” The Deadly Choices program’s intent is to provide a measurable difference in addressing Aboriginal health issues.
“Aboriginal people have far higher mortality rates than the average population and die at much younger ages. Despite government intentions to ‘close the gap’, the problem isn’t getting any better,
Chronic disease and preventable health conditions are taking a toll on our communities and we need to find innovative ways to move the dial toward better health outcomes.
We hope, with support from the Port Adelaide Football Club, our Deadly Choices initiative will encourage our young people to take responsibility and stop smoking, stay active and look after their own wellbeing, and that of their families.”
Aboriginal Health Council of SA chairperson John Singer
Port Adelaide has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Ltd (AHCSA) to deliver Deadly Choices – a program that will build awareness of healthy lifestyle choices and encourage regular health checks.
‘Deadly’ is a common term used to express positivity or excellence within Aboriginal communities, and Deadly Choices is designed to help improve the excellent health choices made by Aboriginal people in South Australia.
The program is based on a successful model used in Queensland since 2009 with the Brisbane Broncos, developed by Adrian Carson and his team and staff at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.
That program led to a 1300 per cent increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people undergoing health checks.
Deadly Choices provides participants with limited edition merchandise in exchange for taking part in educational programs and undergoing regular health checks.
The merchandise is provided as a ‘money can’t buy’ incentive, with revenue from undergoing health checks used to fund subsequent stages of the program.
Port Adelaide players will support the promotion of the program and encourage participants to take part in the eight-week education program to receive their Deadly Choices footy guernsey.
As part of the program:
- Education programs will be launched in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) in collaboration with the Nganampa Health Council in June, in support of Port Adelaide’s WillPOWER program.
- Curriculum will cover leadership, chronic disease, tobacco cessation, nutrition, physical activity, harmful substances, healthy relationships, access and health checks.
- Health checks will be provided in the first stage of Deadly Choices by AHCSA-aligned members, which already provided comprehensive primary health care in SA.
- Long-term partnerships with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) are being explored to established metropolitan clinics to provide health check services.
Port Adelaide chief executive officer Keith Thomas said the decision to partner with AHCSA is a continuation of Port Adelaide’s commitment to helping forge tangible outcomes for Aboriginal communities in South Australia.
In his CEO Update, Thomas reflected on the fact 70% of Aboriginal deaths are related to chronic disease, while the life expectancy for an Aboriginal person is on average, 10 years less than the wider population.
“We are proud to partner with AHCSA to deliver Deadly Choices across South Australia,” said Mr Thomas.
“The Deadly Choices program perfectly links to the healthy lifestyle messages we promote through WillPOWER and the Aboriginal Power Cup programs.