ABC operations

ABC Innovation Lab Presents Futurecast 2024

The ABC’s Futurecast conference will return in August, bringing together innovators from the media, creative and tech industries.

Presented by the ABC Innovation Lab, the free public conference is an opportunity to examine where trends will take Australian media in the years to come. Featured guests will explore themes such as how technology is changing storytelling, the dynamic between media and tech companies and how we connect with audiences in the future.

Futurecast is live from ABC Ultimo on August 7 and will be hosted by ABC National Technology Reporter, Ange Lavoipierre.

Head Digital Content and Innovation Angela Stengel said: “We’re bringing back the Futurecast digital conference for another year after starting great conversations with the industry in 2023. There’s no question that the rapid transformation of our industry continues, challenging existing business models, creating new audience behaviours, and opening new opportunities for creatives and storytellers.”

Futurecast will feature an interview with ABC Chair Kim Williams AM about the future direction of the national broadcaster while the opening address will be delivered by ABC Chief Content Officer Chris Oliver-Taylor.

Oliver-Taylor said: “Changes in the technology environment will continue to reshape audience trends and competition across platforms and media providers. This dynamic environment offers exciting creative possibilities in the way we tell Australian stories and connect with our audiences but is not without its risks. The ABC will continue to adapt, evolve, and play its fundamental role as a source of trustworthy world-class content.”

The ABC’s Futurecast will be streamed online for free on August 7.

Find more details and register here: futurecast.eventbrite.com.au

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ABC extends partnership with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

The ABC is delighted to announce its screen partnership with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will be extended through to 2026.

The new agreement comes on the eve of the Classic 100 Live in Concert broadcast tomorrow night where Australia’s favourite classical music event comes to life in a special performance by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Northey, celebrating the songs that make you feel good.

Hosted by Jeremy Fernandez and Megan Burslem, the concert will feature highlights from this year’s Classic 100 countdown showcasing some of the most uplifting classics mixed in with a few surprises. The concert airs on ABC TV at 7.30pm, ABC iview and is simulcast on ABC Classic.

ABC Head Arts, Music and Events Kath Earle said: “ABC Arts strives to bring the very best arts content to all Australians. We have ambitious plans and continuing this partnership with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra gives us the opportunity to broadcast the best orchestral music to our audiences across all ABC Platforms.”

MSO Managing Director Sophie Galaise welcomed the ongoing partnership with ABC Classic. “The MSO and the ABC have a long history and we are delighted to set a new vision for the future through this partnership. Together, we will amplify the talent of our incredible musicians and artists to audiences across the nation and around the world, celebrating the very best of Australian creativity.”

ABC Classic will continue its long-standing partnership with this orchestra, bringing some of the county’s finest performances to the ears of listeners here and around the world on ABC listen.

Every year for more than two decades, ABC Classic has asked music lovers to nominate their favourite pieces on a particular theme, counting down the results across a weekend in June.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor – famous for its finale ‘Ode To Joy’ – topped the ABC Classic 100 countdown for a fourth time this year, where the theme is ‘Feel Good’ – the uplifting tunes that make you smile.

Dates for next year’s Classic 100 Live in Concert will be announced as part of the MSO’s 2025 Season on July 17.

ABC announces the TOP 5 researchers for 2024

The ABC has discovered this year’s next generation of Australian inspiring researchers to take part in the ABC TOP 5 media residency program.

It’s one of our key priorities that the ABC further develops its relationships with the higher education and cultural sectors, says ABC Chair Kim Williams. “We are living through a time when informed debate is being undermined and facts questioned, so the ABC has a major responsibility to be where all Australians can turn to. With the TOP 5, the ABC is working in conjunction with our leading educational and cultural institutions, to ensure it’s the place where new ideas can flourish, and that Australians can trust”.

ABC RN Manager, Dina Rosendorff, says the input of early career academics is crucial, but engaging with the media can be daunting. “The TOP 5 is a unique program where the ABC gets to work with a group of talented early career researchers and let the world know about their extraordinary work and ideas. It’s a natural fit for RN’s specialist programs and podcasts and a unique way to harness the work of these inspiring people.”

THE 2024 ABC TOP 5 WINNERS ARE:

SCIENCE

Dr Luisa Olmo: Focuses on improving the environmental sustainability of livestock agriculture. (NSW Department of Primary Industries)

Dr Emmalee Ford: Research focus is improving health outcomes through comprehensive education & increasing access to sexual health services. (Family Planning Australia & University of Newcastle)

Dr Alexandra Dvorscek: Investigates antibody production and immunological memory formation to improve vaccination outcomes. (Monash University)

Dr David Hamilton: Research focuses on quolls and Tasmanian devils, and how to facilitate effective conservation strategies. (University of Tasmania)

Dr Laura Driessen: Astronomer searching for radio stars using the SKA Pathfinder telescope. (University of Sydney)

HUMANITIES

Dr Marnie Cruikshank: Specialises in women’s economic identities & gender inequality. (Griffith University) Dr Farjana Mahbuba: Examines the intersection of religious narratives and migration, in spousal financial abuse among Bangladeshi migrant Muslim women in Australia. (Australian Catholic University)

Dr Meg Foster: Research examines the histories of bush ranging, crime, and colonialism, as well as their enduring impact today. (University of Technology, Sydney)

Dr Hugh Gundlach: Specialises in education, particularly in teacher retention and teachers’ work. (University of Melbourne)

Dr Sabina Andron: Research looks at urban visual culture to understand how we create and resist social orders through public signs, images, and graffiti. (University of Melbourne)

ARTS

Wanjiru Karanja: Explores how evidence-based design research can help create inclusive, equitable intergenerational settings. (Queensland University of Technology)

Dr Laura Case: Research examines the social and cultural history of music in Australia with a particular focus on the violin, cross-cultural interactions, feminist perspectives, & Indigenous histories. (University of Sydney) Dr Ella Jeffery: Research explores representations of housing crises and other experiences of unstable and insecure dwelling in twenty-first century literature and screen media. (Griffith University)

Troy Rainbow: PhD Candidate/composer and mixed-reality artist (University of New South Wales) Dr Lucy Benjamin: Researches the intersection of comfort and dignity in design and the built environment. (University of Melbourne)

The ABC TOP 5 is presented with the crucial support our project partners: Creative Australia, University of Melbourne, University of Sydney and Australian National University.

Dr Georgie McClean is the Executive Director Development & Strategic Partnerships at Creative Australia, which supports the ABC TOP 5 Arts. “We’re thrilled to again partner in this excellent initiative which empowers research and creative practitioners to amplify their impact through comprehensive media training, enabling them to effectively communicate their ideas to broad and diverse audiences. We look forward to hearing more from these exciting thinkers”

Also essential for the ABC TOP 5 Arts is the support of the University of Melbourne. Professor Marie Sierra is the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. “Congratulations to this year’s TOP 5 cohort who represent the diversity and talent of Australia’s artist-researchers. The Residency is a terrific way for practitioners to hone their skills in communicating the value and impact of the creative arts research to a broad audience and we look forward to them sharing their discoveries with new audiences in innovative ways.”

Professor Emma Johnston is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research at the University of Sydney, which supports the TOP 5 Humanities. "Now, more than ever, we need our experts and media to work together to share important research and use their knowledge to hold misinformation to account and provide an evidence-based

perspective. The TOP 5 partnership is vital in helping our early career researchers understand the media landscape and how best to inform the community of their groundbreaking work and expertise."

The ANU supports the ABC TOP 5 Science, and Professor Kiaran Kirk, is the Dean of the ANU College of Science.

“The ABC TOP 5 recognises some of the best early-career science communicators in the country and provides them with a marvellous opportunity to explain the critical importance of scientific research in addressing the many challenges facing the world today.”

For more information about the TOP 5 and the details on this year’s winners head to: abc.net.au/top5

Updated

Indigenous content to be showcased across the ABC for NAIDOC week

The ABC is celebrating NAIDOC week with an extensive collection of special content across all platforms headlined by the LIVE broadcast of the 2024 NAIDOC Awards from Tarndanya (Adelaide) from 7.30pm (AEST) on Saturday.

NAIDOC Week 2024 will be held across the country from July 7-14, with the theme this year of Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud.

Led by ABC Indigenous, the ABC will showcase Indigenous storytelling across its screen, audio and digital platforms, including the launch of series four of Big J & Little Cuz. Featuring the voices of Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell and Mark Coles Smith, season four also mark’s the show’s 50th episode.

Head ABC Indigenous Kelrick Martin said the ABC is continuing its tradition of celebrating NAIDOC with high-quality content offerings across the entire ABC.

“The ABC is proud to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2024, with a variety of compelling, entertaining content for all Australians. During NAIDOC Week, and every week throughout the year, we recognise and uplift First Nations stories from around the country, and champion our incredibly talented Indigenous content creators and presenters,” he said.

As the Official Broadcast and Education Partner for NAIDOC week, the ABC will telecast the NAIDOC Awards on Saturday night hosted by Total Control star Rob Collins, 10 News First presenter Narelda Jacobs, and comedian Steph Tisdell. MTV and ARIA award-winning musician Jess Mauboy will headline the night’s entertainment and the ceremony will be streamed on ABC iview and simulcast on NITV.

ABC iview will feature a NAIDOC Week collection featuring Indigenous programs curated for audiences, including the NAIDOC Awards, BlakBall, Black comedy, Preppers, looking Black and First Weapons.

The ABC TV premiere of The Last Daughter follows the NAIDOC Awards. The acclaimed documentary tells the story of one woman’s mission to unearth the truth about her past and to reconcile the two sides of her family.

There will also be a live simulcast of the NAIDOC Awards on Saturday night on ABC local radio introduced by Christine Anu.

Conversations with Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski on Radio National features a week of first nations interviews and storytelling from July 8, with guests including Ken Wyatt, Tony Armstrong and John Paterson. On Saturday, Awaye! is celebrating the extraordinary life and work of Aunty Dulcie Flower while Double J has a special Take 5 with Zan Rowe on Sunday July 12th featuring First Nations hip hop artist DOBBY.

The ABC Indigenous Youtube playlist will feature all our latest social updates and stories this NAIDOC Week.

Content highlights across the ABC this NAIDOC Week

Broadcast
Rage: Join First Nations hip-hop supergroup 3% as they play their favourite music videos this NAIDOC Week on rage on Saturday from 10:30am and midnight on ABC TV.

The Last Daughter: Premiering on ABC TV on Saturday after the NAIDOC Awards, The Last Daughter is a documentary about Brenda’s journey to unearth the truth about her past, and to reconcile the two sides of her family. Brenda’s first memories were of growing up in a loving white foster family, before she was suddenly taken away and returned to her Aboriginal family. Decades later, she feels disconnected from both halves of her life.

Big J & Little Cuz Season 4 - ABC Kids: Launching on Monday on ABC Kids, ABC iview and NITV, Big J and Little Cuz draws on stories from First Nations writers all over Australia and features the voices of Deborah Mailman (Big Cuz), Miranda Tapsell (Little J) , Aaron Fa’Aoso (Old Dog), Ursula Yovich (Nanna and Levi), Shari Sebbens (Sissy & B Boy), Mark Coles Smith (Uncle Mick), Renee Lim (Ms Chen), Miah Madden (Monti), Shakira Clanton (Mirra & Kirra), Katie Beckett (George & Jacko) and Kylie Bracknell (Ally). This season marks 50 episodes of Little J & Big Cuz.

ABC iview Collection: Popular Indigenous programs curated for audiences including the 2024 NAIDOC Awards, BlakBall, Black comedy, Preppers, looking Black and First Weapons.

Radio

Local radio: ‌‌On Saturday, the NAIDOC Awards introduced by Christine Anu will be simulcast live on digital radio platforms from 7.30pm AEST.

triple j: Proud Yuin & Thunghutti man, Nooky has two Blak Out specials, the first alongside guest co-host Zipporah on Sunday from 5pm - 7pm.

Unearthed: triple j Unearthed has 24-hours of First Nations music on Sunday and the following week on Saturday 13 July. Listen to triple j Unearthed on DAB+, stream online or via the triple j app.

Double J: Artist in Residence has a First Nations special featuring Radical Son, Andrew Gurruwiwi and more on Sunday while on July 12thTake 5 with Zan Rowe features DOBBY.

RN: Conversations with Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski features a week of first nations interviews and storytelling from Monday, with guests including Ken Wyatt, Tony Armstrong and John Paterson.

Country

Saturday Night Country will be hosted by proud Wonnarua woman and country music heroine Kirsty Lee Akers. Akers is one of Australia’s most unique and authentic recording artists and a rare talent who is proud of her First Nations heritage. In the spirit of the 2024 NAIDOC Week theme, Kirsty will Keep The Fire Burning by selecting some of her favourite songs and stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders, including Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter, Roger Knox, Kevin Bennett and The Flood. Plus emerging voices such as Loren Ryan, Mikhail Laxton, Nathan May and Madi Colville-Walker, as well as contemporary stars such as Troy Cassar-Daley and Emma Donovan.

You can listen to Saturday Night Country with Kristy Lee Akers, on ABC Country and ABC Radio across Australia, as well as the ABC listen app.

Capital city AEST broadcast times:

  • 9pm on ABC Radio, ABC Radio Sydney, ABC Brisbane, ABC Radio Melbourne, ABC Radio Canberra and ABC Country
  • 8:30pm on ABC Adelaide and ABC Darwin
  • 7pm on ABC Perth

ABC Classic: ABC Classic features Dan Sultan and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on July 12th from 7:30pm live from Hamer Hall.

Awaye: On Saturday, ABC RN Awaye! is celebrating the extraordinary life and work of Aunty Dulcie Flower AM ahead of the National NAIDOC Awards. Plus, Mununjali writer Ellen van Neervan, discusses their debut work: ‘Swim’.

Kids listen: On Monday join Rudi to listen to stories from the Dreaming on Little Yarns.

Digital

Ken Wyatt: Australia’s first Indigenous frontbencher in Federal Parliament, Ken Wyatt grew up in a family subjected to dispossession, racism and discrimination. To mark the start of NAIDOC Week, Ken tells ABC Conversations about his early years, the teacher who made a difference, and his most proud moments in politics.

Remember Destiny Deacon: Trailblazing Indigenous artist Destiny Deacon died in May this year. We bring together the many interviews she’s done with the ABC over the years to offer a tribute to this influential woman.

Jimmy Little’s Messenger: More than 40 years into his career, Australian music legend Jimmy Little proved his skill for interpreting songs and stories was as rich as ever on his album Messenger.

Travelling to the Torres Strait to see Waru: An account from Rudi Brenner, about when she watched a special community performance of the show Waru, the journey of the small turtle, by Bangarra Dance Theatre. The show is touring through Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

Songs that light the fire inside DOBBY: DOBBY discussed his new album and five tracks from First Nations artists that light a fire inside of him.

ABC News multi-platform

On Friday, ABC News will have a cross-platform NAIDOC Week preview that explores the question: What does it mean to be ‘blak, loud and proud?’ That’s the theme of this year’s NAIDOC week, the first major national celebration of First Nations’ culture and excellence since last year’s referendum vote.

More

Additional news, and insights about NAIDOC Week and broader issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be available across the week on ABC News, ABC TV and ABC Radio, as part of the ABC’s ongoing commitment to telling and sharing Indigenous stories.

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Applications now open for the 2025 ABC Heywire Competition

“Share your voice and together let’s celebrate the unique stories of regional Australia!”

Wodonga teenager and Heywire alumni Solange is encouraging all young people from regional communities across Australia to participate in the 2025 ABC Heywire competition, which officially opens today.

Reflecting on her own experience as a Heywire winner and her participation in the Regional Youth Summit, Solange knows first-hand the incredible opportunity Heywire provides in sharing your story.

“Your story, my story, they all matter and could be an inspiration to someone, somewhere.”

Solange’s inspiring story of fleeing a war-torn country is one of resilience and overcoming challenges. Despite her family being separated across three continents, they have managed to stay connected to each other and their culture.

Now the ABC wants to add to that canon of work and unearth more stories from across regional Australia. The national broadcaster is calling on young people aged 16-22 to share their experiences of living outside the capital cities for the opportunity to have their stories featured on the ABC.

You can submit your entries in any format—writing, video, photos or audio—at abc.net.au/heywire/competition. Entries are open now and will close on September 1, 2024.

For more than 26 years, Heywire has empowered individuals from across regional Australia to speak up about the issues they care about.

For Kenneth, Heywire was a transformative experience both personally and for his community. Kenneth is from Burringurrah, a small, remote community in Western Australia. He cherishes its natural beauty and cultural heritage, but it faces significant challenges due to uranium-contaminated water.

Sharing his story has given him the confidence to advocate for a sustainable solution. Moreover, Heywire has given him the skills to step into a leadership role for other young people in his community.

“I didn’t realise the impact that sharing my story would have on my community. The other kids have been watching me, have seen what I have done, that I got my Year 12 certificate, have applied to the police cadets and am now working. They are now coming to school. They want to do the same.”

Kenneth continues, “My grandparents, my aunties and uncles are so proud that I have spoken about our little community. Their respect is everything.”

Solange and Kenneth are two of 35 winners from across Australia who worked with ABC producers to have their stories featured across ABC platforms including ABC TV, RN, local radio, triple j and iview.

Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health, Emma McBride wants young rural and regional Australians to get involved and enter the competition.

“Young people in rural and regional Australia have important stories to share, honest stories about what life is like for them in regional Australia,” Assistant Minister McBride said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to amplify the voices of the next generation of young Australians, to empower them to speak out about issues that are important them.”

ABC’s Managing Director David Anderson encouraged all young Australians living in regional communities to share their stories.

“Heywire continues to be a powerful platform for the ideas and stories of young regional Australians. The ABC is proud to provide the opportunity for these future leaders and storytellers to have their voices heard nationally.

“For 26 years, Heywire has provided unique pathways for young rural Australians to share their views and perspectives and has fostered the storytelling and leadership skills of this next generation. We can’t wait to see what new stories will be uncovered this year.”

Submit your entries through the Heywire website by September 1, 2024.

Heywire acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts; Department of Health and Aged Care; Department of Employment and Workplace Relations; the Office for Youth and AgriFutures Australia.

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ABC welcomes the launch of the Government’s Indo-Pacific Broadcasting Strategy

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Managing Director David Anderson has welcomed the launch of the Australian Government’s Indo-Pacific Broadcasting Strategy (IPBS) which calls out ABC International as a leading implementation partner.

Pre-empting the release of the strategy, the Federal Government provided an additional $32 million over four years in the October 2022 budget for ABC International to expand content production, transmission, and media assistance across the Indo-Pacific region. In the May 2023 budget, the Government announced a further $8.5 million over four years for regional transmission and distribution.

The ABC has invested this new funding to support the key pillars of the IPBS by boosting the availability of Australian content, deepening media connections and strengthening the resilience of media outlets in the region. The ABC’s work in this area continues to support mutual understanding of Australia and our region.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson welcomed the Government’s release of the much-anticipated strategy and said the ABC is “well-placed to deliver on its key pillars.”

“No other Australian media organisation has the regional knowledge, relationships, distribution networks and platforms, and the development expertise necessary to fully deliver the IPBS’ aims that are in the national interest,” Mr Anderson said.

ABC International Head Claire M. Gorman said: “The additional funding provided by the Federal Government under the IPBS is already being invested across the Indo-Pacific region by ABC International in a range of key areas including enhanced distribution networks, premium bespoke content for international audiences and high-impact media development programs.”

To date, the ABC has made significant progress on many deliverables outlined in the IPBS. Examples include;

ENHANCED DISTRIBUTION

  • Over the past year, ABC International has launched new ABC Radio Australia 24-hour FM services in six strategic locations including Palau, Nauru, Tuvalu, Pohnpei (Federated States of Micronesia), Kokopo (Papua New Guinea) and Gizo (Solomon Islands) and will deliver new services in a further six locations in the second half of 2024.
  • In October 2023, ABC International divided the previously single ABC Australia broadcast service into two separate schedules: one for the Pacific region and one for Asia, allowing the ABC to better serve audiences with content and time slots tailored to the respective regions.

BESPOKE CONTENT

  • In June 2023, ABC Radio Australia launched a new schedule, tripling its Pacific-focused content with bespoke programs including morning show Nesia Daily, sport show Nesian Footy, music shows In the Fale and On the Record, a special series of the popular podcast Days Like These and Stories from The Pacific, drawing audiences into the lives of Pacific Islanders who have seen and done amazing things.
  • In the past 12 months, ABC International has delivered extensive multi-platform coverage across ABC Australia, ABC Radio Australia, ABC Pacific and ABC Asia of major elections in India, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands, and coverage of regional events such as the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara and the 2024 Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture in Hawai’i.
  • Additionally, ABC Australia has broadcast two special election series this year – Indonesia Decides and India Votes 2024 – which were produced by ABC News’ Asia Pacific Newsroom for international audiences, delving into voter concerns and key political figures and providing insights beyond the headlines.
  • Also, this year, ABC Australia launched Kids Club, a brand-new lineup of kids’ programming specially curated for Pacific audiences, on its Pacific service.
  • In April 2023, ABC Australia launched a flagship pan-Pacific current affairs program, The Pacific, which covers the major news events in the region through the year and looks at the rich culture and history of the region. The program is supported by a network of experienced local journalists across the Pacific region.
  • Over the past 12 months, ABC Australia has delivered programming targeting Indo-Pacific audiences, including special editions of ABC favourites Gardening Australia, Foreign Correspondent, Compass, Backroads and Landline as well as documentaries The Cloud Under the Sea on undersea telecommunications cables, Price of Progress: Indonesia’s Nickel Rush, Running Dry on water scarcity in Asia, and the two-part series Project Wild.

MEDIA DEVELOPMENT

  • Over the past 12 months, ABC International Development (ABCID), has launched the Indonesia Media Development Program focusing on digital storytelling, safety and resilience.
  • ABCID has also launched the Timor-Leste Media Development Program to strengthen Timor-Leste’s media landscape. This program provides support to the media sector through technical and craft skills training. This support includes collaborating with the Timor-Leste Press Council and supporting the public broadcaster, Rádio e Televisão de Timor-Leste (RTTL), with the launch of a weekly English language news program.
  • ABCID has developed the Media Education for Development and Information Access (MEDIA) platform, an invite-only online learning resource which offers modules on journalism, capacity-building courses and resources to individuals and partners across the Indo-Pacific, to complement in-person training and mentoring.
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While it is great that the ABC is expanding it’s reach in the Pacific, it should be doing the same with the South East Asia area.

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