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Engaging all Victorians in the treaty process

The Deadly Questions and Deadly & Proud campaigns.

Impact of the Deadly Questions campaign

In June 2018, the Victorian Government launched a two-year award-winning Deadly Questions campaign to build understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and give Aboriginal Victorians a platform to tell their stories and amplify their voices.

Independent research highlighted the success of Deadly Questions and demonstrated the potential to shift attitudes towards Aboriginal communities, cultures and the treaty process.

Launch of Deadly & Proud campaign

In February 2021, the Victorian Government launched the next phase in Victoria’s treaty communications campaign, the Deadly & Proud campaign, together with the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria (Assembly) and campaign storytellers.

Building on the success of the Deadly Questions campaign, Deadly & Proud aims to increase awareness of, and support for, Victoria’s treaty and truth and justice processes. The campaign recognises that Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians are key to truth telling and sharing the stories that make up our past. Discussing shared histories, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, can build a collective future of which we can all be proud.

Deadly & Proud showcases, through Aboriginal storytelling, what makes Victoria ‘deadly’ across the themes of:

  • ancient Aboriginal cultures
  • resilience
  • community
  • our path to treaty and truth and justice.

Many Aboriginal people use the word ‘deadly’ to mean awesome, strong, brilliant. It has been used in this campaign to describe both the storytellers and the stories they share. The many deadly stories of Aboriginal cultures are part of our collective identity as Victorians.

The Deadly & Proud campaign website features stories from 21 Aboriginal Victorians including Gunditjmara and Bundjalung musician Archie Roach, Larrakia and Tiwi actor Miranda Tapsell, Noongar AFLW player Courtney Ugle and Barranbinya broadcaster Tony Armstrong among many others. The storytellers explore what it means to be Aboriginal today, the importance of truth-telling, and how Aboriginal cultures and traditions continue to thrive in Victoria. The website also features an interactive map of Victoria showing stories that are mapped to Country, promoting a shared understanding of connection to place in Victoria.

The campaign was launched via a combination of advertising, partnerships and earned media opportunities over a 10-week period. It attracted widespread positive news coverage, totalling over 650 pieces, and high levels of online engagement. To date, the website has received more than 200,000 page views and a total combined social media reach of 7,100,000.

Evidence-based communications approach

When planning the Deadly & Proud campaign, independent research was conducted that highlighted where best to align the campaign in order to reach key target audiences.

Post campaign research showed that there was an increase in the understanding of the meaning of ‘deadly’ with more than half of Victorians now better understanding the term. This was a significant increase compared to earlier phases. In addition, those who had seen the campaign were open to learning more about Aboriginal storytelling and talking to friends, family and colleagues about Aboriginal cultures.

Deadly & Proud and AFL partnerships

DPC partnered with Richmond Football Club and Essendon Football Club to promote Deadly & Proud. Both partnerships were centred around the AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round and NAIDOC Week activity. These partnerships were key to connecting with AFL fans who represent a broad demographic from across Victoria. The campaign activity generated strong social and media engagement over the period.