Local short films plug good health in NT
A record company in the Northern Territory is helping with a series of short films to spread good health messages to remote regions.
The films are entirely local productions, devised as a way to improve dietary habits and lifestyles from a more region-specific angle.
The message is particularly important in remote regions of NT where soft drink is generally cheaper than water, and fresh fruit and vegetables are unattainably expensive.
One method depicted in the films says locals should become more physically active by seeking out healthy alternatives from traditional bush tucker. Other messages include the importance of routine health check-ups, and the dangers of smoking.
Skinnyfish Music co-founder Mark Grose says his label will help produce and distribute the films across the Territory.
“It's really Aboriginal people speaking to Aboriginal people about a modern issue,” he said.
“So I guess in a way, people aren't being lectured to, they don't have an expert or a doctor coming in saying this is what you have to do.
“I've got to say that all of the guys we've worked with are just natural actors, they just do such a great job,” he said.
“Because it's something that's important to them.”
John Paterson from the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT says there is a lot than can be done to address the poor health levels in many communities.
“In a lot of communities as soon as you walk in those community stores the first thing you see is a refrigerator full of Coke,” he said.
“Unfortunately I think there's a huge reliance on the fast-food takeaway products, which is obviously contributing to obesity, diabetes and a whole range of other chronic illnesses.
“This is why we want to encourage those shop owners, those chain stores that have a presence in Aboriginal communities, to seriously consider what they stock in their stores and really consider the long-term implications,” Mr Paterson said.
“We need them to either carry out appropriate negotiations with government to get that subsidy if that's what it requires to get the much healthier products into those community stores.”
The NT health expert said that many communities are making moves toward better health.
“When I visited my grandmother in her home communities, where they predominantly lived off bush tucker foods ... they were a lot healthier,” he said.
“I know there are some communities now that are really focusing on returning to the consumption of bush tucker and utilising more bush tucker in their meals.”
One of the short films titled 'Sugar Man' stars Nigel Yunupingu, and can be seen below.