Closing the Gap in Indigenous health is the focus of a multi-year partnership between the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and Deadly Choices announced today.
Queensland Assistant Minister for Health Nikki Boyd joined Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel and special guests at Queensland Country Bank Stadium for the launch of the major partnership that unites two organisations committed to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community.
The announcement coincides with the inaugural Cowboys Deadly Choices Round for Saturday’s home game against the Raiders, as part of NRL Indigenous Round.
To complement the striking Indigenous jersey designed by artist William Chambers to be worn during the match, the team will wear a unique Deadly Choices training shirt during match preparations this week, also featuring the ‘Chosen One’ design.
The partnership will see Cowboys players delivering Deadly Choices messages to encourage Indigenous people to stop smoking, eat good food and exercise daily, and to access their local Community Controlled Health Service and complete an annual health check.
Deadly Choices clients who complete an annual health check are eligible for a free Deadly Choices shirt, with a Cowboys version available from participating health services in 2020.
NRL Cowboys House, an Indigenous boarding facility committed to removing geographic location as a barrier to education, is also working with Deadly Choices to deliver a weekly education program to students.
Mr Reibel said the partnership was a perfect fit for creating impact in the North Queensland community.
“We thank Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) CEO Adrian Carson for his vision and passion in aligning our organisations to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.
“We consider this to be a true symbiotic partnership focused on community engagement and with 25 years’ experience in achieving social outcomes for our community, we’re well-placed to work with Deadly Choices in achieving their goals.
The Cowboys are contributing to closing the gap in education through NRL Cowboys House, and we’re looking forward to working with Deadly Choices to improve health outcomes for Indigenous North Queenslanders.
“We’re excited to be hosting Cowboys Deadly Choices Round this week and to seeing our team wear their Deadly Choices shirts with pride on the training field,” Reibel said.
The significance of the partnership isn’t lost on Mr Carson, who has seen the successful utilisation of sport and top-level athletes towards achieving positive, long-term health outcomes among communities.
“The Cowboys-Deadly Choices partnership provides a very strong community engagement tool to enhance positive health messaging and continue to encourage health checks among Indigenous communities from right across North Queensland,” confirmed Carson.
“We have a strong footprint of Community Controlled Health Services that exist in North Queensland and this relationship with the Cowboys enables us to reaffirm our commitment to those communities."
"The North Queelsand Cowboys and Deadly Choices have created a formidable partnership, which will ensure healthy, positive futures for Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations," said Adrian Carson, CEO of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health
Indicative of the direct impact Deadly Choices is having in communities, Queensland has the highest number and the highest rate of use (40%) of 715 heath checks of any state or territory in Australia.
More information at: https://www.cowboys.com.au/news/2020/07/27/joining-forces-for-indigenous-health/