Youth anthem to keep communities safe from COVID-19

Aboriginal recording artists Nooky and Mi-Kaisha Masella have collaborated to produce a new track that encourages young Aboriginal people to keep themselves and their communities safe from COVID-19.

Aboriginal people in New South Wales are at greater risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19. This heightened risk makes it essential for frequent and reliable information to reach and circulate within Aboriginal communities.

“I was motivated to be part of this project because I knew how important it was to amplify Indigenous voices and the message of keeping mob safe during the pandemic,” Darumbal, Murri and Tongan woman Mi-Kaisha said.

“I knew how greatly COVID-19 had impacted the wellbeing of Mob and wanted to create music with a message of encouragement.”

Co-written and performed by Mi-Kaisha with hip hop artist and Yuin man Nooky, the track speaks to Aboriginal youth about their role in keeping their communities safe. The video clip, recorded in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Redfern, features choreography by
Darren Compton, a proud descendant of the Yugembeh, Munanjali/Minjunbal, and Gamillraay nations, and Mer people of the Torres Strait Islands.

“It’s a critical time in the fight against COVID-19. It’s important for our Mob to know that we’ve still got to practice social distancing, good hygiene, washing our hands, things like that, and that’s what this track is about, helping get that message out there,” Nooky said.

“I know our mob want to hang out with family but we’ve got to think of other people during this, especially our Elders, I know things are tough but we’ll get through it together.”

Key themes include keeping a safe distance from others, keeping in contact with people during isolation, and drawing strength from the Aboriginal cultural sense of family and community connectedness.

“I hope it reassures people and encourages Mob to continue to stay COVID safe. We encourage everyone to keep social distancing, washing hands, even wearing a mask in public spaces and doing what we can to stop the spread,” Mi-Kaisha said.

The track, titled ‘One Point 5’, and accompanying music video are part of NSW Health’s COVID-19 Aboriginal Communications Strategy, developed in partnership with First Nations agency, 33 Creative, and forms an important part of the multi-pronged approach the NSW Government is taking to communicating about COVID-19.

If you need social and emotional wellbeing support, call the COVID-19 mental health line: 1800 512 348. For the latest information on COVID-19, visit nsw.gov.au.