Deadly Dan at the League: The Book

The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) Healthy Lifestyle and Tackling Indigenous Smoking Team (TIS) developed a fully illustrated children’s book addressing tobacco use and promoting healthy behaviours through a well-known health promotion character in the Community: Deadly Dan, the Smoke-Free Man. Deadly Dan is a nationally recognised character who was originally designed and distributed by the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Tobacco Control (CEITC). This book is now accompanied by a suite of Deadly Dan resources, including a colouring in, stickers, t-shirts with cloaks, a possum-skin cloak with quit journey stories, a Deadly Dan costume, a 7-minute film version of the story, and an education suite for early years and primary school teachers. These resources all emphasise Deadly Dan’s catchy slogan: “You Smoke, You Choke!”

Key Aims & Objectives:
• Provide a place-based and culturally relevant story for the northwest Melbourne Aboriginal Community
• Incorporate Koorie English words and language in the story
• Introduce children to a traditional possum-skin storytelling cloak
• Provide opportunity for parental (or sibling, carer, Community member or educator) engagement in children’s literacy
• Promote behaviour change and conversation around healthy lifestyle choices and smoking
• Specifically, target 3-9 year-olds as the primary audience
• Empower children to become healthy lifestyle ambassadors within the Community to deliver messages to secondary audiences (parents, siblings, carers and Community members)
• Strengthen cultural pride, identity, confidence and resilience within the Community
• Promote Community clubs and brands (Fitzroy Stars and Healthy Lifestyle Team)
• Provide a referral pathway to VAHS, Quitline and other smoking cessation programs

A PDF version of Deadly Dan at The League is available to download here:

Click here to download

Deadly Dan at the League: The Film

The VAHS Healthy Lifestyle and TIS Team worked closely with a film production company to bring Deadly Dan’s “You Smoke You Choke” message off the page and onto the screen. The directors auditioned local Aboriginal talent to act in the film and become smoke free ambassadors for the Community. The film includes shots of many local cultural landmarks, including The Aboriginal Advancement League and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, keeping with the pace-based theme of the book. The film aims to engage Community through another medium to promote and strengthen tobacco harm and cessation messages, and aims to bring families and the wider Community together to make smoke-free choices. The film has the potential to reach a wide audience of Aboriginal people across Australia.

<strong>Deadly Dan at the League: The Education Suite</strong>

The VAHS Healthy Lifestyle and TIS Team have completed the first 2 of 11 lesson plans to accompany the Deadly Dan at The League resources. VAHS has distributed large (A3) copies of the Deadly Dan book to schools across the City of Darebin, along with Teacher’s Notes which guide early years and primary school teachers through the lesson plans and link each lesson to the Victorian Curriculum.

Teacher’s Notes and additional resources for City of Darebin educators are available to download here:

Teachers Notes
Darebin Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Recognition Discovery Map
Curriculum Links (Tobacco Health Harms and Place)
Colouring Book
Word Search Lena