In 2007, with barely two hours a week of dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programming being broadcast across the nation, the time was right for an innovative Indigenous run organisation to seize the initiative to properly represent the many voices of the country's first Australians, and so on July 13 of that year, with a staff of just 25, NITV started beaming out across the bush. By the end of that year we were being broadcast on Foxtel, Austar and Optus.
This milestone was the culmination of 25 years of campaigning by Indigenous Australians for the right to have our unique languages and culture reflected within the media landscape.
During that time, the participation in the industry of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders had increased exponentially, and coincided with the tireless work begun by organisations such as Community Television, Walpiri Media, Ernabella Video and Television, and CAAMA - who all helped pave the way for NITV.
Back in 2005, after an initial summit in Redfern, and following the concerted efforts of Indigenous media professionals around the country, the Federal Government supported the development of NITV with funding of $48.5 million until 2009. A CEO was appointed in 2006 and in July 2007, from an office in Alice Springs, a long-fought for milestone in modern Indigenous history was finally reached.
One of NITV’s first commissions was The Marngrook Footy Show, and was swiftly followed by The Barefoot Rugby League Show – both massively popular cornerstones of NITVs schedule. In 2012 NITV launched Barefoot Sports covering the diversity of Indigenous sports and sportspeople across the nation, to great success, with a Deadly Award nomination in it's first ever series.
Our news reports, which reflect Indigenous concerns and interests have grown from an initial five minute update to a daily 15 minute bulletin 2008. Since then its popularity has grown and in 2011 the bulletins extended to a live 30-minute 5-days a week broadcast with news reader Natalie Ahmat and we extended our sports coverage to go 7-days-a-week.
Now, as the dedicated Indigenous channel for SBS, NITV is fulfilling its long held objective of beaming free-to-air across Australia and being available to more people than ever before in its history.
Address: 14 Herbert Street, Artarmon NSW 2064
Phone: 1800 500 727 (toll free)