Young Deadly Free eNewsletter December 2019

YDF News in the sector

Syphilis is still on the move

Syphilis is still on the move with the Pilbara and Goldfields in WA and Central QLD now being declared as outbreak regions. We must continue to raise awareness of Syphilis with over 3140 cases sine 2011. To see the latest surveillance report click here



A/Prof James Ward – UQ in 2020

Young Deadly Free project leader, Associate Professor James Ward, will be leaving the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute at the end of December 2019 and relocating to the University of Queensland in January 2020. James will take up the role of Professor in the School of Public Health and Director of the UQ Poche Centre. We are very sorry to see James leave SAHMRI but heartily congratulate him on his new position. Young Deadly Free will continue through UQ, with some of James’ team remaining at SAHMRI until mid-2020.

For young people

Some people say sexual health is taboo but here at Young Deadly Free we are smashing through the barriers and encouraging our youth to step up and yarn about these important issues; with over 63% of infectious syphilis notifications being in the 15-29 year age group this message is important. Get the low down on sexual health from First Nations youth with our Youth Yarn series, now available on our website on YouTube. video messages from our mob, for our mob

For people of influence

The importance of engaging with elders, parents and guardians cannot be understated in First Nations sexual health. Young Deadly Free takes a whole of community approach and we are calling on everyone to get involved by helping spread the word. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done so with that in mind, we have created a series of short videos to encourage adults in the community to yarn with youth. These can be watched as stand-alone resources but would certainly pack more of a punch if used as part of community education or training- check them out here:

For clinicians

Where do we begin?! There are now a total of 23 videos aimed at clinicians on our website and YouTube channel. Get online and check them out to see the vast array of new resources available to support orientation, in-services or other training programs.
Two of our faves at the moment are Community experiences & opinions about STI testing – which provides valuable insight from our patients, and The Importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff in Sexual Health Work which may be useful for staff new to the Aboriginal health sector and really promotes valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

YDF social media

Social media is integral to the campaign, with social media platforms used as information hubs for young people to learn about and discuss STIs and testing, chat about issues, participate in the campaign and share campaign news, information and resources.


Young Deadly Free has joined Twitter and we already have over 80 followers and have made quite an impression.
In the last 28 days

In the last 28 days
Tweets Tweet Impressions Profile Visits Mentions Followers
8 7689 37 17 80


Currently has over 300 followers
Instagram impressions this year

Currently has 1,248 followers

In the last 28 days
Post Engagement Page Views Videos Page Likes Post Reach Page Followers
3650 148 3889 56 8150 60

Your team can help us get important messaging out to community by promoting our social media accounts in the work you do. Please encourage clients to look us up and follow us, and share our content where ever you can.

YDF conferences / events

Our team has been busy promoting YDF and advocating for First Nations’ sexual health across many conferences over the past 3 months.

Australasian Sexual Health Conference 16th – 18th September

YDF was strongly represented at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference 16 – 18 September 2019. As well as presenting on YDF, James Ward gave a powerful keynote presentation about First Nation’s Sexual Health.

We are a collective, we are connected. To the other Aboriginal people present in the room, I want you to all own this presentation, this is for all of us. When one of us wins, we all win; when one of us loses, we all loose” – Associate Professor, James Ward

Team member Amanda Sibosado launched the Noongar Boodja Statement. 

No one should be left behind and when they are, as we have been, it is each and everyone’s responsibility to step up and be accountable to create a just world for us all.” – Amanda Sibosado

Please sign up if you haven’t already

NACCHO Youth Conference Nov 3rd & NACCHO Members’ Conference, November 4th & 5th 

NACCHO’s theme this year “Because of them we must: improving health outcomes for people aged 0-29 years” meant that sexual health had a strong presence at both conference. The youth conference had 2 sexual health workshops, one run by YDF and one run by AHCWA, and the main conference had a strong sexual health stream with YDF having a stall to promote and disseminate our whole range of resources.



Communicable Diseases Control Conference, 19th – 21st November

is the national platform for hosting information, education and health promotion resources. Our resources have been developed by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), in consultation with project participants and their communities.

To ensure relevance of resources provided on this website to local communities, community reference groups have been convened:

  • Community action groups including Aboriginal young people, clinicians, community stakeholders, trained youth peer educators and Aboriginal community members;
  • People of influence who have strong connections with Aboriginal young people in the community, including parents, Elders, carers, teachers, school support workers, youth workers, sport and recreation officers, youth sport coaches, sexual health workers, and educators;
  • Regional clinician working groups, including doctors, nurses and health workers in each region.

The development and trialling of the project’s Peer Education Program and other resources has also been guided by input from local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service project partners.

Other news

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week (ATSIHAW) 

Each year in the first week of December, to coincide with World AIDS Day, we host Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week – “ATSIHAW”.

The inaugural ATSIHAW was held in November 2014 to get a conversation going in our community about HIV prevention and the importance of regular testing for HIV. Each year ATSIHAW events that aim to promote awareness of HIV are run in local community based organisations. Engagement is continuing to grow with the number of events reaching over 60 during the week of ATSIHAW, most hosted by Aboriginal community controlled health services. The theme of ATSIHAW is U AND ME CAN STOP HIV.

HIV in Australia – where are we are at in 2019?

  • 835 HIV diagnoses in 2018, compared to 2,412 at peak of epidemic in 1987
  • 23% decline in HIV rates in Australia over past 5 years


  • No decline in HIV rates for heterosexual or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the last 5 years
  • HIV rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 2018 was more than twice as high as the rate for Australian-born non-Indigenous people
  • Ongoing higher proportion of HIV cases among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a result of sharing drug injecting equipment compared to non-Indigenous people
  • Ongoing higher proportion of HIV cases among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heterosexual people as a result having sex without a condom compared to non-Indigenous heterosexual people

Click on the link to see our new animation on HIV:
For more information on HIV and ATISHAW, see SAHMRI’S booklet HIV and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Communities in 2019 or go to our website:

The Young Deadly Free project team would like to
wish you all a safe and happy Xmas

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