Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Mary G still ‘off the air’ in Broome

by Geoff Vivian

Mary G

Mary G

A petition is circulating in Broome to have Mary G put back on the air.

Mary G is heard on more than 100 Indigenous radio stations across Australia – but not in her home town Broome.

Arguably the best known Indigenous broadcaster in Australia, the character Mary G has not been aired on Goolarri radio since Christmas.

“I have not stopped broadcasting the show, the show has been stopped coming into Broome,” said the character’s creator Mark Bin Bakar.

He said Goolarri gave him no explanation as to why his regular Wednesday night radio program is no longer broadcast in his home town.

Mark Bin Bakar

Mark Bin Bakar

“Not one iota of a feedback,” he said.

Mr Bin Bakar said Goolarri took him off the air several times since he quit working for them and began broadcasting from the front room of his house in 2003.

He created the character when he had a local Aboriginal music program with Goolarri radio in 1993, and continues to perform as Mary G on the radio and at live concerts.

The humourous treatment of serious issues like domestic violence, sexual health and reconciliation has made Mary G’s messages popular with many Aboriginal people, particularly in remote areas and northern Australia.

She has become a personality in her own right, with several SBS television series to her credit.

Mary G is often used in paid government announcements supporting programs with Indigenous people.

She appears on the government website for the department that registers Aboriginal corporations, which you can view here.

The Mary G Show is available to all Indigenous radio stations free of charge.

They are able to re-broadcast the program by tapping into a satelite channel provided by the National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS).

In 2007 Mr Bin Bakar was recognised as both NAIDOC Aboriginal Person of the Year and Australian of the Year for Western Australia.

Goolarri radio station manager Robert Lee has not returned our calls this afternoon.

For details of the petition contact Buddy Morrison on 0488 023 039.


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