The Melbourne Storm have joined a push to encourage eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
In partnership with Deadly Choices, the NRL Premiers will support the ‘I Stepped Up’ campaign, developed by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) along with its four founding Community Controlled Health Services (CCHS).
Storm will wear specially designed playing socks in their final home and away NRL fixture against the Sharks on Saturday night to highlight the importance of getting the COVID vaccine among Australia’s Indigenous communities, particularly in South East Queensland where the team is currently based and through its large following across the country.
Storm CEO, Justin Rodski, said the club was proud to be supporting the ‘I Stepped Up’ campaign and the Deadly Choices program.
“We know that millions of fans across the country look up to our players as role models and they can have a big influence on the day-to-day decisions people make,” Rodski said.
“We hope that by wearing these socks on Friday night we can help educate more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about the need to get vaccinated and help improve their lives.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities love our great game and have contributed so much to the excitement and skill that is on display each week. That’s why it was easy to throw our support behind this campaign and why we were so excited to launch a new First Nations pathways program with Coles earlier this week.” Rodski said.
The campaign features informative videos, answers to frequently asked questions and a slew of other resources which are all available on the campaign website, www.isteppedup.com.au providing
community members with tailored COVID-19 vaccine information in one place.
IUIH CEO, Adrian Carson thanked the Melbourne Storm for their support of such an important health service initiative, highlighting why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders need to get vaccinated now, to protect their family and community.
“The support of the Melbourne Storm in IUIH’s ‘I Stepped Up’ campaign is indicative of the genuine nature of what we hope will evolve into a longstanding partnership with the Storm and we thank Justin, the Storm players and the extended team for their support at such a critical time for our people,” Carson added.
“It is crucial to provide our community with the information and resources they need to feel comfortable about coming out to get vaccinated.
“With this campaign we want to ensure our people get informed from well-respected community members, so we have Elders including Aunty Mary Graham and Uncle Les Collins providing insight as to why we should get vaccinated.
“Everyone has a different motivation for getting the COVID-19 vaccine, whether to protect their community, to keep family members safe or to make plans for the future, so we want to highlight the different reasons which will resonate with more of our mob.”
Resources such as videos featuring well-respected community members on why they ‘Stepped Up’ to get the vaccine, myth busting and ‘I Stepped Up’ social tiles and informative brochures will also be shared across social channels to encourage community in SEQ and beyond to ‘Step Up’.
Visit the I Stepped Up website here: www.isteppedup.com.au and follow the campaign on social
media here: www.facebook.com/deadlychoices