National Indigenous Radio Service

The National Indigenous Radio Service is one of Australia’s largest and longest running media outlets. Based in West End in Brisbane, it was founded in 1997 by the legendary First Nations broadcaster Tiga Bayles, and his cousin Ross Watson.

Prior to NIRS, small Indigenous radio stations around the country had to produce their own news bulletins – there was no national Aboriginal voice. NIRS arrived on the scene and suddenly gave First Nations communities and broadcasters a way to reach the masses by both producing news for them, and syndicating their existing shows across a vast and growing network.

NIRS has always punched well above its weight. It provides at least 15 news bulletins a day, and beams into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities all over the country, courtesy of a satellite service.

Its radio footprint is as large as ABC National’s, but its annual budget is probably what the toffs at Aunty spend on a long Friday lunch.

Definitely an organisation worth supporting if you want to help ensure First Nations people tell First Nations stories. And by way of declaration, New Matilda editor Chris Graham is a former General Manager of NIRS, serving in the role from 2016 to 2019.