in Sydney.

Tuesday 5.00pm-6.00pm (AEST)
Law Matters
The Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (ALSWA) produces and presents Law Matters for 6NME Noongar Radio.  Hosted by Jodi Hoffmann, Law Matters features informative and interesting interviews with ALSWA staff and other key stakeholders working within WA’s justice system.

Visit the ALSWA website for more details.

2.00pm-3.00pm (AEST) TUESDAY
Let's Talk with Tiga Bayles
Join long-time broadcaster Tiga Bayles to hear discussions on crucial issues relevant to First Nations people. Broadcast live each week day from the 98.9FM studios in Brisbane, the program covers a wide range of issues in a respectful and interactive way, encouraging audience participation and call-ins. Tiga has a long association with the media and is a well-respected personality and in-depth interviewer. 

Living Black
Each Friday, the team from SBS Living Black connects, informs and inspires. The hour-long program, presented by Michele Lovegrove, a proud Ngarrindjeri woman born in Port Augusta, proivdes a national platform to investigate, uncover and celebrate individuals, community programs and events.  Tune in to keep up-to-date on First Nations current affairs and more!

12.00pm-1.00pm (AEST) FRIDAY
Looma (RIBS)
Looma Radio is a Remote Indigenous Broadcast Service (RIBS) transmitting out of Looma in far north Western Australia.  Looma broadcasts via the PAKAM media group on the frequency 106.1fm.  Looma is located south of Derby, half way between Broome and Fitzroy Crossing.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 4.00pm-5.00pm (AEST).
NIRS Weekly News-in-Review
National Indigenous Radio's Weekly News-in-Review takes an in-depth look at the issues affecting First Nations communities around Australia.

This week's episode is presented by Adam Evans.

This week:

Greater focus on suicide response called on by academic and researcher Gerry Georgatos;

Talking treaty with Yingiya Guyula, Terry Mason and Tony McAvoy SC;

Paul Spearim talks about new protest laws proposed for New South Wales;

Anne Wilson from Kidney Health Australia speaks about how important keeping healthy in in avoiding kidney disease;

Celest Liddle uses International Women's Day to remember our women past and present;

Click here to download the latest episode of the NIRS Weekly News-in-Review

Producer: Adam Evans and Stephen Clarke

Would you like to sponsor this program? Call (07) 3226 4200 or email for details.
NITV National News
NITV National News features the rich diversity of contemporary life within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, broadening and redefining the news and current affairs landscape.

NITV News is the only nightly television news service that covers entirely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories from across the country in its half hour bulletin.

NITV's Awaken
Join award-winning journalist Stan Grant for a simulcast of NITV's Awaken, a half hour current affairs panel show discussing everything from politics to sport, art and culture.

Awaken draws great thinkers and newsmakers of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia to challenge and provoke a new path to greater awareness and understanding. It is time for Australia to 'Awaken'.

7.30pm-8.00pm (AEST) WEDNESDAY
Nunga Wangga Radio
Nunga Wangga Radio is produced by Radio Adelaide 101.5fm.  Nunga Wangga means 'blackfellas talking', but it’s much more than just talking about local, national and international issues. Tune in to keep up-to-date with cultural and community events and a showcase of the enormous talent out there, including 100% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music featuring new artists and live studio performances. With a diverse range of guests, the Nunga Wangga team from the land of the Kaurna people provide you with a glimpse into the dynamic, gifted, oldest living culture in the world.

2.00pm-3.00pm (AEST) THURSDAY
Pixie's Bush Brekky
Known far and wide for his fantastic fiddling and wicked sense of humour, Pixie Jenkins brings country music across all genres to your breakfast table every Sunday morning. With a keen nose for the ridiculous, Pixie’s program has a strong following of listeners around Australia.

Featuring more “real” Australian country music than you can poke a stick at, listeners are treated to hillbilly, Indigenous, hoe down, bush poetry, comedy and comment throughout the four hour program broadcast from 98.9fm Brisbane. Pixie yarns with his mates and country stars and focuses on issues affecting country people and those from the bush.

NIRS East Coast - 6.00AM – 10.00AM SUNDAYS
Shout-Out Show
Uncle Pete can be found just about anywhere. He’s like the Where’s Wally - one week he might be broadcasting from a railway station, the next from a community hall! Uncle Pete has a great show all about community and family and looking out for one another. He plays great music and is always on the other end of the phone line to take calls, shout-outs and requests.

7.00PM – 11.59M SUNDAY
Strictly Country
The legendary Warren H. Williams brings the best of country music to your ears with rollicking good tunes from across the world, from bluegrass to country rock and everything in between. The bi-weekly dose of some of Warren’s favourites has a massive audience across the nation who tune in to hear the ballads of the world’s best country musicians and bands. There’s a healthy dose of great Aussie artists in his playlist. Warren broadcasts from the CAAMA studios of 8KINFM in the centre of Australia, Alice Springs. His love of good, honest, traditional country music sometimes seeps into some of his own songs, but you won’t get him playing his own tuff, unless you call in with a request!

Talkblack with Trendy Trev
Presented by Bumma Bippera's Trendy Trev, Talkblack is a national talkback program which can be heard from 11:00am (AEST) to 12:00pm Monday to Friday. Talkblack focuses on inspiring hope in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  Listeners can participate in the Talkblack by calling on the toll-free number 1800 422 416.

Monday to Friday 11.00am-12.00pm (AEST)
The Country Bumpkins Show
He calls himself a country bumpkin and hosts a show of the same name! Former West Australian Policeman, Gordon Marshall, will take you on a journey through his country around Derby, WA every Saturday morning. Featuring some of his favourite country tracks, Gordon beats around the bush with his funny repertoire and quirky facts while sitting in the comfy chair of downtown Derby at the 6DBY radio station.

10.00AM – 12.00PM SATURDAY
The Mary G Show
Buckle up for a wild ride that will have you holding your sides when Mary G takes to the airwaves. Our favourite gal, Mary G puts a quirky twist on the current issues and observations to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but with a good belly laugh. She brings you her live weekly show from her home studio in downtown Broome or from across the country wherever she is each Wednesday night. Mary G's huge following tunes each week on Wednesday night 'til late.

NIRS National - 9.00PM – 12.00AM WEDNESDAY
Wangka Maya Language Show
A First Nations language, music and culture show produced with the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre in South Hedland in Western Australia's Pilbara

NIRS National and NIRS West Coast - 4.00pm-5.00pm (AEST) SUNDAYS

Wangki Radio
Hosted by long-time Kimberley broadcaster Henry Augustine, Wangki radio is a Remote Indigenous Broadcast Service (RIBS) transmitting out of far north Western Australia, near Broome. Wangki broadcasts via the PAKAM media group.

Wednesday and Thursday 5.00pm-6.00pm (AEST).

About NIRS
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