Last updated: 01 Jul, 2020

Tips for digitising health promotion during coronavirus

Coronavirus has thrown many organisations into the deep end, having to learn how to use new technology to deliver their activities and maintain communication with their communities.

While delivering a sport or health promotion program online takes some preparation, you don’t have to do it alone. VicHealth has put together a series of fact sheets on digitisation, providing tips and information to help you adapt your programs.


Momentum and physical presence

The creative industries have suffered a huge blow during the coronavirus pandemic as they rely largely on live performances with an audience. Many artists and performers have lost multiple gigs and opportunities, and this is also having a significant impact on the organisations that support these artists.

The Barpirdhila Foundation had been supporting Aboriginal musicians and artists by setting up live gigs and providing access to a low-cost music studio. But due to coronavirus, a lot of the built-up momentum has been lost.

Nathan Leitch, General Manager of Barpirdhila Foundation is aware that many venues, bookers and promoters won’t be able to operate in the same way they have in the past, as physical presence is such a necessity. Also, many venues may have to close.

“We are trying to pivot to online events, but we have lost all that physical presence that we worked so hard to develop.”


Support for the long term

“We are clear that our role is to support young artists over the long-term,” says Nathan.

“We have a responsibility to our people to also make sure they can look after their social and emotional wellbeing.”

Barpirdhila was using existing grant funds to develop their music studio, but they have shifted from construction of facilities to improving the visual aspects of recording. Better camera, wifi and internet setup have been prioritised to support artists to deliver online performances.

“For our Facebook events, artists have different equipment, different lighting and room setups and this makes the quality of the events feel inconsistent,” says Nathan.

“So, we’re coaching emerging artists on how to upgrade their equipment and get their online performances to the standard of live ones.”

Barpirdhila have also set up a fundraising arm to encourage audiences to support artists. So far it has raised over $36,000 towards a $50,000 goal.

These funds go towards building websites and social media presence, new equipment, emergency relief and professional development to create new opportunities for musicians and artists into the future.


Tips for delivering a music or arts program online

  1. Think about how to maintain the physical presence online by using high quality equipment, such as lighting, microphones, cameras and wifi and internet.

  2. Continue coaching and check in with your emerging artists at regular intervals to maintain mental wellbeing.

  3. Try to think long-term, rather than just trying to get through current challenges.

If you’re interested in hearing emerging Aboriginal artists, Barpirdhila has some great events, like the Leaps and Bounds Festival and their ongoing Yawulyu Facebook live events. You can also stay connected by following them on Instagram.