A new independent report has urged advertisers to put more support into First Nations communities.
The report was of an independent evaluation of the Aboriginal Health Television (AHTV) network which broadcasts in the waiting rooms of Aboriginal Medical Services (Community Controlled Health Organisations) across Australia.
FutureSearch conducted the evaluation, and investigated whether the content on AHTV made a difference to people’s understanding of health and wellbeing (health literacy), the effectiveness of the messaging and the cultural appropriateness and safety of the network’s content.
Most people attending Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) said the information AHTV provides is useful to increase their health literacy. They also said it was contributing to better health outcomes.
AHTV’s partnerships and community relationships manager, Jake Thomson (main photo) – a Wiradjuri man, – said, “We know these screens are having a positive impact in the community and getting attention at a vital time, in a culturally safe way.
“Recently, we have been very active in using the power of the Aboriginal Health TV network to help increase the uptake of COVID vaccines. And, personally speaking, our network has been instrumental in helping my community understand the importance of not only the COVID vaccine but our overall wellbeing.
“Health is a crucial part of every one’s life and by building a bridge with common language, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will feel a sense of inclusion and belonging.”
The results showed a strong correlation between AHTV’s health literacy programs screening at AMS and improvements in health outcomes in both urban and hard-to-reach rural communities.
The study looked at three key areas – cultural appropriateness and relevance, engagement and acceptance, and health literacy, and found:
AHTV scored highly in the cultural appropriateness and relevance category. 99 per cent of AMS consumers think the content is culturally appropriate and relevant.
According to the engagement and acceptance category findings, over 80 per cent of AMS consumers said they enjoy watching the channel in the waiting room, while 82 per cent said the AHTV content attracts and maintains their attention.
In health literacy, all AMS healthcare consumers surveyed said AHTV’s informational health and wellbeing content was helpful, with 94 per cent saying they felt they knew what was important to talk about with the doctor or Aboriginal Health Worker.
Tonic Media Network CEO, Richard Silverton, said, “We are so proud of AHTV and what it has achieved in such a short time.
“Since its inception, AHTV has been advised and guided by a group of highly respected Aboriginal health leaders and we have all worked hard to make this a network by and for First Nations communities.
“It’s immensely gratifying to see that culturally appropriate, community centred content can influence health outcomes.”
Tonic’s commercial director, Sev Celik added, “When brands and media agencies want to communicate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, they can look to AHTV for engaging, ‘culturally safe’ content, not only in health and wellbeing, but lifestyle and diverse community interests.”
AHTV currently reaches 507,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia, with 233 screens in 197 different locations.
From July 2018 – June 2021, AHTV was funded by a Federal Government Indigenous Health Promotion Grant. At the completion of the Grant, June 2021 Tonic Media Network undertook a full evaluation.
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