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Tanya Denning-Orman


Tanya Denning-Orman is a Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman from North Queensland. Under the Aboriginal Protection Act, her family was removed from their traditional lands and Tanya was raised on Kanalu country in Central Queensland. Tanya’s mother married a British immigrant which exposed Tanya to international experiences and perspectives.  Tanya credits her career to her upbringing which led her to passionately pursue storytelling to empower those without a voice.

Tanya commenced her career straight after graduating and has worked as a journalist and producer for ABC and SBS, bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories to a mainstream audience.  Her career highlights include receiving the National Drug and Alcohol Award for Excellence in Media Reporting for a series of reports on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

In 2007, Tanya was invited to be one of the first Commissioning Editors for the new narrowcaster National Indigenous Television Ltd (NITV).  Four years later, Tanya became NITV’s Channel Manager and led the organisation’s transition into the SBS network, and launch as a free-to-air channel. Tanya is one of the youngest television executives in Australia and one of a handful of Aboriginal women in a leadership role in media.

Her interview for Satellite Dreaming Revisited was interviewed via Skype & recorded at her home in Sydney, December 2020 .

'We’re in control of our narrative…' (interview with full transcript & links)

00:10 Impressions of ‘Satellite Dreaming’

"Satellite Dreaming was pretty much part of my university degree…"

03:57 Her background, & starting at NITV

"I grew up as an ‘80s kid in central Queensland…"

08:20 NITV and the remote sector

"…we weren't completely pleasing any indigenous groups…"

13:20 Owning our own narrative

"…the importance of indigenous people to see themselves represented positively in the media…"

17:42 The future…

"…how do we break more ceilings, bring more indigenous practitioners in control…?"