For the past three years, early childhood audiences in remote communities and towns of the Northern Territory and Queensland have been learning about the importance of healthy lifestyles with the aid of an immensely popular television character, Yamba the Honeyant.
Based in Alice Springs, Imparja Television’s mascot, Yamba, and best friend Jacinta Price have performed to over 8000 children*. They spread positive health messages in a fun and entertaining way as part of the Local Community Campaign to Promote Better Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program called Yamba’s Roadshow.
The roadshow musical performances feature original songs, dance and actions. They are presented promoting proper nutrition and hygiene, regular physical activity, trachoma prevention, ear and nose health, and the use of primary health care services.
A set of 15 animated television presentations featuring Yamba and encouraging healthy lifestyle behaviours have also been produced. These have been used as Community Service Announcements on Imparja Television reaching an estimated viewing audience of nearly 1,000,000 as well as on the popular preschool show Yamba’s Playtime which was broadcast Australia wide on GO! Roadshow Updates are also broadcast on Imparja, featuring where the duo have visited and performed.
Waterbottles and toothbrushes are given to the preschoolers and resources such as the roadshow musical CD, ‘stay healthy and strong’ posters and colouring in pages are given to schools, teachers, parents, carers and health workers to follow up on the messages presented.
Recently, Yamba’s Roadshow visited South West Queensland again. Charleville, Quilpie, Thargomindah, Cunnamulla, Bollon, St George, Surat, Roma, Toowoomba and Millmerran all enjoyed Yamba and Jacinta’s visit to their town.
Skytrans kindly sponsored flights for the roadshow from Brisbane to various towns in the South West. Skytrans will also sponsor flights for when the Roadshow crew fly throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria in May/June.
Yamba and Jacinta would like to sincerely thank Skytrans for their support and contributing towards raising awareness within communities that chronic disease conditions are preventable, and encouraging them to use health services.
*From February 2011 to end of March 2014.