January 26 To Mark Launch Of National Broadcast Of ‘The Original 100: Always Was, Always Will Be’


One of the nation’s largest Aboriginal community radio stations will unveil ‘The Original 100’ on January 26, a compilation of the most prominent songs of Indigenous people.

The Original 100 will be broadcast by the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association (BIMA), the home of Brisbane’s most popular country music station, 98.9fm. It will also be made available to more than 120 Aboriginal community stations across the nation, via the National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS)*.

This is the inaugural year of The Original 100. It’s timed to mark 26 January, and in response to the recent decision by ABC Radio’s Triple J to move it’s ‘Hottest 100’ to January 27 following feedback from their audience.

CEO of BIMA, Kaava Watson acknowledged Triple J for the decision.

“We recognise that Triple J’s Hottest 100 grew into an institution in its own right. An event that connected people through music.” Mr Watson said. “Both Triple J and their listenership should be commended for such a significant display of maturity.”

“It’s important that our people have a space to connect through music also. Essentially what we hope to do is provide an event that connects people through our music. Our music in particular tells the stories and experiences of generations of our people, not only of the last 229 years but the 60,000 before that.

“January 26th is a day of mixed emotions for many of us. We pause to remember all those who have gone before us, and the struggles we still face today. It’s a day we remember the tragedies, but it’s also a day we reflect on the triumphs.”

“From ‘Took The Children Away’ to ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’, ‘Treaty’ and ‘Bapa’ – these songs are our tragedies, triumphs, aspirations and expressions of our living connection to our families and country. All of these songs combined tell the diverse story of the original people of this land.”

This year, staff and crew at 98.9fm and at NIRS have chosen the Top 100, but The Original 100 will be open to public voting in 2019.

“We’re going to put it to a vote next year, but we want to set the tone first. We want to explain why this is important to us. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the stories of our people through music and share it with anyone willing to listen.”

The Original 100 will begin broadcasting on 98.9fm at 9am on January 26, 2018 and finish at 6pm AEST. It will also be broadcast for most of the day on the National Indigenous Radio Service. Listeners can also stream the service live via the internet through apps like RadiON or TuneIn Radio.

* New Matilda owner Chris Graham also moonlights as the Acting General Manager of the National Indigenous Radio Service, and has a close working relationship with the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.