Young Aboriginal people are still taking up smoking even though they know the harm it can cause.
Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia has received funding to undertake phase two of the Rewrite Your Story campaign, this time to work with young Aboriginal people to tackle smoking.
We want to reduce the uptake of smoking among young Aboriginal people to help break the cycle of smoking among our mob in the metro and northern Adelaide region.
The 2013 Deadly Award winning Rewrite Your Story project showcased the stories of 16 Aboriginal people in Adelaide and the impact smoking has had on their lives.
Our new campaign theme, Don’t let your dreams go up in smokes!, encourages young people to look forward – rather than rewriting their story, they’re encouraged to share their dreams and think about how smokes might impact them now and in the future.
The campaign is about young people sharing messages and talking with each other, using online and social media to spread the word among the community, as well as school-based activities and working with sporting teams to engage directly with young ones.
We know that young Aboriginal people are strongly influenced by the attitudes of their peers, so the aim is to get young people’s voices out there about the negative impacts of smoking to inspire them and to learn from each other.
Research has shown that in South Australia, about 50% of Aboriginal people are current smokers and those that live in Adelaide (and other non-remote areas) tend to commence regular smoking earlier, sometimes before they reach 13. We need to denormalise the idea that smoking is a part of life for Aboriginal people.
Sharing is an important part of our culture and rather than young people sharing smokes, we will promote them sharing in fun and healthy activities like sport, dance and art. The campaign aims to prevent young people from taking their first puff or experimenting with cigarettes regularly, as we know that young people who start smoking socially with their friends are more likely to become regular smokers later on.
This will be the first time Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia has used some of these social media and apps to reach out to the younger audience. We need to be interacting with young Aboriginal people in places where they connect with each other. That’s why we’re focusing on using our new blog for young people, plus Facebook and Instagram, to help get young Aboriginal people connect with us and with each other. We will use incentives like online competitions and sponsorships to recognise young people for their participation.
We want to work together within our community, with local schools and other health organisations who play an important role in supporting our mob. Schools, teachers, coaches, youth and arts centres and any other organisations interested in helping the young people they work with to be part of the campaign are encouraged to contact Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spokesperson: Vicki Holmes, CEO, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia
Campaign photos can be made available on request.