Troy Cassar-Daley – Deadly Sounds interview transcript

Rhoda: Our special guest is Troy Cassar-Daley, he’s lending a hand to support the national HPV, or the Human Papillomavirus, campaign that’s going to come out across the nation. The kids are going to come home from school with a letter to have this new vaccination. Why are you lending a hand Troy?

Troy: Look Rhoda, I think that when I was first approached about this I went straight online as you do and you start looking at what it’s all about; my kids happen to fit in the exact age group the vaccination is going to be dealt out to as well.

I just wanted to become involved; everyone is used to me talking about my career and all that sort of stuff. My most important role that I have ever played is being a husband and a father and I saw it as a responsibility of mine as an Indigenous dad to be another voice to tell people what the papilloma (sic) virus is all about and also the fact that this vaccination is going to be rolled out to all schools, for free, between 2013-2014. I just wanted to become involved because it’s something I’ve signed up for my kids to be a part of, and I just want to let everyone know that it’s been a priority in our house to look at the long term effects are of this virus to save them a lot of trouble in the future.

Rhoda: A lot of parents might be familiar because there was a big push over the last few years that all young girls get this vaccination at school, but there is a real focus as well that young boys need it as well. Now the vaccination, is it just a one off vaccination that they get?

Troy: Well you know the vaccination really is three shots over six months, and like anything you know, you have got to finish the whole course to ensure that you are protected properly, you know? I know all the results I read about with the girls have been fantastic because it was mainly against cervical cancer and other things that this virus can lead to.

When I saw these results Rhoda, I thought hang on a minute, it’s great they are covering the boys too, because now the boys will have the protection as well. And look, once kids get sexually active that’s the first thing, we are also talking about obviously not unprotected sex. We gotta make sure we keep kids you know, thinking about protected sex, stopping things like STD’s getting into your lives. This is a long term thing I think, that really is a preventative thing. And in our mob we got enough to worry about with health, we know about sugar diabetes, we know about heart conditions and all the stuff associated with Indigenous health. And my family are all a testament to that too. And we’re trying to do everything we can to save our kids from that. This is one of those preventative things that saves them a lot of trouble with their health in the long term.

Rhoda: And it is fantastic, it’s at school, it’s not going to cost you anything, sign the consent form, do the three step process because as Troy has mentioned, it’s the future really. But you know a lot of our young people, amazing amounts are doing education online, they’re living in remote communities. What happens to them? Can they still get access?

Troy: Look they sure can, and look first thing they should do, ‘cause they’ll be doing their stuff online, they should get on and have a look at the website too, and just check out what this vaccine’s all about. It’s important you read about it like everyone has. But if they get on there and visit australia.gov.au/hpv they’ll get a chance then to have a look for themselves as to what it involves, and they can get along either to their local AMS, which is their local Aboriginal Medical Service, or they can see their local GP. I’m sure there’ll be some brochures or pamphlets around just telling about what this vaccination’s all about. To me it was one of those important things that as soon as the papers came to our house from our young fella at school, he’s covered. My daughter’s already been vaccinated ‘cause she’s got into that age group where she was already vaccinated as well. So it sounds all complicated but it’s very simple. All it is really is just looking out for our future of our kids

Rhoda: And of course we need our health to continue that future. So kids come home with notes every day and you do tend to stick them on the fridge or chuck them out.

Troy: Yeah. This one did come through and I was aware of it but I hadn’t heard of the ramifications of what happens with the virus itself. And reading about that made me all the more really keen to get involved and be another voice to let our mob know what it’s about.

Rhoda: It’s been fantastic talking to you and lending a hand for the HPV campaign. Thank you so much, I know there are families across the country that once they visit the website and find a little more about this, it won’t be so frightening.

Troy: Well you know, Rhoda, thank you for your time too and thank you to Deadly Sounds for having me on. I just think it’s an important investment for us to be able to get them done, to give them some peace of mind in later life.

Rhoda: If you want to find out more about the vaccination campaign you can visit the website at www.australia.gov.au/hpv