We were honoured to co-host the premiere of a new feature film about the change needed to solve a national health crisis among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples, during Close the Gap week. We thank the team at Take Heart for making this important film, and panel members at the events Dr Bo Remenyi, Vicki Wade and Dion Devow for providing such an incredible education for the audiences.
Take Heart: Deadly Heart, is a follow up from the 2016 film, Take Heart: The Quest to Rid Australasia from Rheumatic Heart Disease which drew national attention to this largely invisible disease. Despite the success of this initial film and campaign, RHD remains a significant issue. As many as two Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples die each week from the totally preventable disease, which has been effectively eliminated in non-indigenous Australians.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) states that 87% of people diagnosed with RHD are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders and they are six times more likely to be hospitalised with the disease than non-indigenous Australians. In fact, Australia has one of the highest recorded rates of RHD in the world.
Take Heart: Deadly Heart features Vicki Wade, a proud Noongar woman and Director of RHDAustralia who said the film demonstrates that by investing in community-led initiatives and prevention programs, RHD is a problem that can be solved. “The nation needs to stand up and do something about this tragic and totally preventable cause of death before more of our young people are killed. Communities are ready and many are already taking action,” Vicki Wade said.
“We have community leadership, we have the medical technology, and we have a clear pathway to ending RHD with the Rheumatic Heart Disease Endgame Strategy; it must happen now.”
Take Heart: Deadly Heart tells the inspiring story of the journey towards an RHD-free future, and how remote Aboriginal communities across the top end of Australia are adopting innovative strategies to eliminate RHD.
It is a powerful film for general audiences, that celebrates Indigenous culture and demonstrates how community-led programs can put RHD in the history books once and for all. The film incorporates themes of truth-telling, Indigenous leadership, language, culture, identity, reconciliation, education, health and self-determination.
The film features Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders Dion Devow (ACT Australian of the Year 2018) and Lorraine Kabbindi White (Indigenous Artist and Filmmaker). The film also features Adam Goodes (2014 Australian of the Year) and paediatric cardiologist Dr Bo Remenyi (NT Australian of the Year 2018).
“I’ve been working closely with children, families, communities and health experts across this nation, and I’ve seen too many young people die because of neglect, disinterest, racism and poor health outcomes, all of which are utterly preventable,” Dr Remenyi said
“That’s why I encourage everyone to see this film and help build national understanding of the campaign for change needed to solve this crisis.”
For more information, visit https://takeheartrhd.com/