Vaccine hesitancy was identified as an issue for some of our Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) community in Gippsland. We came up with an idea to write and make a rap song and video encouraging all Aboriginal communities to get vaccinated.
“VACCA has produced music clips in the past, which have proven to be successful in reaching-out to community. We think a clip that speaks to community about vaccinations is a good strategy to reach people of all ages,” said Corey Harrison, Director of VACCA Gippsland and Southern.
Lionel Rose, from Drouin, is a well-known local artist who has recorded songs with Indigenous Hip Hop artists from across Australia. Lionel works with young people through VACCA’s Family Violence Therapeutic service in Morwell. He wrote the rap, ‘Time to Get Vaccinated’, as a way to connect with young people on this issue.
“I fell in love with music at a young age, growing up around family members who played guitars and sang, mostly country music. I believe young people can express themselves, their fears and hopes for the future through music,” Lionel Rose said.
At VACCA, we know there are low vaccination rates in Gippsland so we have established a group comprising a local Elder, ACCOs (Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations) in the region, and Government Departments including Justice, Health, and DHHF (Department of Families, Fairness and Housing). The group is currently developing strategies to boost COVID-19 vaccination numbers across Inner and Outer Gippsland.
“I hope the song gets stuck in people’s heads, it’s stuck in mine. I encourage young people and all mob regardless of where they live to widely share the video and its important message,” Corey Harrison said.
Check out the video: https://youtu.be/r9IaPxL9B5o
According to the Australian Government’s Operation COVID Shield figures for SA4 regions dated
21 September 2021, the vaccination rate for Latrobe-Gippsland Indigenous community members aged 15+ years shows 1838 people (48.71%) have received one vaccination dose, while 1075 people (28.49%) are now fully vaccinated.
For interviews contact Corey Harrison, Regional Director, VACCA Gippsland | 0437 921 969