The deepest skate bowl in the southern hemisphere will soon have a lot happening on its surface thanks to an Aborignal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) peer educator workshop designed to raise the awareness of hepatitis C and other blood borne diseases among youth.
People aged 14 to 25 have been working on templates with health messages for the skate bowl.
When Wellington was chosen as one of 20 towns to take part in the peer educator program, Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service (WACHS) youth worker Loretta Stanley suggested that it
involve the skate park because it was a central place for young people.
“We thought this would make it look better, also with a health message- something that all of the kids could see,” she said.
AH&MRC project officer Lisa Camillo said that participants could learn and pass on simple messages as peer educators such as not to get backyard tattoos or share toothbrushes, razors or needles.
“We wanted to use something like graffiti because kids love it and we could teach them how to express these messages through art,” Ms Camillo said.
“They will actually be paid so it gives them a bit of an idea what work is like and what it’s like to take responsibility in the community.”
On hand to help out were Sydney artist Chris Tamm, who has been working on projects like this for 20 years, and local artist Doug Ah-See, who has done charity work painting hospital windows and the mural on the shelter at Mt Arthur.
“I wanted to get involved and do something that all of the kids would see,” Mr Ah-See said.
“The best thing would be
something striking and bold so that the kids will see the message.
“I was born deaf so for me it’s really about seeing ideas.
“You make your weakness your strength.”