Event to 'breathe life' into local community
North Coast Aboriginal Corporation for Community Health (NCACCH) will host a free family fun day called "Ngaiya -- Breathe Life" on Saturday 12 March at Kawana, to highlight the high smoking rates amongst the Sunshine Coast's indigenous communities as part of their Indigenous Smoking Cessation Pilot Program 'No Durri for this Murri' campaign, and provide much needed education and support.
With over 4000 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders living on the Sunshine Coast, smoking rates among Australia's indigenous population are around 50% - double the national rate. In 2008 nearly half (47%) of indigenous Australians over the age of 15 smoked cigarettes daily. This means that indigenous people are almost three times more likely to smoke than other Australians.
"Indigenous Australians make fewer quitting attempts and are less successful in quitting than other Australian smokers which is why we have not only a dedicated smoking cessation program to do everything we can for them, but also events such as this to raise general awareness in the community," says Kim Helmore, Operations Manager, of the NCACCH.
Helmore says indigenous Australians die at a younger age compared to non-indigenous Australians and a large percentage of these will be tobacco related. On average in Australia Indigenous men only live to 67.2 years compared to 78.7 for non-indigenous men and Indigenous women live to the age of 72.9 years compared to 82.6 years for non-indigenous women. "These are unacceptable statistics that we must work together as a community to change. This why the Australian Government's Department of Health & Ageing (DoHA) has funded NCACCH to develop and pilot an Indigenous Smoking Cessation program which if successful may be run out across the nation.
"We hope that the event will provide a fun day for both indigenous local people and the wider community alike to come together and enjoy free food, free health checks and information stalls whilst raising the awareness of our local culture and health issues," says Helmore.
Ngaiya 'Breathe Life' will also feature a diverse range of entertainment, workshops and stalls. Local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders including the Black Swans; an Indigenous program for youth aged 12 to 25 that assists with nutrition, self-esteem, cultural awareness and sexual health; with breathe life into the event through story-telling, traditional games and touch football workshops. Kids and active types can enjoy basketball, hip hop and zumba dance sessions and drumming workshops.
Live music from popular multi-cultural group The Chocolate Strings, a Dub/Funk/Reggae band heralding from Brisbane, who have shared stages with artists such as Fat Freddy's Drop, Charli Tuna and Katchafire as well as being billed on such festivals as Shine On Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and Kuranda Roots will also be enjoyed.
The event will take place on Saturday 12 March from 11am until 5pm, Coopers Lookout Park, Pacific Blvd, Buddina (next to Kawana Surf Club). Some transport is available for indigenous people who want to travel down from Gympie. Contact NCAACH on 07 5443 3599 to book the bus and for more information about the event or see: http://www.budurl.com/ngaiya
downloadable: "Just the Facts: A fact sheet about tobacco use among Indigenous Australians" pdf
"Ngaiya -- Breathe Life" free family fun day
Saturday 12 March from 11am until 5pm
Coopers Lookout Park
Buddina (next to Kawana Surf Club)
Coopers Lookout Park, Buddina
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