4 May 2010

Students from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory have made history participating in a broadcast technical training workshop at The University of Queensland’s School of Journalism and Communication.

12 students from around Australia who are studying a certificate at BIITE made the trek to the St Lucia campus and have been in Brisbane for a week visiting Queensland media workplaces.

The Indigenous Voice partnership between UQ SJC and the Batchelor Institute will accommodate networking connections for the Indigenous students in the field of journalism and communication.

The project is jointly headed by Lecturer, UQ School of Journalism and Communication, Heather Stewart and Michael Williams, Director, UQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit.

The University of Queensland has this week played host to media students of the Batchelor Institute to further the connection between the two educational institutions.

The project saw the group of students tour Brisbane for a week and to discuss the issues relating to Indigenous media students and Indigenous people in the Media industry.

The group is accompanied by Lynda McCaffery, Head of Media at the Batchelor Institute.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity that the Indigenous Voice project at UQ has offered us to bring Indigenous students to the School of Journalism and Communication,” she said.

The project will investigate the pathways for the Batchelor Institute students into university and into the media industry.

“We hope to find out if there are clear pathways for our students to access higher educational courses like UQ’s after they complete VET Certificates or diplomas,” she said.

“The Indigenous Voice project that UQ has established is an excellent way to both help educate non-Indigenous Journalism students about Aboriginal and Islander cultures, but also to explore ways to open the education system to Indigenous people.”

The students were enjoying the educational insight provided by UQ as well as the positive experience of the tour.

Norman Morris, a student from the Bachelor Institute, completing Certificate 4 in Radio Broadcasting said he is benefiting from the trip.

“We have been to some pretty interesting place in the past few days,” he said.

“I think it’s pretty important to make these kinds of connections with people from different universities and areas of educational department.”

Another student Ben Henderson said he got into radio and media because other members of his family worked in the field. “They have invested great interest into the importance of Indigenous contribution in the industry,” he said.

“This is the second time I have been here at UQ at the Indigenous Voice unit and I think Indigenous Voice is great for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”

Representatives from the ABC and the SBS as well as presenters working in the media field that focuses on spreading the Indigenous voice addressed the students.

The State ABC Director, Mike McGowan discussed the station’s employment and education initiatives for Indigenous students and the changes in these initiatives.

SBS Executive Producer – Aboriginal Program Audio and Language Content, Michelle Lovegrove discussed the opportunities of freelance journalism, internships and the station’s cross cultural training for employees.

The group concluded their trip by attending the World Freedom of Press Day Global Conference and by participating in the Indigenous Forum, hosted by UQ.

The Batchelor institute is located south of Darwin in the Northern Territory taking students from areas all over Australia.

The Institute offers VET Certificates and Diplomas by an intensive fortnight program which gives the skills and knowledge to enter the workforce.

Contact: Heather Stewart 0418 830 938 www.indigenousvoice.com.au
SBS Michelle Lovegrove: 0405 318 444
BIITE Lynda McCaffery 0417 350 129