PY Media wins 2016 Indigenous Remote Archival Fellowship

Friday, 30 September 2016 - 1:00pm
PY Media at the festival (L-R) Amos Frank, Thomas Holder, chair Sam Lyons, Bradley Roberts, Matthew Berryman and Desmond Woodforde. Photo: Kirstie Parker
PY Media at the festival (L-R) Amos Frank, Thomas Holder, chair Sam Lyons, Bradley Roberts, Matthew Berryman and Desmond Woodforde. Photo: Kirstie Parker

South Australian production company Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Media (PY Media) has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Indigenous Remote Archival Fellowship, which will empower them to archive and preserve their invaluable audiovisual collection.

Now in its second year, the Indigenous Remote Archival Fellowship is a partnership of the Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA), the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

The three institutions made the announcement on 30 September, at the 18th National Remote Indigenous Media Festival in Yirrkala, Northern Territory.

Thomas Holder, Manager of PY Media, said: "Receiving this fellowship means that we will be able to properly preserve, digitise and catalogue our collection of significant cultural materials. With this crucial assistance the community, to whom this material is of most importance, will develop the skills to complete the process on country. With an organised digital catalogue the community will have access to materials that would otherwise be lost. We are very excited to finally be able to embark upon this task."

For 40 years, PY Media has been an Indigenous audiovisual production leader, creating thousands of hours of content about life in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara lands of South Australia.

Their invaluable collection contains a broad range of culturally important recordings - from Tjukurpa story re-enactments and Inma (cultural song/dance) performances, to rock concerts and other contemporary events. These materials have been produced by Anangu, a people who have always understood the value of recording their traditional skills, song, dance and hunting, as well as other aspects of their daily life.

But the PY Media collection is at risk, with thousands of items held on deteriorating analogue formats. It requires digitisation and cataloguing at international archival standards. Despite the limited resources currently available, the local communities are committed to the ongoing development and preservation of this collection, as part of their cultural management plan.

As part of the Fellowship program, staff members selected by PY Media will travel to Canberra and spend three days training and sharing knowledge with experts from the NFSA and AIATSIS. They will have the opportunity to attend a workshop in Alice Springs and/or in community, as well as the 2017 IRCA Festival.

Media enquiries:

Commsmedia@aiatsis.gov.au or 02 6246 1605

Last reviewed: 12 Oct 2016