As the Brisbane Heat prepare for this Friday night’s BBL First Nations clash against the Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba, Queensland Cricket has committed to ensuring Indigenous communities from right across the State become positive, healthy, thriving environments, by teaming with the nationally revered Deadly Choices preventative health program.
Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson says the greatly anticipated partnership with Deadly Choices strengthens the diversity of top-tier sporting support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“Queensland Cricket is delighted to partner with Deadly Choices, especially in light of the outstanding work they do in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to help Queenslanders to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.”
“Our BBL and WBBL Heat teams, as well as the Queensland Bulls and Fire sides, will be able to help spread key messages about the importance of regular health checks.
“We are planning regional activations as well through our community cricket staff and have fund-raising initiatives in place through the partnership between the 50-50 Charity Raffle organisations and Queensland Cricket Foundation.”
“This partnership is supported by Queensland Cricket’s First Nations Cricket Advisory Committee and their advice and guidance will be important for the success of this partnership,’’ Svenson said.
“Queensland Cricket looks forward to working closely with Deadly Choices, and our other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, as we approach the imminent delivery of our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) this year.”
Deadly Choices is an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), which aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, while encouraging individuals to access their local Community Controlled Health Service to complete an annual ‘Health Check’.
IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said the Heat partnership provided an extended platform for parochial South-East and wider Queensland Indigenous communities to support their local summer sporting team, while in the process ensuring individuals maintain a close watch on their physical, mental and overall health and wellbeing.
“After more than 10 years of Deadly Choices preventative health initiatives being implemented across South-East Queensland, it’s considered a natural progression that the program expands beyond our NRL, AFL and Super Netball sporting partnerships with the Broncos, Titans, Dolphins, Lions and Firebirds to include the Heat franchise,” said Carson.
Heat WBBL player Mikayla Hinkley, a proud Kunja woman whose family hails from Cunnamulla, south of Charleville, collaborated with Brisbane Indigenous artist, and close friend, Delores McDonald (“Aunty Delly”) to create the inspirational designs represented on the limited-edition Deadly Choices health check shirts.
These replica BBL/WBBL Heat jerseys are offered as an incentive for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who book in for a health check at any of the five participating Community Controlled Health Service organisations throughout South-East Queensland.
“By teaming with Queensland Cricket, it provides a year-round platform from which we’ll incorporate community engagement activities among players, including visits to community-controlled health service clinics and Deadly Choices educational programs across the State, plus the delivery of key health messaging via our social media platforms,” added Carson.
“The solutions that Deadly Choices are coming up with to improve health outcomes in our communities are actually solutions that benefit the whole country and with the support of Queensland Cricket and Heat players, we’ll be educating youth about the importance of taking a preventative approach to their health and becoming the best they can be.”
The stories behind the Heat’s Indigenous jersey design
(as reflected in the Brisbane Heat Deadly Choices Health Check Shirt):
Front: flames of Heat logo, Gabba circle with players sitting, circle represents harmony and unity, bringing players and fans together.
Back: Brisbane River with its abundance of foods, plus animal and human tracks. Rainbow serpent/snake represents both male and female. Circle represents Gabba, plus roads travelled to and from it by teams.
Sleeve: Centre circle is Gabba, alongside other water holes which used to be near the ground. 87 black strokes on red earth represent the wickets taken by Aboriginal great, Eddie Gilbert (23 games for Qld).