Drawing Them In: Stories from people who know

Stream: Advances in Harm Reduction
Date: Friday, 1 April 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.45 pm


The diversity of communities affected by viral hepatitis and the changing profile of hepatitis C treatment and prevalence make development of relevant and engaging health promotion resources difficult. Publications must be practical, respectful, culturally appropriate and suitably targeted to deliver health promotion messages successfully.

During the Staying Safe research project (Centre for Social Research in Health, 2015), Treloar et al found little development in health promotion messages over 20 years. Limited targeting to diverse audiences reduced effective uptake of messages. The peer-based storyline process Drawing Them In incorporates education and creative workshops to produce the accessible-literacy health promotion publication Transmission Magazine.

I examine the 12 recommendations from the Technical review of hepatitis C health promotion resources (Winter et al, 2011) and use them to evaluate Drawing Them In to identify benefits of and challenges to effective health promotion messaging.

Drawing Them In and Transmission Magazine demonstrate a targeted and engaging model of health promotion and community engagement that addresses many challenges identified by Winter et al and Treloar et al.

Drawing Them In participant evaluations show both actual and self-reported increase in knowledge about hepatitis C prevention and management as well as increased engagement with health and community services.

The defining features of Drawing Them In – active involvement at all stages of peers from affected communities, alongside a wholistic health education approach informed by health literacy principles – enables production of effective and appropriate hepatitis C health promotion resources.


Heather McCormack (Presenter), Hepatitis NSW
Heather McCormack has worked in the blood borne virus sector for eight years. She is currently the editor of Hepatitis NSW’s Transmission Magazine, which is collaboratively developed with communities affected by viral hepatitis. Heather’s role on this project draws on her work in health promotion, communications, community development and creative writing.