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Image of Luke Carroll and Son with the book 'The Spirit of Sound'

Hearing health resources shine on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s day

New resources have been released to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander hearing health as part of Hearing Australia’s Hearing Assessment Program – Early Ears (HAPEE).

Hearing Australia has released a new video telling the story of the Spirit of Sound as part of ongoing efforts to improve the hearing health of First Nations children.

The ‘Spirit of Sound’ Storybook is a collaboration with artist Davinder Hart, of the Noongar nation and is available in Children’s Day packs from SNAICC (Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care) and at Hearing Australia’s centres across the country. The Storybook has been distributed nationally to childcare centres, community organisations and Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations.

A series of community events kicked off across Australia in August 2022  with storybook sessions and opportunities to meet with Hearing Australia community engagement officers.

Wiradjuri man, father and actor Luke Carroll and Gumbaynggirr, Dhungatti, Yamatji and Bibbulman woman, mother and songwriter Emma Donovan, are encouraging community to make sure children have regular hearing checks before they start school.

“A regular check is so important before they start school. Hearing is so important, especially in the early years to listen and learn. From birth, my daughter has had regular appointments with Hearing Australia, who have helped us to understand her deafness and different ways of communicating,” said Emma.

“I’m very proud to work with Hearing Australia to highlight the importance of a regular hearing check for our kids,” said Emma.

Luke, who stars in the Spirit of Sound storybook video, says Children’s Day is an important time to highlight the benefits of hearing checks to help kids to be their best and dream big.

“Our kids are far more likely to be affected by hearing issues than non-Indigenous children and it can severely impact their ability to listen and learn. Under the HAPEE Program, regular hearing checks are free from Hearing Australia for all First Nations children aged 0-6 not yet attending full time school and they give them the very best start in life” said Luke.

Joining Luke and Emma are local First Nations community ambassadors, including Richard Tambling, Elsie Seriat in the Torres Strait and Daniella Borg in Perth.
Jabiru based former AFL player, father and descendant of the Uwynmil people, Richard Tambling reflects on the importance of hearing in culture.

“When we’re out bush on country, we need healthy ears, we need hearing to learn our old ways and for our knowledge and for our Elders to share their stories,” said Richard.
“Hearing Australia’s HAPEE program means hearing checks are free, safe and simple. I encourage everyone to get their kids a regular hearing check, from birth.”

Resources are available for parents and educators to support hearing health on the HAPEE website.

The brief

In 2021, we worked with the national charity for Australians impacted by eating disorders and body image issues, Butterfly Foundation, to bring greater awareness to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about the signs and support available.

Research shows that one in ten Australians at some stage experience an eating disorder, and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are affected by these issues at similar rates to the wider Australian population. However, awareness, and therefore access to support services, can be low.

With that in mind, we worked with Butterfly Foundation to create a culturally safe forum for consultations ahead of developing community-focussed campaign materials. This forum was made up of a reference group which included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with lived experience(s) with eating disorders as well as health and mental health sector professionals.

The key outtake from the reference group discussions was that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impacted by eating disorders are often simultaneously navigating intersecting cultural factors and barriers. Eating disorders and body image issues are often depicted or associated as affecting a specific and western archetype. Amplified through stigma and such archetypes, the consultations revealed that there can be a general sense of shame felt in seeking support within community on these issues.

The materials

Our goal was to create a strength-based approach to empowering individuals, their families, and their communities in knowing they are not alone. To do this we created materials that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impacted by eating disorders and body image issues could easily recognise and identify with.

The ‘Every BODY is Deadly campaign’ was launched with two key campaign ambassadors: Wiradjuri, Bundjulung, Kamilaroi and Yuin woman, Garigarra Mundine, and Kamilaroi and Dhungutti sister girl, Felicia Foxx, who shared their personal stories.

For Felicia Foxx, growing up in a male-dominated Aboriginal family that was very masculine and athletic had a significant impact on her body image and sexual identity. For years she struggled with expectations of how her body should look—until she realised it was just like her ancestors.

Back home with her family and surrounded by culture, Garra never took much notice of her body image. However, at the age of 11 after moving to Sydney, she began to feel her body was different and eventually developed an eating disorder.

Video Production

A major aspect of the communications campaign were videos produced specifically for social media platforms and audiences.

In the videos, Garra and Felicia talk openly about their personal journeys and body image related experiences.

The video shoot took place over the course of a single day in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Newtown, and also included a photoshoot with each talent.

We hired an indoor living space for interviews and interior shots, and acquired b-roll in surrounding suburban streets, as well as the iconic Carriageworks precinct (the former Eveleigh Railway Workshops).

Our crew on the day consisted of a videographer, producer, production assistant, and hair and makeup professional.

Pre-production work included location scouting and booking, the development of a videography brief, shot list, and run sheet for the day, the development of interview questions, and talent and crew booking.

The impact

The Every BODY is Deadly campaign is a first step, providing a platform for awareness and discussion about this issue.

The materials are available to download from the Butterfly Foundation website, to help support community health providers, schools, and staff to identify signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.

The vision for the campaign is to continue building out these personal stories, recognising and reflecting the diversity of communities and ensuring there is not one approach that suits everyone – eating disorders and body image issues can affect anyone, at any time.

Support is available for people at risk or experiencing an eating disorder by calling 1800 33 4673. You can also call the helpline if you are concerned about someone close to you or you can contact Butterfly Foundation by email or online chat.

The brief

33 Creative have a long working relationship with the NSW Centre for Aboriginal Health and a combined passion for improving the health and wellbeing of communities.

We were engaged by the NSW Government to support the rollout of communications and engagement throughout the COVID-19 pandemic crisis management and subsequent vaccine rollout. This is a project close to our hearts, helping to keep mob informed and protected.

The approach

Working with the Centre for Aboriginal Health, the Department of Customer Service, NSW Aboriginal Affairs and Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC), we contributed to the development and continual refinement of a communications strategy, including developing tailored resources to better support engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and stakeholders in NSW. We have worked flexibly with the Centre for Aboriginal Health throughout the pandemic, responding to ever changing situation.

A key priority of our approach was ensuring community voices were leading and elevated throughout the content, maximising reach and trust quickly.

We engaged community champions to share their experiences and encourage COVID safe behaviours throughout the campaign, ensuring health messages were delivered by trusted community leaders and health workers.

Community champion videos were highly effective in engaging community and formed an integral part of the campaign. Regular stakeholder toolkits and eDMs were also made available for stakeholders (including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and Local Health Districts) to share locally.

We produced a number of TVCs, press, outdoor, digital, social and radio advertisements throughout the campaign to promote ways to help keep our mob safe.

We also produced a music video collaboration, with Mi-Kaisha and Nooky, to encourage youth social distancing at the early stages of the pandemic. The video clip was featured on The Project and boosted through NITV and other community channels, and was a finalist in the NSW Health Awards.

Mi-Kaisha

Two paths strong for Aboriginal-led education in Coffs Harbour

Photos by Haidee Allan and supplied by BMNAC

On Thursday the 7th of April, Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) officially opened the Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School (GGFS), the first bilingual Aboriginal school in NSW.

Located at Coffs Harbour TAFE’s, Glenreagh Street Campus, the school caters for students from K-2 with 13 children currently enrolled in 2022, and plans to eventually grow to K-6. The school is centered around language and culture and quality teaching based on Gumbaynggirr values and philosophies, embedded with strong community and parent engagement.

Clark Webb, a Gumbaynggirr man, BMNAC Founder and Executive Officer, said the school was an important step in accelerating the BMNAC vision to enrich the learning experience through Gumbaynggirr worldview, language and pedagogy.The school received funding from Paul Ramsay Foundation, through the ‘Learning Lives, Strengthened in Culture’ program. Professor Glyn Davis, AC, CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, said financial investment was helping to support the community vision for Aboriginal-led education.

Congratulations Clark and the team at BMNAC on an amazing launch and for continuing to be leaders in Aboriginal language for the community.

Two paths strong for Aboriginal-led education in Coffs Harbour

Photos by Haidee Allan and supplied by BMNAC

On Thursday the 7th of April, Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) officially opened the Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School (GGFS), the first bilingual Aboriginal school in NSW.

Located at Coffs Harbour TAFE’s, Glenreagh Street Campus, the school caters for students from K-2 with 13 children currently enrolled in 2022, and plans to eventually grow to K-6. The school is centered around language and culture and quality teaching based on Gumbaynggirr values and philosophies, embedded with strong community and parent engagement.

Clark Webb, a Gumbaynggirr man, BMNAC Founder and Executive Officer, said the school was an important step in accelerating the BMNAC vision to enrich the learning experience through Gumbaynggirr worldview, language and pedagogy.The school received funding from Paul Ramsay Foundation, through the ‘Learning Lives, Strengthened in Culture’ program. Professor Glyn Davis, AC, CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, said financial investment was helping to support the community vision for Aboriginal-led education.

Congratulations Clark and the team at BMNAC on an amazing launch and for continuing to be leaders in Aboriginal language for the community.

Two paths strong for Aboriginal-led education in Coffs Harbour

Photos by Haidee Allan and supplied by BMNAC

On Thursday the 7th of April, Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) officially opened the Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School (GGFS), the first bilingual Aboriginal school in NSW.

Located at Coffs Harbour TAFE’s, Glenreagh Street Campus, the school caters for students from K-2 with 13 children currently enrolled in 2022, and plans to eventually grow to K-6. The school is centered around language and culture and quality teaching based on Gumbaynggirr values and philosophies, embedded with strong community and parent engagement.

Clark Webb, a Gumbaynggirr man, BMNAC Founder and Executive Officer, said the school was an important step in accelerating the BMNAC vision to enrich the learning experience through Gumbaynggirr worldview, language and pedagogy.The school received funding from Paul Ramsay Foundation, through the ‘Learning Lives, Strengthened in Culture’ program. Professor Glyn Davis, AC, CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, said financial investment was helping to support the community vision for Aboriginal-led education.

Congratulations Clark and the team at BMNAC on an amazing launch and for continuing to be leaders in Aboriginal language for the community.

“The further we live away from home, the harder it can get to continue speaking and practicing language, because we are coming out of the natural environment,” Ofa continues.

Eip Karem Beizam run a number of language programs on Thursday Island, and have travelled extensively to perform and practice culture in Townsville, Sydney and Canberra where Meriam people also reside.

“We use funds from grants to pay for venues to come together to provide a safe space for the language to be spoken without barriers,” Ofa explains.

The group relies on Meriam Elders and fluent language speakers to help facilitate workshops and pass on knowledge to younger generations.

“Statistics prove that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people die younger than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is critical that we acknowledge and embrace the wisdom of the Elders that we have now, especially those who are fluent speakers,” says Ofa.

Ofa is encouraging other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural groups to use Census data to support programs that keep Indigenous languages and cultures alive.

The 2021 Census will be held on Tuesday 10 August nationally. For people in remote communities, there will be Census field staff there in July and August to help people complete their Census form.

Information and resources to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is available at www.census.abs.gov.au/indigenous or by phone on 1800 512 441.

Amber McNaughton

Event and Project Manager

Amber McNaughton is an events manager with fifteen years of industry experience. She has a breadth of experience in stage management. Amber has a Diploma in Journalism and a passion for live events, organisational management and working with creative people.

Two paths strong for Aboriginal-led education in Coffs Harbour

Photos by Haidee Allan and supplied by BMNAC

On Thursday the 7th of April, Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) officially opened the Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School (GGFS), the first bilingual Aboriginal school in NSW.

Located at Coffs Harbour TAFE’s, Glenreagh Street Campus, the school caters for students from K-2 with 13 children currently enrolled in 2022, and plans to eventually grow to K-6. The school is centered around language and culture and quality teaching based on Gumbaynggirr values and philosophies, embedded with strong community and parent engagement.

Clark Webb, a Gumbaynggirr man, BMNAC Founder and Executive Officer, said the school was an important step in accelerating the BMNAC vision to enrich the learning experience through Gumbaynggirr worldview, language and pedagogy.The school received funding from Paul Ramsay Foundation, through the ‘Learning Lives, Strengthened in Culture’ program. Professor Glyn Davis, AC, CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, said financial investment was helping to support the community vision for Aboriginal-led education.

Congratulations Clark and the team at BMNAC on an amazing launch and for continuing to be leaders in Aboriginal language for the community.

The brief

In 2021, we worked with the national charity for Australians impacted by eating disorders and body image issues, Butterfly Foundation, to bring greater awareness to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about the signs and support available.

Research shows that one in ten Australians at some stage experience an eating disorder, and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are affected by these issues at similar rates to the wider Australian population. However, awareness, and therefore access to support services, can be low.

With that in mind, we worked with Butterfly Foundation to create a culturally safe forum for consultations ahead of developing community-focussed campaign materials. This forum was made up of a reference group which included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with lived experience(s) with eating disorders as well as health and mental health sector professionals.

The key outtake from the reference group discussions was that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impacted by eating disorders are often simultaneously navigating intersecting cultural factors and barriers. Eating disorders and body image issues are often depicted or associated as affecting a specific and western archetype. Amplified through stigma and such archetypes, the consultations revealed that there can be a general sense of shame felt in seeking support within community on these issues.

The impact

SWSB members adapted – as strong women in business do – to the new challenges brought about by COVID-19. The online SWSB Facebook group grew vastly into a flourishing interactive hub for likeminded women to support each other in life and in business through unprecedented times. The first half of 2021 saw the existing SWSB Facebook membership grow by 22 percent.

As part of the overall strategy, we worked with the SWSB team to analyse recurring themes and universal experiences SWSB members were contending with in the current COVID landscape, building this into the strategy.  A key deliverable was the development of SWSB’s first ever regular newsletter.

Now at 1,160 subscribers and growing strong, the newsletter provides another medium to tell stories and unite the SWSB community through rich, focused and user-generated content. Moreover, the ‘Women in Business’ section of the newsletter has consistently been one of the top four performing click links of each newsletter edition so far.

Other deliverables included the successful implementation of a social media risk management and moderation response guide, as well as the establishment of the SWSB Instagram community which is currently at 1.2K members and steadily growing.

Re-strategising and building on SWSB’s online community also meant that conversations and opportunities to network were made more accessible to Indigenous women in business in regional and remote areas – a key focus for SWSB.

Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council

In 2022 and 2023, we were commissioned by Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council to produce a video that promoted the holistic benefits of Yarning Circles.

Gandangara honours the Yarning Circle as a culturally safe practice with wide-ranging benefits for all peoples and organisations.

We shot the video over two days across three locations in Western Sydney. The voice over was recorded in a studio in Surry Hills, Sydney.

Our production team were centrally involved in all aspects of the project, including concept development, logistics, shoot and edit.