The Multicultural Gambler's Help Program launched a social marketing campaign with the Somali community in Melbourne, aiming to raise awareness of problem gambling and promote access to counselling services.
The campaign was based on research identifying problem gambling risk factors in emerging refugee communities (MGHP, 2008). Download research report (PDF).
A Somali community worker was hired to lead the campaign, guided by a reference group that included Gambler's Help Northern, the Melbourne Taxi Drivers Association, the United Somali Women's Association and Somali social workers and religious leaders.
Four target audiences were identified: community leaders, taxi drivers, families and young men. A range of strategies were then used to reach each group.
Training sessions were held with Somali community leaders and bilingual workers, to increase their knowledge of problem gambling and the Gambler's Help service.
As these people were key sources of information in their community, it was important for them to identify signs of problem gambling and refer people to support services.
Outreach activities were held at taxi ranks in Melbourne Airport, Flemington, Heidelberg West and the city. A brochure and a flag pen with Somali messages on problem gambling were distributed to drivers.
Read brochure (PDF)
View flag pen (JPG)
Information sessions were presented at Somali men's groups, women's groups and homework clubs in Heidelberg West, Ascot Vale and Carlton.
Radio interviews on SBS Radio and 3CR proved to be a highly effective way of reaching the community. Reference group members were given media training by MGHP before participating in the interviews.
Newspaper stories in the Heidelberg Leader (English) and the Ambassador (Somali) were also an effective way to get problem gambling messages to the broader Somali community.
Read media release (PDF)
Yong men, especially those living in community housing, were also targeted. Two information sessions were delivered by the project worker, and a poster was developed to highlight the risks of problem gambling.
The poster was launched at a Somali soccer match at the North Melbourne Community Centre. At the launch, young men from the community spoke about their involvement with the campaign.
View poster (PDF)
- The Somali community wants a greater awareness of problem gambling.
- The more you gamble, the more you lose.
- Problem gambling can threaten your future and your faith.
These messages were developed by the community and approved by the project reference group.
The campaign by funded by the Victorian Government through the Office of Gaming and Racing.