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MEDIA RELEASE: JULY 2018: Australia’s leading health media network Tonic Media Network, has welcomed  today’s announcement by Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, the Hon. Ken Wyatt AM, that an audience targeted, culturally relevant Aboriginal Health Television (AHTV) network, will be delivered to hundreds of Aboriginal community controlled health services across the country.

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt has committed $3.4 million over the next three years to develop the AHTV network, which is expected to reach up to 1.2 million people each month.

“The scope of this network is exciting, with important health and wellbeing stories, plus local production input to ensure the broadcasts are relevant and engaging for their audiences,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Through an engaging and compelling format, health messages will be delivered on issues such as smoking, eye and ear checks, skin conditions, diet, immunisation, sexual health, diabetes and drug and alcohol treatment services,” the Minister added.

AHTV, with its Advisory Group, will work closely with Aboriginal Peak Health Bodies and leading Aboriginal health service providers, to develop and deliver culturally relevant health messaging and lifestyle content to improve health literacy in Aboriginal communities.

Tonic CEO Dr. Matthew Cullen welcomed the announcement of the AHTV network, which will operate as a not-for-profit enterprise in collaboration with the Federal Government, State and Territory and local Aboriginal health service providers.

“This is a unique opportunity to communicate with Indigenous audiences at the point of care when patients, their families, carers and health service providers are strongly focussed on health and wellbeing,” said Dr Cullen.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners, Aboriginal producers who specialise in Indigenous content, as well as our Indigenous Advisory Board to increase health knowledge in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“This partnership is an important step towards Tonic’s goal of improving health outcomes for all Australians,” Dr Cullen added.

According to Aboriginal Health TVAdvisory Group member, Associate ProfessorChris Lawrence, the delivery of a culturally relevant TV network that connects with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will help deliver important health messages, and ultimately improve health outcomes.

“It’s really exciting to see in the digital space AHTVleading the way with content developed collaboratively with Aboriginal health services and media producers.

“AHTV will deliver health messages featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who tell their own stories about health and wellbeing, which in turn encourages positive health outcomes,” said Professor Lawrence.

To reach the 50 percent cent of Indigenous people who use non-Aboriginal health services, programming from the AHTV network will also extend to Tonic Media Network’s existing digital platforms which reaches 4,500+ GP Practices, Hospitals, Pharmacies and Health Centre waiting areas across the country, as well as online.

Detailed work to establish the AHTV network will commence immediately.