A new campaign, filled with familiar faces, is encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Delivered by the Department of Health, For All of Us, brings together household names, musician Baker Boy, model Samantha Harris, chef Nornie Bero, street artist Tori-Jay Mordey, Paralympian Amanda Reid and renowned didgeridoo player and vocalist William Barton in a bid to tackle vaccine hesitancy amongst mob.

As of October 25, 45.15 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, as borders begin to open across the country, concerns are mounting for those who have not been vaccinated.

“I’ve seen the heartbreak of COVID-19 with people struggling with their mental health, losing their jobs and not being able to be with their families and friends. It’s important that we understand the risks of getting COVID-19, as well as the benefits of getting the jab,” said Harris, who featured in the campaign wearing First Nations designer Kirrikin.

“And one of the huge benefits for me is to be able to do the simple things again – go and see the Sydney Kings, meet up with friends for lunch, and catch up with my family and my mob.”

A Kalkadunga man, Barton said that being vaccinated was something he felt “proud of”.

“Being vaccinated is something I feel proud of, just as much as I feel deeply proud of my Indigenous heritage. I was taught the didgeridoo from a young age, and I want to protect and continue to tell the stories of my culture,” he said.

“I also want to protect my community’s future, and that of our kids, so that we can keep telling our stories, and keep sharing our culture.”

“The most effective way of doing that is by having the COVID-19 vaccination, so I’d encourage my mob to have a yarn to their healthcare worker who can talk to them about any concerns.”

William Barton. Photo Supplied Department of Health.

Yolngu musician, Baker Boy pushed for mob to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“It’s important that as a community that we keep each other safe, we need to protect our mob,” he said.

“Getting vaccinated is the fastest way for me to get back on the road so I can party and dance with you all soon! Let’s do this you mob!”

Head of the National COVID Vaccine Taskforce, Lieutenant General John Frewen said that the taskforce is making sure that “every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person has a genuine opportunity to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their communities”.

“We have more places to get vaccinated, and more vaccines going out to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, this project further supports the work of the vaccine rollout by conveying a strong message that vaccines aren’t just about an individual, but about protecting the people and communities you love,” he said.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) CEO Pat Turner applauded the campaign.

“I applaud this video which is very positive about the strength of cultural heritage and highlighting our young people and our future. They are our future,” she said.

“We all have to work together to protect everyone in our families and communities, and especially our young so they can grow and enjoy good health and happiness. COVID-19 vaccinations will prevent serious illness and loss of life. Let’s do it for everyone.”

By Rachael Knowles