AFL and music give Strong Choices

14.08.12

The powers of music and sport have combined with the Australian Federal Police as Skinnyfish Music and AFL Northern Territory launch Strong Choices at Milikapiti on Melville Island.

The campaign, funded by the Federal Government and supported by Telstra, is a series of video clips that will be distributed through Indigenous communities via a technology-driven distribution strategy using social media, chat rooms, mobile phones, advertising and Bluetooth.

Managing Director of Skinnyfish Music, Mark Grose, believes in the powerful combination of football and music to deliver outcomes: "Football and music in many communities are life-savers, and one of the few combinations that will engage an entire community and give a sense of purpose to young people in particular.

"No where else in Australia are we using Bluetooth technology to fight social issues. The Strong Choices program is unique as it utilises the technology itself to combat the problems it can cause.

"Aboriginal people in remote areas are progressively becoming more tech-savvy than people in the mainstream, as they take up new technology as fast as it is developed."

AFLNT has Regional Development Managers in nine remote locations across the NT along with staff in all the major centres who will assist with the Strong Choices Bluetooth seeding program.

"The abuse of mobile phone technologies is a problem right across Australia. The high uptake of new technologies amongst Indigenous youth makes this an issue of particular importance for them," James says.

"Strong Choices is about educating, protecting and making individuals aware that using technology to circulate harmful and offensive material can hurt individuals, can hurt families and can hurt communities. You never know where this material can end up.

John Paterson, CEO of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT), says the strength of Strong Choices comes from community involvement and a willingness to face up to social problems that are caused by new technology.

"We know that today, more than ever, modern communications technologies are essential for social and economic participation, and having the skills to stay safe online is critical."