GSK Australia launches new vaccination picture book for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

GSK Australia has a new immunisation resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders this month to encourage families to be proactive when it comes to immunising themselves and their children against preventable diseases.

Titled Baby Savers, the 24-page comic book and accompanying poster was developed over two half-day community workshops involving parents, caregivers, grandparents and healthcare professionals in Yirrkala, a remote Aboriginal Community in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. 

Together they crafted a story based on local animal characters that highlights the importance of immunisation and encourages Aboriginal parents and caregivers to be proactive about seeking and maintaining immunisation schedules. 

The public launch of the book follows the Government’s recent announcement regarding increased focus and investment on communication tools and education resources in an effort to highlight the importance of timely immunisation. 

David Herd, Healthcare Environment Director at GSK, describes the book as a unique tool addressing important barriers to healthcare information and access. 

He says, “Immunisation rates among Australian children has risen significantly over the years however there remains a distinct disparity between children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other Australians. We hope to help close that gap by providing materials that support education and awareness not just about vaccines themselves, but the importance of immunisation timeliness.” 

Brainchild of the creative public health comics and CEO of creative agency Inception Strategies, Damian Amamoo believes more companies should consider how they address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences. “It’s great to see such a big company like GSK thinking creatively about how to improve public health and how to deliver important messages into the community. Comics like Baby Savers deliver important health messages in an engaging and non-threatening way. Importantly, they are crafted by communities themselves making them an integral part of the development process.” 

The Baby Savers books and accompanying posters are available free of charge for healthcare professionals, health clinics and community healthcare workers and can be ordered via email at Jeff.X.Hamilton@gsk.com 

The public launch of the book coincides with the Communicable Disease Control Conference on June 1 and 2 in Brisbane. A key focus for the conference will be on communicable disease control in Indigenous populations and other vulnerable groups. 

Information provided in the book is based on the immunisation schedule for most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in the Northern Territory as of January 2014. 

Baby Savers Storyline 

The story revolves around local animal characters - Daisy the Frog, Jeffrey the Goanna, George the Gecko and Terence the Ant – who undergo basic training to become ‘Baby Savers’. 

Guided by the occasional intervention of Tina the Butterfly, the Baby Savers work to educate a young Indigenous mother about the importance of baby needles and getting her newborn baby immunised. 

The Baby Savers are assisted by local Aboriginal women, Cassie (Tania’s mother) and Rita (Tania’s mother-in-law), who understand the importance of blending the old ways with the new to achieve the best protection for the baby. 

                                                                         -ENDS- 

Media contact: 
Alicia Cook
Communications Manager, GSK Australia
alicia.j.cook@gsk.com
0467 738 521 

About Inception Strategies 
GSK partnered with creative agency, Inception Strategies, who specialise in developing social comics that promote positive health and education strategies to communities and individuals. The storylines are developed through workshops with the community for whom the comic is intended. For further information about Inception Strategies or to see the full range of comic books visit www.inceptionstrategies.com