Collingwood has today entered into a partnership with Deadly Choices with the intent to close the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations and improve the life outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Established in 2010, Deadly Choices is an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), which aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families by taking control of their own health.
Together with the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS), the Deadly Choices initiative encourages individuals to access their local Community Controlled Health Service and complete an annual ‘715 Health Check’.
715 Health Checks are a preventative health assessment to support the needs of Indigenous Australians with focus on the greatest contributors of chronic diseases within Indigenous communities, including diabetes, kidney disease, as well as vision and hearing loss.
Individuals who attend their local health service for a 715 Health Check will receive a Deadly Choices Collingwood t-shirt after their consult.
Today’s partnership demonstrates a commitment to the club’s Reconciliation Action Plan which aims to maintain and leverage mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to support positive outcomes.
Collingwood athletes and AFL development coach, Neville Jetta, will share in a social media campaign with Deadly Choices to reinforce the importance of regular health checks.
The campaign will be given a fresh focus during National Reconciliation Week and the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round with the Collingwood AFL program to wear the Deadly Choices t-shirts during their game-day warm up.
Collingwood Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs manager, Aunty Debby Lovett, acknowledges the formalised relationship with Deadly Choices creates a solid steppingstone towards greater engagement and interaction with both Victorian communities and others across Australia.
“Deadly Choices continues to play a critical role in advocating for the health and well-being of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through incentivised health and education programs designed to engage people of all ages,” Lovett said.
“We’re looking forward to working with the VAHS, our health service partner in metropolitan Victoria and the regions where Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation has a footprint, to highlight these important messages using the AFL’s strong community connections.
“Today’s partnership continues to demonstrate a commitment to the club’s Reconciliation Action Plan.”
Collingwood CEO Mark Anderson echoed Lovett’s words.
“As a club that has been involved in programs with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and participants over many years, Collingwood remains committed to using our position as an AFL club with a large reach to drive the important public health messages that Deadly Choices promotes.
“Together our plan is to close the health and life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations,” Anderson said.
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service CEO, Michael Graham, said the partnership provided an outstanding opportunity to expand the Deadly Choices brand and positively influence the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Victoria.
“The solutions that Deadly Choices are coming up with to improve health outcomes in our communities are actually solutions that benefit the whole country,” said Mr Graham.
“With the support of the Collingwood Football Club and associated players across all related programs, we’ll be educating youth about the importance of taking a preventative approach to their health and living healthy lifestyles.”