No more stroke for our mob: rap spreads awareness this Stroke Week

September 09, 2016

A new rap song promoting stroke awareness and prevention is set to hit the airwaves across the country during National Stroke Week (12-18 September).

The song, written by Cairns speech pathologist Rukmani Rusch and performed by leading Indigenous artist Naomi Wenitong, was created to boost low levels of stroke awareness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Stroke Foundation Queensland Executive Officer Libby Dunstan said the rap packed a punch, delivering a powerful message in a fun and accessible way.

“Too many Australians couldn’t spot a stroke if it was happening right in front of them. We know that in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities this awareness is even lower,” Ms Dunstan said.

“This Stroke Week we want all Australians, regardless of where they live or what community they’re from, to learn the signs of stroke.

“Naomi and Rukmani’s stroke rap runs through vital stroke awareness messages, such as lifestyle advice, learning the signs of stroke, and crucially the need to seek medical advice when stroke strikes.

“Music is a powerful tool for change and we hope that people will listen to the song and remember the FAST message – it could save their life,” Ms Dunstan said.

This year National Stroke Week centres on the theme Speed Saves in recognition of the impact time has on stroke. Many stroke treatments can only be administered within a short time after stroke, which is why knowing the signs of stroke is so critical.

Ms Dunstan said too many Australians continue to lose their lives to stroke each year.

“There will be more than 50,000 strokes in Australia this year and sadly many people miss out on accessing life-saving treatment as they don’t get to hospital on time,” Ms Dunstan said.

“We want the community to be aware that stroke is always a medical emergency. When you have a stroke, your brain cells start to die at a rate of almost two million per minute.

“Being aware of the signs of stroke and knowing to call 000 as soon as it strikes is crucial in the fight against this terrible disease.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are between two and three times as likely to have a stroke than non-Indigenous Australians which is why increasing stroke awareness is crucial.

“This National Stroke Week you can help us make a difference. Share the stroke rap with your family and friends on social media and celebrate Stroke Week in your community.

“It is all about bringing people together to have fun, while raising awareness of stroke.”

Think FAST this National Stroke Week and raise awareness of stroke. Find out more, register your event at Free resource packs and information are available to assist with events; including posters fundraising ideas and information about stroke awareness.

National Stroke Week runs from September 12 to 18. It is an annual event which aims to raise the awareness of stroke within the community and encourage Australians to take action to prevent stroke.

Media Contact: Rachel Murphy p) 03 9670 1000 m) 0408 000 409 e) Website:

Interviews, local statistics and images including the F.A.S.T graphic available on request.