Making media together: Experiences of Aboriginal participation within co-creative remote media production teams

Laura McDowell


This article outlines the findings of a research project that examined how participation can be understood, and subsequently improved, within collaborative, co-creative media practices. As a case study, the research project looked at Pintubi Anmatjere Warlpiri Media and Communications (PAW Media), a remote Indigenous media organisation (RIMO) based in Yuendumu in Australia’s Northern Territory. By means of 13 in-depth interviews, grounded in participant observation, the project examined how Aboriginal participation was motivated, enabled and limited from the perspectives of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal collaborators. The study revealed practices of Aboriginal participation at PAW Media that were highly valued by participants; nonetheless, limits to participation were noted and two conflicting views regarding improved practice expressed. Non-Aboriginal facilitators supported a transition towards greater Aboriginal autonomy over production, involving a handover of tasks and responsibility to their local Aboriginal counterparts; however, most Aboriginal media producers indicated that their participation was currently better served within a refined version of the existing co-creative structure.


Aboriginal producers, co-creative, cross-cultural, Indigenous media, participation, production, remote, teams, Warlpiri, Yuendumu

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