As the National Rugby League’s foremost contributor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sporting talent, the Gold Coast Titans will continue to impact positive health choices among Indigenous communities, thanks to its ongoing partnership with Deadly Choices and the local community-controlled Kalwun Health Service.
Following a year like no other, and with 2021 bringing the COVID-19 vaccination roll out, an annual flu vaccination campaign, and ongoing encouragement to empower individuals and families to take control of their own health, the support of the Titans will become even more pivotal across the next 12 months.
“The Gold Coast is rich in traditional landowner history and this collective partnership is vital for the health of the Titans, not just the community and the people it services,” confirmed Gold Coast Titans CEO, Steve Mitchell.
“It’s a wonderful three-way partnership with Deadly Choices and the Kalwun Health Service which delivers amazing health outcomes to the Gold Coast and other Queensland communities, through health education programs in schools and numerous community-wide preventative health campaigns.
“At the Titans we’ve got young men who are obviously very gifted athletes who come from community, so by providing opportunities through Deadly Choices for them to have a positive influence and material effect on communities is something which everyone gains from.”
The Gold Coast Titans boast by far the highest index of players who identify as Indigenous in the NRL competition, with more than one-third of the elite playing group of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
That statistic has already been vital to the core service deliveries of the Kalwun Health Service across a local Indigenous population in excess of 10,000 people.
“Over the past 12 months, we’ve been able to successfully navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic together, and we’ll continue to work closely with the Titans and Deadly Choices to ensure key health messaging continues to resonate with our people,” said Kalwun Health Service CEO Kieran Chilcott.
“The role of the Titans in assisting to encourage such important behavioural measures such as social distancing and increased hygiene have certainly had a positive effect.
“Now we look to the challenge of having our wider community vaccinated against the pandemic and the increased exposure that can come through the continued support of the Titans.”
Today’s partnership announcement was held at the all-new Coomera Integrated Health and Wellbeing Hub which currently services more than 2,500 community members.
Titans’ pivot Ash Taylor along with Club legend and Deadly Choices Ambassador, Preston Campbell and fellow Ambassador Brenton Bowen were decked out in all-new Titans Deadly Choices health check shirts, which will be made available to community members who book a health check at any one of Queensland’s many participating Community Controlled Health Services.
The shirt designs are locally produced, including an impressive piece by artist Steven Bekue, which represents the Gold Coast Titans, the community and the supporters coming together and moving as one towards future success.
“The waves represent the ups and the downs of the Titan’s journey, while the boomerangs represent our culture, a tool that our men would use for hunting,” said Bekue.
“The symbols on the sides of the boomerangs are the meeting place representing the love and support from the community, while the footsteps are representing the players coming through from the grassroots footy.
“The Titan’s colours represent the Gold Coast beaches and Hinterland, while the centre piece is the meeting place symbol, which represents the Titan’s team standing strong together.”
There’s also great anticipation surrounding community interactive opportunities during the coming year, developed by the Gold Coast Titans through this partnership. Included will be the annual NAIDOC Day event which consistently attracts close to 2,000 attendees, plus an Inaugural on-field celebration of the Titans playing history.
About the Artist: Steven Bekue is an Australian Aboriginal Artist, a proud Bundjalung and Bidjara man born on the Gold Coast and spending his entire youth throughout the region, particularly in the Currumbin and Palm Beach areas. Steven’s people are the Arakwal people from the Bundjalung Nation of Australia's East Coast. Bundjalung Nation is known as the "Saltwater People”.
“Growing up I would go crabbing, fishing & oystering with my Uncles and Brother, I always loved being near the water. I began to paint about 5 years ago and was self-taught as an artist. What inspired me to begin painting was growing up watching my Aunties, Uncles and Cousins create amazing indigenous artwork. I enjoy spending time with my family, swimming, fishing, crabbing & painting. My love for art wasn't only because of the strong passion for my Aboriginal culture, but also gives me healing and coping mechanisms to express myself through my artwork.”