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Keeping Our Blood Strong - Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council (NTAHC)
19 Dec 2011
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Keeping Our Blood Strong Literacy and language continues to be a major barrier to education in the Northern Territory. NTAHC identified that the need for pictorial resources, using multiple forms of media was essential to engage with not only the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities but also the culturally and linguistic diverse (CALD) communities who call the NT home.

Keeping Our Blood Strong is a suite of educational resources which challenges the bounds of resource development by engaging and working directly with artists as well as encompassing many aspects of social and print media. The purpose of Keeping Our Blood Strong resources is to provide blood borne virus (BBV) education using visual stimulation and discussion to facilitate awareness and understanding.

The project was conceived and produced by people with extensive arts backgrounds now working in the health sector.

Keeping Our Blood Strong suite includes a modular set of flip charts which can be used in its entirety or individually depending on the objectives of the education session. Z-cards were created to support the flip charts and encourage peer education post health promotion event. The third phase in creating an identifiable resources suite was the creation of a set of 6 posters which were created using the same images and concepts.

From the character development of the previously mentioned resources an animation was created to engage youth in safe body-piercing and tattooing procedures and the decision making process involved in this. The animation was launched as part of NTAHC’s Hepatitis Awareness Day events via You-Tube and FaceBook.

Additionally, email signatures, stickers and t-shirts have been created to cover all aspects of media exchange. Keeping Our Blood Strong has been developed as an open ended suite to allow for the capacity for continuous resource development depending on the health promotion event or campaign.

The future direction of Keeping Our Blood Strong suite includes additional animations for upcoming health promotion events, interactive games to be used in conjunction with the flip charts and community TV sponsorship to attempt to reach audiences who aren’t technologically minded.

Darwin visual artist Andy Ewing created the images collaborating with a team of people (Lana Pocock, Panos Couros, Daniel Burton, Sharyn Marshall, Alison Edwards) from several areas within NTAHC. The project took several months of brainstorming, drafting, discussion and fine tuning.

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