CAAMA: No news is good news?




“I am sorry, that extension cannot be reached at this time.”


That’s what we got every time lately when we rang four CAAMA landline numbers in our directory, including the main one.


We were trying find out what “Australia’s largest Aboriginal media organisation” (according to its website) – founded in 1980, sustained by taxpayers’ money ever since, and recently ordered to show cause why it should not be put into administration – was up to.


We asked the only person we were able to reach, in the CAAMA newsroom,  to pass a message to Karl Hampton who is reported to have resigned from his position as CEO.


We had emailed Mr Hampton on February 5 for comment.


We left a text message on the mobile number of a board member yesterday.




Meanwhile it has been made clear the taxpayer may well continue supporting CAAMA even if it has to be put into administration. It has received $1.29m from the National Indigenous Australians Agency so far this financial year.

CAAMA is displaying a lack of transparency that surely it would roundly condemn as a news medium.


  1. Look after CAAMA Radio.It is vital to the community. It has ownership, it has identity, it has history, but sadly those people who have been in charge have driven the show down the wrong road.
    From the chairman to the board to the CEO. If you want anything to break in Alice springs, let Mr Businessman and his cohort of professional blackfellas be in charge!

  2. @ Fed up: They also are involved with the Pioneer Footy Club (certain current CAAMA board members). A club with a proud history. You wouldn’t know it by looking at it from the road. A dive, sadly.

  3. It’s true, I tried all last year to contact CAAMA and I began to think Mr Hampton was a secret agent with the capacity to become invisible.
    “This extension is not available.”
    The poor staff had no idea when I called in and left many messages for Mr Hampton.
    I advised a Sydney contact and he did not believe me, so he called for weeks.
    Then he believed me but also has no hair left! Was it his complaint that prompted things?

  4. Centrecorp, Pioneer football club, IAD, CAAMA, Imparja – whatever they touch it ends up stuffed.

  5. The current chairperson is flying all over the country as a board member on First Nations Media Australia (Alice Springs) and visiting other interstate Aboriginal radio stations and telling them how great CAAMA is and how its the leader in the Aboriginal media field.
    She ruins everything that she touches.
    And Karl Hampton, apart from kicking out skilled staff because of their skin colour, he did nothing while he was at CAAMA, literally nothing, just like he did nothing as a useless failed politician. CAAMA, the taxpayer funded organisation.
    Why has the government allowed Karl Hampton and the board to sit around and do nothing while the walls fall down around them?
    Why haven’t they moved sooner?
    If it is to be saved, the current board needs to go, and be banned from sitting on other boards. It’s as simple as that.

  6. Lack of transparency seems to be the norm in these situations. Because if the public found out details they would be enraged. No other reason for withholding information.

  7. @ Nimble Nutter: You are dead right. How is it that a chairperson, unskilled in the area of media, a former CEO of the organisation who nearly destroyed the place whilst in that position, on top of that who also was the former manager of the failed CAAMA Shops, no management experience nor qualifications in those chosen areas.
    I am of the believe that if a forensic accountant was to have total access to CAAMA’s account system there would be certain nervous current board members getting around town.
    I guess that is why they can’t let go, even if it means total destruction of the organisation.
    Hang your heads low, CAAMA Board.
    PS: Nimble Nutter, everything they touch or involve themselves becomes either broke or battered.

  8. News Flash CAAMA: No longer major shareholder of Imparja TV. Needed money to pay wages (quick easy financial bandaid). It’s already spent. Imparja not silly – who would want to be married to CAAMA in its financial mess?
    CAAMA stupid for selling them. Mr Hampton’s last day today as wanna-be CEO. Hopefully the board will follow.

  9. @ Foxtrot: The Pioneer Footy Club were the recipient of a circa $900k grant some three years ago for the purposes of redeveloping their ailing club rooms. Not sure what has become of this?

  10. @ Foxtrot1: Woohoo! A great day when Karl Hampton leaves the CEO role.
    The place is a physical, financial, operational and cultural mess, and is far worse now than it was just a couple of years ago.
    He just sat behind his big desk thinking that he had made it to the top and did NOTHING as the CEO.
    The one thing that he did do was watch everything around him collapse.
    He should go back to Yuendumu – they would probably not want him back there either.
    And shame on the CAAMA board. They may look to blame others, but they only have themselves to blame. Very sad indeed.

  11. @ Hey Buddy @ Nimble Nutter: This only gets better. Half the Pioneer Football Club is turned into a warehouse.
    Wait for it, Yeperenye Shopping Centre pays for that space, a little spy told me.
    They use it for storage.
    So much for upgrading the club. One would have to ask the question, wouldn’t someone check to ensure the club has spent the moneys accordingly, including who was responsible on signing off on the funding etc? 900k for a warehouse and a flogged our paint job. This is giving me more grey hairs.
    [ED – The Alice Springs News is seeking comment from the Yeperenye Centre.]

  12. Just to add: I was told today [about a] coup involving an ATSIC (now defunct) staff member which saw the founders of CAAMA removed from their positions.
    It was stated the staff were tricked into signing a no confidence in management and so forth. This was back in the early nineties.
    Later CAAMA relocated from the Little Sisters, the old nuns’ building, into town.
    The rest is bad history.
    The founding members would be horrified at where CAAMA sits today, turning 40 years old, broke and battered.
    Poor broadcasting, overseen by very narcissistic unqualified individuals pretending to be running a media association which they say is the leading one in Australia. This is how delusional they are.
    They won’t escape from Karma. What goes around comes around.


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