The Pink Sari Project National Songwriting competition by the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service and Pink Sari Inc. has won the Arts and Culture Category at the 2017 Australian Multicultural Marketing Awards
The competition is aimed at creating awareness on the importance of breast screening amongst Indian and Sri Lankan communities, and was open to aspiring and professional songwriters and musicians from all communities. It provided a means to showcase music as well as spread inspiring messages to encourage women to take charge of their health and book their regular mammograms. The efforts of this campaign have reached thousands of people, resulting in an increase of up to 51% of 50-69 year old women in NSW, who are now getting breast screens across these communities.
The national songwriting competition was the brainchild of the creative genius Kevin Bathman at the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service and the mentorship of Acting Director, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service Michael Camit.
“The project is a great example of how health organisations and community groups can work together to achieve a positive outcome for the community. We, at MHCS, have been enriched by the commitment and passion of individuals and community groups who we consider the co-creators of this campaign. We are particularly humbled to see, what started as a two-year campaign has become the long-term movement of Pink Sari Incorporated,” said Camit.
According to Bathman, “For this project, it was a huge undertaking to ‘trial’ a new approach to arts and health using music and songwriting. Hopefully, with the win, we will be able to advocate for health campaigns to realise the power of the arts in conveying complex issues surrounding health and well-being in multicultural communities.”
The songwriters were Anu Sitaram, Daniel Vijayakumar, Deepa Srinivasan, Gary Luck, Priyanka Pinto, Rekha Shashikanth, Russell Vincent, Sheyana Wijesingha and Sumathi Krishnan. The musicians and vocalists who supported the songwriters: Devaki Parthasarthy, Aditi Sreyashi, Abhijit Dan, Pushpa Jagadish and Marshall David.
“Community engagement and an excellent partnership between Pink Sari Inc. and the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service has been instrumental in the success of the Pink Sari campaign,” said Shantha Viswanathan, vice president, Pink Sari Inc.