Igniting the conversation around Indigenous Incarceration in Australia
Australians are generally aware of the problem but think Indigenous people make it hard on themselves by their attitude and behaviour. They simply don’t know the facts. There are some very confronting statistics out there that the general population wouldn’t know.
We were asked to create a social media idea that creates awareness in the first instance, informs, then calls for action.
Australia’s Indigenous community is overrepresented in our prison system, despite continued pressure for law reform since the 1989 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. More than 25 years on, Indigenous incarceration rates have more than doubled.
There appears to be low awareness generally about this important social issue. There is also a perception that not much progress has been made. There is an overwhelming amount of information available, but lack of engagement across the nation including those who play key influential roles at a government level.
Indigenous incarceration in this country is not a problem that can’t be solved. It’s a problem that can be prevented. PwC’s report on this issue – highlighting the budget repair measures that can be implemented to create long-term solutions for community, taxpayers, and national social injustice – provides an opportunity to present this information in a more simple, visual, compelling way.
Australians are united by our love of sport, and only divided by the colours of our club - not the colour of skin. Partnering with advocacy bodies like Change the Record and the Richmond Football Club, and coinciding with the AFL calendar, we can reach the masses to raise awareness of the disproportionate rates of Indigenous incarceration.
We know that prevention is possible, earlier intervention is achievable, and in-system programs are available. By getting the right information to the right people, we can influence the systemic view that breaks the cycle and reduces these excessive rates.
Our over-riding message was that ‘the state of Indigenous incarceration is unfair, unsafe and expensive – and it doesn’t have to be this way. We all have a role to play in doing something about tackling this social issue.’
We created a social media strategy titled ‘Unlock The Facts’ that aimed to raise awareness, educate and encourage the audience to take a pledge. The strategy involved video content that would tell the stories of the imprisoned and emotionally connect the audience with the facts. The strategy was then rounded off with a PR element that pushed the campaign reach via TV and news coverage fuelled by the campaign partnerships.
Planning & Scope Definition: I helped design a 5-hour workshop that focused on the communications approach to building awareness around PwC’s report. I developed communication recommendations and principals.
Concept Development, Branding & Strategy: I worked with my Creative Director and Social Media SME to develop a strong visual look and feel for ‘#unlockthefacts’ social media campaign. I developed the social media strategy and PR plan.
Video Production: I led the creation of the video component of the ‘#unlockthefacts’ campaign. This included the development of concepts, scripts, storyboarding, producing (talent scouting, filming and lighting etc) and post-production to final output.
“The video will begin with white middle class Australians telling the stories of how a simple act can lead to imprisonment for the Indigenous population. We then reveal that the stories aren’t about the white people in the video revealing the Indigenous faces that are the people behind the pathways to incarceration.
The video will start in black and white and when we come to the climax the video slowly becomes full colour, showing solidarity to the campaign.”