Queensland Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles today announced a Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) partnership with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s (IUIH) Deadly Choices preventative health program.
The partnership was unveiled in conjunction with the QRU’s launch of its Parliamentary Friends of Rugby Union initiative and comes as the Deadly Choices Healthy Lifestyle Program continues to be rolled out across Queensland.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s $16 million expansion of the Deadly Choices Healthy Lifestyle Program is a commitment to positive change among Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” confirmed Minister Miles.
“It’s about closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders and we commend the QRU for adding Deadly Choices to its existing Indigenous engagement portfolio.
“The rollout of Deadly Choices has the potential to reach approximately 165,000 individuals, which speaks volumes for the outstanding possibilities of the QRU-Deadly Choices partnership.
Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) CEO David Hanham said: “The QRU’s Indigenous Program has been successfully delivering leadership and other outcomes within communities for a decade.
“Our commitment to the Deadly Choices Healthy Lifestyle Program - and the involvement of prominent St.George Queensland Reds players Moses Sorovi and Duncan Paia'aua – will ensure Rugby is making a significant commitment to the overall results of this initiative within Queensland.”
Born in the small community of Yam Island in the Torres Strait, Sorovi knows full well the benefits of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, the culmination of which is likely to elevate him to a regular starting position with the St.George Queensland Reds in this year’s Super Rugby Championship.
The 23-year-old also appreciates the opportunities presented through education, having not played rugby until moving to Brisbane where he attended St. Peters Lutheran College.
Similarly, Paia’aua’s childhood was spent learning his rugby craft in Rockhampton and he’s now elevated himself to a leadership position within the Reds, as current Captain of Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championships.
Just as excited about today’s announcement is IUIH CEO Adrian Carson.
“This partnership will bring life-changing benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples right across Queensland,” said Mr Carson.
“Moses, Duncan and the entire Reds squad will assist in educating youth about the importance of taking a preventative approach to their health, and living healthy lifestyles. This includes reducing the negative impacts of smoking and drinking alcohol, and advocating consistent attendance at school.
“It provides the kids a chance to make positive decisions around being a deadly student. It’s about our young ones looking at the opportunities available, with education being the passport towards achieving their dreams.”