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People dressed in sparkly dresses, ornate hats and carrying a eccentric variety of props sit on chairs waiting in the Royal Exhibition Building vaccination hub. They are all wearing face masks.
Photograph: Supplied / Prue Bassett publicity

Victorian artists launch a heartfelt vaccine awareness campaign

Victoria's biggest artists and organisations have teamed up to create a heartwarming video encouraging vaccination

Nicola Dowse
Written by
Nicola Dowse

Victoria's arts community is bloody brilliant. We already knew this. They've also had one of the roughest trots of the pandemic, which has left theatres empty, galleries bare and many artists unpaid. But that hasn't stopped them banding together to release – and we're calling it – the best vaccination awareness campaign in Australia.

The new vaccination awareness campaign 'Performance of a Lifetime' was created and delivered by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, which brought together some of the state's biggest arts organisations and artists to create a beautiful, heartfelt public service announcement. The video was written and directed by Emma Muir-Smith and uses health communication theories in the hope of addressing any vaccine hesitancy Victorians might feel (while also acknowledging not all Victorians can get vaccinated just yet).

MSO managing director Sophie Galaise said: "Along with our colleagues in the arts community, we are encouraging our audiences and the wider community to get vaccinated so we can all get back to doing what we love — whether that’s playing contact sports, enjoying a meal with our loved ones, or getting back on stage to entertain our treasured audiences." 

Take a look at the video for yourself below.

As you might have recognised, the video was shot at the Royal Exhibition Building which is currently in use as a vaccination hub. The video also features footage from Arts Centre Melbourne and archival performances from some of the city's major arts companies, including MTC, MSO, Malthouse Theatre, Victorian Opera, Short Black Opera, the Australian Ballet. Melbourne Opera and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

There are some pretty big names lending their time to the cause too, such as (saint) Rhonda Burchmore, Tim Minchin, Deborah Cheetham, Virginia Gay and Meow Meow. Captions for the video are also available in Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Greek, Hindi, Italian and Mandarin. 

The Victorian government has supported the campaign with the minister for creative industries, Danny Pearson, saying: "Our arts community is doing everything they can to recover and reactivate and this campaign is a clever and creative way of encouraging audiences to play their role and get vaccinated. If you can get vaccinated, please book in or visit a hub – the sooner we get vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to doing the things we love."

Here's more on how to get vaccinated in Melbourne right now (including how to check if you're eligible).

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