Deadly choices help close the gap

HOLLY WARE

Fun on Deadly Choices Camp. Source Facebook

Fun on Deadly Choices Camp. Source Facebook

DEADLY CHOICES wrapped up a three-day camp for children aged 9-12 as part of a health education program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It’s no secret there is still a large health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia today.

However, there are many things that can be done and that is why Deadly Choices, an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in South East Queensland, have created a Health Education program.

The Deadly Choices camp educates children about leadership, chronic disease, smoking, Medicare and their access to primary health care.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health report card states that a “strong sense of cultural identity and self-worth can be protective in a person’s ability to weather adversities in life,”

“Empowering a community to explore and develop local solutions to its own particular problems can be effective in strengthening that community, through capacity building that carries from one generation to the next.”

Deadly Choices is an example of a community focused solution, which aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

In an attempt to ‘close the gap’ in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, the focus lies largely on the risk factors for chronic diseases including smoking, physical activity and nutrition.

The Junior Camp kicked off on the 21st and rewarded children who had previously taken part in the school programs.

The camp catered to 60 kids and included activities such as surfing, stand up paddle boarding, traditional Indigenous games and workshops to reinforce their message of healthy living.

Staff of Deadly Choices are people who are 100% dedicated and passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people leading a healthy and successful life.

Deadly Choices program coordinator officer Shannon Turbane said the program has been running for three years and is gaining momentum fast.

“Last year we had 42 kids in the junior camp and this year we have 60,” Shannon Turbane said.

The program is a reward for effort- it’s for kids showing good leadership and who are trying there hardest.”

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health worker Ryan Fraser says the program is a link for the community to seek ongoing treatment from their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical centres.

“The Deadly Choices program is a Health Education program aimed at supporting participants to be positive role models and mentors for their family, peer group and community by living a healthy lifestyle,” Ryan said.

“It is also a link for the community to seek ongoing treatment from their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical centres.”

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