Health promotion retrospective

Health promotion retrospective

HIV Australia | Vol. 13 No. 3 | December 2015

Condoman is Australia’s best known HIV health promotion campaigns, but there is a long history of innovative and culturally sensitive HIV health promotion in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Condoman is one of Australia’s longest running health promotion campaigns, having been first developed in 1987 by a group of Indigenous health workers in Townsville to promote and encourage condom use.

During the campaign, the action figure was referred to as the ‘deadly protector of sexual health’ and sprouted messages like don’t be shame be game protect yourself and use frenchies/condoms.

Aunty Gracelyn Smallwood remembers the first time she saw the Grim Reaper TV advertisements and quickly realised that the messages might not be seen or understood by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, so she secured a federal government grant to develop a campaign that would have impact on the population; and so, Condoman was born!

He continues to live on and promote safe sex messages globally but importantly across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

In 2009 the Condoman was reinvigorated and Lubelicious joined Condoman in continuing to promote safe sex.

At the 2011 International Society of STD Research Conference, Condoman was cited as one of the top 100 sexual health messages developed globally.