Imagine living in a world that only ever showed pictures and told stories that were bad news. Every time you opened up a newspaper or you turned on the TV it was information about violence, dysfunction, abuse and destruction. Imagine what that would do to your mind and your view of the world.
By Gavin Jones, Deadly Vibe Founder and Managing Director
I think it would make you feel bad news was completely normal. I think you would come to expect that as a way of life.
Well, that negative reality was pretty much the norm for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back in the 1990’s and even worse in the decades that preceded. If you were a young Indigenous Australian, everything you read or viewed in the media about yourself and your people seemed to be bad news.
This overly negative media was the reason why we started Deadly Vibe magazine 200 months ago. To put something positive in the hands of our young people; something of a high professional quality that could be read and handed around at home or school that told a different story. A story we could be proud of. A magazine that was ours.
Something that had blackfellas achieving and breaking stereotypes – achieving in music, sport, at a community level, in the health sector, at school and in the work force. Of course, there is football, but other things as well. And not gammin – real life stories of our mob doing great things from the city to the bush.
Something our young people can get excited about, and be justifiably proud of.
Deadly Vibe magazine aimed, and continues to aim, at playing a role in changing the expected norms, putting a mirror up for our young people, and for us to smile right back at that mirror with images and stories of others like us. We are doing and achieving great things.
Our own heroes
Of course, we all cannot be Olympic gold medallists, football champions, world surfing champions, rock and roll stars or in the movies – but the brothers and sisters that do reach those heights can certainly be our own heroes. People we can admire, our mob whose pictures we can put on our bedroom walls. You see, we wanted a magazine that we could open up and read each month that said to the reader: “This is me, I am looking at me and reading about me – I can do this too!”
I would estimate after 200 editions of Deadly Vibe, we are now having this positive impact on our third generation of young people.
Looking back over the 200 editions is an absolute privilege – re-reading the stories and remembering the behind-the-scenes stories that go with putting out a magazine, is a very humbling experience. Every edition tells a story about that particular moment in time. And brings back very good memories.
We can do anything
What Deadly Vibe magazine really began back in the day was the realisation in this country that across every walk of life there are Aboriginal people doing great things. And we as a community don’t have to wait around for the mainstream to say that we are alright. We know we are better than alright, we are Deadly! And we can tell ourselves and each other all about it!
Deadly Vibe, I hope, has said to you and continues to say that we can do anything – we are smart, talented and capable people with the determinations of hundreds of thousands of years behind us. We can beat the bad news and rise above the terrible health and education statistics. Deadly Vibe magazine shows us that we can do it! Why, because there are others that are doing it alongside us.
On behalf of the Deadly Vibe Group, it is a total honour and privilege to bring you Deadly Vibe each month. Our current editor Jake Keane stepped into the role in 2010, bringing his own strengths to the magazine and taking it to a new level each month. I am proud of him, and the team that write, design and distribute Deadly Vibe – a quality publication that continues to show this country just how good we are at breaking down the negative stereotypes, one by one, day by day.
Making a difference
Of course we are not the answer to all the issues that continue to face our community – but we are certainly part of the solution. And my team and I are proud of the work we do. And we know it makes a difference.
So, to all the many people who have worked on and contributed to Deadly Vibe over the journey, and to all our funding bodies, sponsors, advertisers, contributors and families, thank you and – congratulations.
This magazine belongs to all of us. Please keep reading Deadly Vibe. I hope you enjoy this very important 200th issue. And please, everyone stay deadly.
20 years, 200 editions, 1000 radio programs
Some happy snaps from the party