MEDIA RELEASE – Alice Springs, 11 April 2013

 CAAMA MUSIC Launches Training of Indigenous ‘Music Industry Rangers’

Alice Springs-based indigenous record label, CAAMA MUSIC, has launched a long-running Regional Music Development Program (RMDP) to train sixteen specially selected ‘Music Industry Rangers’ (MIRs) from Central Australia over the next three years. The aim is to foster the recording and preservation of indigenous languages through song, as well as to develop real pathways to employment into the music industry for the Music Industry Rangers.

Russell O’Keefe from Tennant Creek

CAAMA MUSIC’s Regional Music Development Program launches this week in Hermannsburg/Ntaria, Central Australia, and brings together many different stakeholders – including FaHCSIA, FRRR, MacDonnell Shire and Charles Darwin University – into a strong and focused team with the shared goal of providing accredited music training and non-accredited industry training for selected indigenous arts workers living in remote communities. The length and depth of this program means that at the end of the training these Music Industry Rangers will be experienced sound engineers and mentors, able to train others in their own communities in the art of music recording, production and running gigs, or able to find work as experienced sound technicians.

CAAMA is Australia’s leading Aboriginal owned and controlled media organisation, and takes its duty to help preserve and maintain indigenous culture very seriously, through radio broadcasting, film production and music recording. “Now we want to take the next step and train up these rangers so that they’ll be able to continue this cultural work directly within their own communities,” says CAAMA MUSIC Manager, Micheal “Miko” Smith.

In remote communities there is a history of musical equipment breaking from overuse, and currently no one has the skills to repair and maintain this equipment. Often it is easily repairable, so we want to provide those necessary hands-on skills to the Music Industry Rangers.

“The length of this unique program and the depth of the training means that these Music Industry Rangers will leave the training with excellent skills to pass on to their communities in their own language, as well as very real job prospects”, according to Miko Smith.

Hermannsburg, 131km south-west of Alice Springs, is the site of the first month of training for the Music Industry Rangers and is running from 8 April – 3 May, with training being led by qualified sound producer Mark McCormack, who was hired by CAAMA MUSIC specifically to lead this three-year music program.

In conjunction with CAAMA’s training of the Music Industry Rangers this month in Hermannsburg, Charles Darwin University is offering a free Cert II music course to the wider community. Places are still available – for bookings or enquiries contact the Ntaria council office on (08) 8956 7838.


Sixteen Music Industry Rangers (MIRs) have been selected from remote indigenous communities around Central Australia. During this first year of the three year program the MIRs will:

  • Spend 4 weeks per year studying towards their Certificate II Music at Charles Darwin University in Alice Springs

    Learning to fix an electric guitar
    Learning to fix an electric guitar
  • Spend at least 8 weeks per year in four communities learning sound recording & production
  • Record a music album from each community

By the end of the three years each MIR will be an experienced sound engineer and mentor, able to pass on their skills to his or her own community.

The Music Industry Rangers are from:

MacDonnell Shire NT (Santa Teresa, Tjitjikarla, Ammonguna, Areyoga, Haasts Bluff, Kintore, Papunya, Hermannsburg, Alice Springs)

Tennant Creek NT and surrounds

Central Desert Shire NT (Engalawa and Yuendumu)

Western Desert Region of WA (Irrunytju)


Micheal ‘Miko’ Smith, Mark McCormack and the Music Industry Rangers themselves are available for interview


For interview requests or more information please contact

Nicola Pitt

Marketing and Promotions – CAAMA Music / 0434 589 391 / (08) 8951 9708

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