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15 years of promoting health, community and self-empowerment

The National Indigenous 3on3 Basketball and Hip Hop Challenge – Vibe 3on3 aims to promote healthy lifestyles, strengthen communities and boost self-esteem. The event brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people for a fun free day of basketball, dancing, music, health and culture. The event encourages sportsmanship, teaches new skills and builds self-esteem, as well as promoting reconciliation at a grassroots level. The Vibe 3on3 provides a positive and engaging environment for local and community-based health providers, particularly Aboriginal Medical Services to interact with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, especially the young.

The Vibe 3on3 continues to attract many teams in every location we visit. In past years, a strong event would have attracted 50 registered teams. In this, our 15th season, each event has attracted 50-80 teams. Pre-registrations mean that events are sold out weeks before.

In short, schools register teams of students across age categories – Year 3 through to Year 10. Each team competes in a number of Vibe 3on3 events, including basketball, art (painting), dancing (break dancing/hip hop dancing), rapping and Spin Out (Chocolate Wheel, answering questions on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, music, sport, the arts, drugs and alcohol). We have recently introduced ‘Chat with A Champion’, which is our mental-health activity, developed under the Supporting Communities to Reduce the Risk of Suicide Funding. Each activity gains points for the teams, with winners being announced at the event’s end.

In addition to these activities, students attend a health expo, where the local Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) and other health providers interact with the students on a number of levels. We are also strongly focusing on mental-health service providers for the Vibe 3on3 events.

Content for the health expo is dictated by the local Vibe 3on3 Steering Committee, and ranges from conducting Otitis Media screenings to the distribution of drug and alcohol information through activities such as the ‘beer goggle’ exercises.

Social and emotional wellbeing activities, such as drumming and yarning circles are also conducted.

Teacher and parent feedback tells us that the Vibe 3on3 has a very positive impact on the young people attending the event. Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people not only receive clear and well-delivered health and wellbeing messages during all aspects of the day, but also get to see and meet the Indigenous health providers of their community and interact with local and celebrity role models. Teachers also say that having such a proud and positive Indigenous experience as a school has a huge impact on the behaviour of students when they return to school. Teachers report that students who attend this event – one that makes them proud to stand up and say ‘I’m Aboriginal’ – often changes difficult and self-destructive behaviour, providing a positive physical and social-health outcome.



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