PAKAM radio provides a full-time vital service to people in 18 remote communities. This service informs, educates and entertains listeners across the top half of Western Australia in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions. Radio programs are contributed by 12 remote community stations, 8 major town stations including the Gumala Network and 6 other remote Pilbara communities. These programs can also be “picked up” and retransmitted by other remote community indigenous networks and the National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS). PAKAM radio programs can also be heard via the PAKAM website and Indigitube. In many communities, PAKAM is the only broadcasting service, therefore, it is essential in places that are isolated for several months of the year due to extreme weather conditions. The radio service provides emergency information and cyclone warnings in relation to this.
PAKAM supports 12 Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS) to operate their own community licenses and provide funding, technical support, training, production support and licensing. In 2014, PAKAM employs 14 remote community workers. These employees provide regular scheduled programs of up to 5hours per week to the PAKAM Network. Broadcasters in these areas are known, overall, as Community Media Workers and reside in Aardyaloon (One Arm Point Community), Balgo, Beagle Bay, Djarindjin, Looma, Warmun and Yungngora (please see our communities page for more info on these areas).
Most of the remote community programs are largely music based with a heavy weighting to local and Indigenous artists and songs in traditional languages. Programs also include community announcements, local news, interviews and any topics that relate specifically to their region. PAKAM cater for all ages in their programming, however the remote communities have a high proportion of young people, making them the largest audience. Programs include the 6DBY Request Show on Monday and Tuesday at 5-7pm, Country Affairs with Sandy Dann at 10am Mon-Fri, Beagle Bay Hour with Henry Augustine at 3-4pm Mon-Fri and Noongar Prison Request Show Show at 5-8 pm Sunday.. These are only a few of the shows that are programmed through the PAKAM network, but they show the diversity of programming that it enables. The 6DBY Request Show is a regional program that allows listeners the opportunity to play a song with a message for someone. The Prison Request Show enables families to connect from as far as Perth to the Kimberley with messages and. All of these programs are unique to the PAKAM Network. Country Affairs is a current affairs program that is broadcast nationally. It features local and national Indigenous news and interviews.
The PAKAM Radio Network provides a VAST satellite-delivered regional service (Channel 917) from the network hub in Broome, switching program feeds brought by phone line and digital CODEC from 18 member stations and send them to the Optus C1 satellite uplink at Imparja Television in Alice Springs.