Communications towers in outback settingLast year Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media (QRAM), in conjunction with ACCAN, released what is believed to be the first consumer resources produced in Indigenous languages.

Working with design agency, Gilimbaa, QRAM created a series of audio tracks with information on what you should think about before buying a mobile phone, how to keep internet and phone costs low, what people can do if they get a large or unexpected bill and more. The project also produced a series of colourful posters that cover the same issues.

The materials were produced in the following Indigenous languages: Arrernte, Luritja, Pitjantjatjara, Torres Strait Island Creole and Warlpiri and are also available in English.

The audio tracks were well received by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander radio stations, communities and organisations.

"This was a highly rewarding and important project for QRAM to be involved in, both from a content production and research point of view,” said QRAM Manager, Gerry Pyne.

"We've had some really positive feedback on the audio and printed resources we produced, especially the content that was translated into community languages.

"This content has been used by a large number of remote broadcasters, providing important information on telecommunications rights to community members through local and trusted sources.

"We've also had lots of positive feedback from community organisations and councils who are using the content to give community members a better understanding of the simple things they can do if they have a problem with their phone or internet service, their bills, or the plan they've purchased or signed up for."

The English versions of the four audio segments were broadcast nationally on an estimated 83 remote Indigenous radio stations, reaching a large and diverse national audience. Translated versions of the audio segments were broadcast across an estimated 51 remote Indigenous communities where these languages are spoken regularly. Next time you’re in northern Australia tune in and you might hear an ACCAN message!

QRAM believes they have resulted in a greater understanding of the problems faced by remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members in terms of accessing reliable telecommunications and internet services, problems with affordability and problems interacting with service providers.

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2017 edition of the ACCAN Magazine.

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