VIRAL: Are You The Cure?

July 27, 2022

Originally staged as a play which toured in 2018 and 2019, VIRAL is a short film made with mob for mob about navigating hepatitis C. The project has been supported by long-term partner of ILBIJERRI, the Victorian Government Department of Health, as part of a series of works tackling health and social issues.

Sifting through myths, smashing stigma, and getting the right information can seem like an impossible dream – but preventing and curing hepatitis C is now easier than you might think.

In 2005, ILBIJERRI was approached by the Victorian Government Department of Health to develop a play that would communicate hepatitis C prevention and education messages in a culturally appropriate way to the Indigenous community. It was understood that live performance, particularly comedy, is an effective tool in breaking down social boundaries where certain concepts and issues are considered too confronting to publicly discuss.

In 2018, the stage play VIRAL followed on from our widely acclaimed works CHOPPED LIVER and BODY ARMOUR – three exciting instalments in ILBIJERRI’s trilogy of hepatitis C health works – aimed at breaking down stigma, promoting healing, and getting the Community hep C free.

Created through an in-depth engagement process, including community workshops and yarning circles, VIRAL was remounted for a second regional tour in 2019, following its inaugural tour in 2018, and once again performed in community centres, schools and prisons. VIRAL was due to have its third and final community tour in 2020 as a live theatre show. In response to Covid restrictions and the unlikely chance of getting the work out into the community, the production was re-imagined as a film to be rolled out in 2022.

Join Ally and Kev who live up in the flats. They’ve got their own little place, a brand new baby and dreams for the future. Life should be good but sometimes things don’t always go to plan.

Meet Merv who hasn’t been feeling great lately, not for some years in fact. Years of tough luck, bad choices and hard living have finally caught up with him.

They’re all looking at one final chance to make things right before it’s too late.

LiverWELL is proud to have been involved in this excellent production by working with colleagues from ILBIJERRI on the reference group and to further the promotion of the film.

See the film
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We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands where we work - the lands of the Woi-Wurrung Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. We express our gratitude to them for their continued care and curation of these lands and waters. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

LiverWELL observes and honours the Kulin Nation's intrinsic connection to land, sky and water, and the creator Bunjil. LiverWELL is committed to being led and informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on bridging health outcomes for communities and improving liver health.