Founding Members: Cathy Craigie, Matthew Cook (deceased), Tim Bishop
Gadigal Information Service
Gadigal Information Service was established and became an incorporated Aboriginal association in 1993 to provide a community based media, arts and information service for the Indigenous community in Sydney.
Named after the traditional owners of the inner-Sydney area, Gadigal Information Service (GIS) grew out of a need for an Indigenous controlled and operated media organisation in the city with the largest Indigenous population in Australia. For many years the mainstream media has portrayed Indigenous Australians with negative stereotypes. GIS is a means to amend this.
To this end, GIS's main aim has been to establish Koori Radio - Sydney's Indigenous community station. After six years of trying GIS was given a full-time broadcasting licence for Koori Radio in May, 2001. The station is now on air on 93.7FM on a 50kW transmitter.
For many years Koori people were concerned about ensuring that we had equal access to services that most non-indigenous people took for granted. Since the 1970s our communities have been developing service delivery organisations such as medical, legal and educational organisations.
More recently we have seen a resurgence of our cultural heritage and a number of artist's groups have been established. The process of reconciliation has enabled us to access areas that previously we could not.
Media is one such area.
During the early 1980s Radio Redfern was established to give Kooris in Sydney a voice. The impact of this service, broadcasting only 30 hours per week, was incredible.
During Australia's Bicentennial in 1988, Radio Redfern played a pivotal role in informing and educating the public about Indigenous responses to this celebration. This inspired the founders of GIS to set up Koori Radio and provide Sydney's Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community with a permanent voice.
Koori Radio was also part of a National Indigenous broadcast during the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
GIS and Koori Radio are located in a brand new purpose built premise at Level 3, 27 Cope Street Redfern 2016 (the site of the old Black Theatre).
The original logo for Gadigal Information Service was designed and drawn by hand in 1993 by Matthew Cook, a founding member of the organisation. Matthew was from the Bundjalung nation and Dunghutti on his mother’s side.
Overlaying the Sydney city skyline with Centrepoint Tower as the symbol of modern communications, the pair of clap sticks are the artist’s symbol and reminder of the sound of Aboriginal people, the first people of this city who had maintained a vibrant cultural life in this region for tens of thousands of years before English settlement.
Matthew makes the statement in his logo that with the establishment of Aboriginal controlled media organisations such as Gadigal Information Service, Aboriginal people are taking up the recovery and continuance of their culture and practices that were all but destroyed by the forces of European invasion that landed with heaviest impact right here on the East coast of Australia only 200 years ago.
Matthew (Mark) Cook passed away in 1995 at the age of 33.
He is remembered well.