Department of Premier & Cabinet (Victoria)
"Deadly Questions"

Client: Department of Premier & Cabinet (Victoria)
Product: Aboriginal Victoria
Title: Deadly Questions
Media: Integrated
Country: Australia
Date Of Campaign: June 2018

Background: Australia is a unique country with a unique cultural history dating back 70,000 years.But despite 230 years of colonial settlement, Australia is also sadly unique for being the only member of the Commonwealth that does not hold a treaty with its first peoples.In 2016, when a new Government entered office in the state of Victoria and asked and asked the Aboriginal community what they wanted – the answer was resoundingly Treaty.For context, Treaty is an agreement between the state government and Aboriginal peoples. The contents of the Treaty are worked out between the two parties. It’s not a public vote. But a Treaty still requires public support to ensure it’s accepted. And to gain that, we needed to confront non-Aboriginal people’s prejudices about Aboriginal culture.Our brief was to build support for the treaty process primarily among the non-Aboriginal community, but also within the diverse Aboriginal community.

Idea: ‘Build support of Treaty’ seemed simple enough. But the notion of Treaty for an Australian can be a threatening one. Despite Australia priding itself as a nation of ‘the fair go’, Treaty raised guards.So to build to the Treaty conversation, we had to find another way to start.Research showed that 84% of non-Aboriginal Victorians believed it was importance to learn more about Aboriginal culture and identity.However, the problem is they didn’t know where to begin. Non-Aboriginal Victorians ‘walk on eggshells’. They don’t want to say the wrong thing.We wanted to tap into that desire to learn, but also the fear of asking.Because if they learn about Aboriginal identity without judgement, it can open them to learning about Treaty too. It would soften attitudes and cast a conversation about ‘Treaty’ not as a political one, but something that is about learning more about Aboriginal culture.

Results: We got Australia talkingAt launch we generated 371 news clippings, resulting in a cumulative audience reach of 110 million in the first 4 weeks. This placed us on mainstream television stations, weekend newspapers, and the country’s biggest news websites. We had thousands of questions asked, answered and readVictorians spent 3,950 hours on the site. 3,474 unique questions were asked, 2,703 (legitimate) questions were answered and 260,000 answers viewed. This content now forms one of the most diverse and accessible forms of Aboriginal education online that can continue to educate for years to come. Attitudes shifted to the positiveThere were significant shifts to Victorian’s wanting to learn more about Aboriginal people (61% to 77%) and formalizing the process (43% to 60%).And in late June 2018, the Victorian government passed a historic law to create a Treaty framework, in which this result was supported by our campaign’s efforts.

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