The Northern Territory National Emergency Response was announced by the Australian Government in August 2007. One of the objectives of the "intervention" was to improve the health standards and life expectancy for Indigenous Australians living in Australia's Northern Territory, where life expectancy is up to 20 years less than the rest of Australia.
Aspen Medical was appointed by the Australia Government to supply short term medical infrastructure to remote Indigenous communities. The organisation Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) was created. We were appointed by RAHC to develop communications that engaged and attracted health professionals from Australia's capital centres to commit to short term appointments to remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. In addition to attracting health professionals, the communications had to also relate to existing Indigenous health organisations and communities.
The challenge was how do you create a suite of communication that attracted urban based health professionals while remaining sensitive to the Australian Indigenous culture? The answer was research, lots and lots of research. In addition to researching the meaning of icons, patterns and regional styles from distinctive Indigenous artworks, our team underwent an intense Indigenous training program before visiting the remote Indigenous community of Ampilatwatja.
The visit to Ampilatwatja resulted in an awakening of the senses as we gained a rare insight into the dynamics of an Indigenous community and experienced the beauty of Australia's unique "Red Centre". The biggest surprise was how soft and diverse the Australian outback was. The natural colour palette extended beyond the red and gold ochres that you would expect and the light had a magic all of it's own.
The combination of extensive research and hands on experience resulted in a suite of collateral that not only reflects the natural beauty of the Australian outback but captures the vibrancy of a rare and unique culture without the stereotypical cliches of exploited Indigenous themed graphics.
This campaign resulted in RAHC filling over 700 short-term health professional placements in remote Indigenous communities across the Northern Territory, contributing to over 2500 weeks of primary health care service being undertaken, equating to more than 50 full time health professionals working a year each.
creative / art direction / design / copy
Photography © Steve Strike Photography