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Imagine riding in a feeble dinghy through rough seas in the Dampier Peninsula with a policeman that has just arrested you. Imagine your feeble dinghy gets sucked into a whirlpool and while the constable drowns you are spared, once again a free albeit wet man. 

 It’s an unlikely tale but it is one that’s true and it happened to Bardi man, John Boxer in 1923. After becoming somewhat of a family legend, John’s grandson Keifer Dann who is a radio broadcaster at PAKAM (Pilbara and Kimberley Aboriginal Media) has turned the tale into a visual resource. Using‘clay-mation’ and the original recording of his grandfather telling the story in 1970, this 94 year old story is given a breath of fresh air. 

‘Whirlpool’ on ICTV PLAY is both the animation and a behind the scenes look into the production of the video made in Broome at the PAKAM  main office. 

Providing support for radio and video throughout the Pilbara and Kimberly regions, PAKAM is well versed in creating community stories.  The very idea of creating ‘community stories’ is exactly what inspires PAKAM manager, Neil Turner and the rest of his team to keep producing and contributing content to ICTV.  “Without ICTV, there would be no way to get our media back to our local audiences,” he said  “It’s great to be able to continue a platform where we can get our community productions back to the community.” 

The video isn’t just great for local audiences in the Kimberly and Pilbara, as it has also become a favourite in the ICTV office. John Hodgson, who works in the ICTV programming department,  said that even after countless views he still finds it “funny and entertaining.” 

“It has an interesting story about what happened back in the old days to Aboriginal people,” he said. “It was also good to see how it was made and all the behind the scenes footage.” 

The ongoing relationship between PAKAM and ICTV is evident through the 124 videos that have been contributed since 2014. The support hasn’t gone unnoticed. For the last two years, PAKAM has won the ICTV Contributor of the Year Award.  “We are so proud,” Neil said of their awards.  “The trophies are on my book case and we look at them daily” 

The winning streak may fall shy of a trifecta as this year. Other contributors such as the Central Land Council and First Languages Australia appear to be giving PAKAM a run for their money.  Though PAKAM are certainly not in it for the glory and see a far bigger picture of cultural preservation when producing and contributing content. “It’s great that ICTV is getting more and more diverse content from across the country,” Neil said.  “When you record on video you can record song, dance, body paint and narration all on one format,” he said.  “It really is the most appropriate way to preserve culture.” 

Click here to watch 'Whirlpool on' ICTV PLAY.