Staying Strong

On 20 November our Southern Local Health Distract RAMHP worker, Jen Keioskie, was invited by Wandarma Aboriginal Drug & Alcohol Service to participate in the community performance of “Staying Strong, Act Connect Survive.”

The program is a state wide health promotion project which aims to empower young aboriginal people to think about and make healthier life choices. The program is funded by the Ministry of Health and administered through the Aboriginal health and medical research council of NSW, which is the peak body and voice for aboriginal communities on health throughout NSW.

Utilising the immense talent of the multiple deadly award winners “Last Kinection” young indigenous students are encouraged to write and produce songs about health and wellbeing. This culminates in the production of videos which can be seen on the staying strong website www.stayingstrong.com.au as well as the community performance where all the songs are performed live in front of invited friends, family and the general community.

The talent on display from the Bega mob was outstanding with songs titles including “For Our People”, “Have a Voice”, “New Generation” and “Stand Strong”. Feedback from participants indicated that not only was it an enjoyable experience but it also made them feel more positively about being a young aboriginal person living in the Bega Valley. Feedback from the schools involved was also extremely positive with students reporting an interest in pursuing careers in music and video production as a result of being involved in the program.

From a bystanders perspective Jen stated it was just fantastically good fun and so great to see young people get up there and sing with pride about being as one chorus said “young, black and deadly”.