Desert Pea Media CEO and founder Toby Finlayson recording as part of the video his team is producing.
Desert Pea Media CEO and founder Toby Finlayson recording as part of the video his team is producing. Jordan Gilliland

Music video shows a healthy message

LOCAL children have had the opportunity to become music and video stars while learning about mental health issues, with a production team coming to Bowen last week.

Desert Pea Media, a charity organisation that works with young indigenous people in regional and remote areas of Australia, arrived in Bowen last week to plan, film and create a music video.

The media company has worked around Australia in different communities with the intention of using modern storytelling techniques and visual media to create important social and cultural dialogue.

Their YouTube channel currently has more than 3.1 million views.

The project, which was co-ordinated with the Girudala Community Co-operative Society, seeks to raise awareness of indigenous youth mental health issues by allowing the teenage participants to talk about the issue in a creative, and lasting way.

Girudala CEO Michelle Hooke said this is an important message to portray to young people.

"The community needs to know more about mental health," Ms Hooke said.

"This project is an amazing way for these teenagers to learn more about it, as well as facilitate conversation that they might not have been able to have before."

The week-long project, which saw more than 20 participants, was separated into different days, with the first being used to brainstorm, something that Desert Pea Media production co-ordinator Grace Newell believes opened the eyes of many participants.

"Monday was a day full of brainstorming, so that involved not just planning the video, but firstly informing the team about the issue of mental health," Ms Newell said.

"I really think some of the guys here went 'wow, I never knew about this' and that's what this project is about, getting people talking about things they didn't know beforehand."

The rest of the brainstorming day was used to create lyrics, as well as piece together the music and style of video clip that they would create.

The teens then recorded the lyrics over the next two days.

On Friday the production team and the teenagers were spotted out and about in Bowen, filming their music clip at iconic locations such as Mullers Lagoon and the Bowen Jetty.

Dudley Dotoi, one of the teens contributing to the music video said it had been a really great week.

"It's been really fun, I think everyone has really enjoyed it," he said. "I joke and say that I've been running the show, but it's everyone's song and clip and I think it's been a great experience for everyone."

Desert Pea Media will be in Bowen until the end of the week, creating two short documentaries to complement the music video.

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