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A group of local Koori young people has learned more about hepatitis and in the process, repainted 'Patty' the outreach medical van in colourful street art.
Katungul Aboriginal Medical Service in partnership with the Campbell Page Youth Connections has hosted a team from the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC) who have delivered a program called Your mob, my mob, our mob. The program sends a powerful message to young people outlining what hepatitis C is, how it affects people's lives and how to prevent it. Importantly, the program educates young people to become peer educators in order to spread the message and take opportunistic action.
AH&MRC Project Officer, Lisa Panton, said the program was piloted successfully at Wellington Aboriginal Health Corporation and Riverina and Grafton Juvenile Justice Centres in 2012 and Katungul has continued that success.
The final messages were delivered through a strongly interactive and engaging two-day session focused around keeping the message relevant: 'Hep C stops with me'; 'We want to deliver a healthy liver'.
Street art was used as the key delivery mechanism.
Graffiti artist, Ash Johnston, worked closely with the young people to show them how street art can be used in a positive display which culminated in the redesign of the Katungul outreach medical van, known as Patty.
'The design created by the youth was mad to watch unfold on the van,' Katungul Aboriginal Health Worker, Jade Hansen, said. 'The kids were deadly to work with. Backyard tattooing and piercing are the less known but high risk activities and we focused some time on them.'
A community barbecue was held to mark the completion of the session with around 100 participants congratulating the new peer educators.
Source: Narooma News