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Indigenous Musicians Join with 'One Disease' to Combat COVID-19

Social media feeds across the Top End have exploded in the last week with an unlikely campaign from not for profit health organisation One Disease going viral.

 Manuel Dhurrkay

Musician Manuel Dhurrkay (supplied) A series of videos produced in conjunction with Skinnyfish Music and featuring prominent NT musicians including members of Saltwater Band, Ripple Effect, B2M and Nabarlek have gone viral, including dance song ‘Wash Your Hands’ featuring Elcho Island’s Manuel Dhurrkay (pictured) which has blown up after being released less than a week ago. In what is looking to become one of the most effective Territory public health campaigns ever, the video was viewed more than 45,000 times in a single weekend since releasing last week, while the larger campaign featuring self-produced messages in five different languages from across the Territory has been seen by 50% of the territory population across Facebook alone.

The reach of this campaign is massive. Over 100,000 views of our videos across the campaign and a viral hit with Manuel’s catchy ‘Wash Your Hands’ video is a result we can all be proud of,said Michelle Dowden, CEO of One Disease.Grassroots messages that are engaging and created from the communities themselves are a key component of the success of this campaign. This handwashing clip ticks the boxes for an incredibly effective health campaign and is actively and innovatively contributing to spreading the message across remote Australia.” Not-For-Profit organisation One Disease was founded by philanthropist and medical practitioner Dr. Sam Prince and recognised the threat posted by COVID-19 very early, partnering with Darwin’s Skinnyfish Music to provide both freedom and support to remote Indigenous communities to build the campaign. The communities created their own content with strong recognition of local languages combined with a granular digital campaign which ensured each message was targeted to specific regions of the territory for maximum impact. People across the Top End love music that’s good, music that makes you feel like you have energy. We want people to feel like they want to do something about this virus out here ,” said musician Manuel Dhurrkay, star of the viral song. “We can be serious with the message but also we can have some fun while we’re doing it. Lots of the communities like hearing Yolngu music singing and telling stories. They listen to it in a different way. While the use of social media is not new in health campaigns, the success of combining traditional grassroots content create by the community along with market-leading insights and more advanced social targeting online has made waves not just in the NT but across Australia. “We are proud to be involved with One Disease’s COVID-19 campaign,” said Skinnyfish Music Managing Director Mark Grose. “A true community campaign is just that a campaign largely designed and delivered by the target community. This is exactly what the Hand Washing campaign has delivered a community campaign. It is a bottom-up campaign that trusts the voice of the community and not a top-down campaign that relies on expert opinion being disseminated by talking heads

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