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Streetwize Communications archive

Made in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1984-2007.

Streetwize Communications was a leading not for profit national organisation. For over 21 years, Streetwize (1984-2007) developed comics, posters and other resources on a range of issues including health, education, employment, the law and Indigenous specific issues. It specialised in researching and communicating social issues to young people and hard to reach groups, particularly those disadvantaged or excluded from access to mainstream sources of information.

The main ethos and driving force...


Object No.


Physical Description

This collection of Streetwize publications relate to the health and welfare of Indigenous Australians, the HIV Aids epidemic, drug abuse, racism, migration, the environment and other key social issues during 1984-2007.

Not yet fully catalogued but includes:
Comic, On the Edge, 12 pages, examines the unique problems faced by young people with dual diagnosis (mental illness and drug issues) and encourages them to utilise the health services available. Produced in collaboration with South Sydney Youth Service. Produced with funding from the Perpetual Trustees, South Sydney Council and NSW Department of Community Services. Includes three pages of NSW contact and information numbers.

Comic, Feedwize, 8 pages, mini-comic explains the health benefits of breastfeeding infants and offers advice and contacts for further information. This comic is aimed at young indigenous woman.

Comics (3), Losing It, 8 pages., shows the devastating financial and emotional effects of gambling on families and the difficulties experienced by family members when a relative has a gambling problem. This reprint contains contact numbers in SA for advice and assistance. Produced with funding from the NSW Government from the Casino Community Benefit Fund. There are three copies of this comic in English, Chinese and Khmer.

Comic, Blak N' Blues, 16 pages, aimed at young Aboriginal people in rural areas who may be experiencing depression, this comic contains two stories back to back in a mini comic. Produced with funding from the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

Comic, Dealin' With It!, 16 pages, for young rural men in NSW who may be experiencing depression. Produced with funding from the Department of Health and Aged Care under the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Comic, Close Shaves, 16 pages, the internal pages feature colour illustrations and discusses blood borne diseases, particularly focusing on the safety risks of sharing needles and unsafe sex.

Comic, Getting On Track, 20 pages, aimed at Aboriginal drug users and their families who may be interested in accessing drug treatment programs. Provides information on Methadone and Buprnorphine and provides contact numbers for support and assistance within NSW.

Comic, Streetwize Hep C, 20 pages, aimed at young injecting drug users and looks at how to avoid Hepatitis C and what to do if you contract the virus. It contains two stories and contact details nationally for advice and assistance. Produced with funding from the Australian National Council on AIDS, Hepatitis C and Related Diseases.

Comic, Spur of the Moment, 8 pages, looks at the dangers and serious legal consequences of car theft. The comic has contact numbers Australia-wide for young people who may need legal advice. Produced with funding from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction.

Comics (2), What is Hep C?, 8 pages, developed specifically for people with low literacy, the comic looks at how Hep C can be contracted and the effects of the virus. It provides advice and contacts for further information services. Produced with funding Hepatitis C Council of NSW. There are 2 copies of this comic, one in English the other in [Khmer].

Comic, poster and original artwork by Leeanne Hunter for Streetwize Communications, People of the Land publications, 1993. Produced for International Year of World Indigenous Peoples, funded by Department of Employment, Education and Training, the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island Committee and Bernard Van Leer Foundation, the Netherlands.

Comic (1), Workwize, produced by Workcover NSW / Streetwise Comics Ltd, Australia, 1997. (REC9769)

Comic, The Other Side, editorial copy, 8 pages, photocopy, Streetwize, 2003. (REC11653/1)

Comic, Home Free, preliminary draft for comic which later became 'The other Side', 8 pages, Streetwize Communications, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2003. Comic drawn on eight pages with outline in black pen. (REC11653/2 (L4337/1)

Comic (2), The Other Side!, paper, Streetwize Communications, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2003. Two colour A4 sized comics 'The Other Side!' with pages stapled together. Comics appear identical. REC11653/2 (L4337/2)

Poster, Condoman, not a Streetwize production, but distributed through Streetwize-associated organizations.



Many of the illustrations in Streetwize comics were produced by Ross Carnsew.

Streetwize Comics began in 1984 as an initiative of Redfern Legal Centre, Redfern Legal Centre Publishing, NSW Legal Aid and the Youth Advocacy Service of Marrickville Legal Centre. While the comics were initially conceived as a way of informing young people about their legal rights and responsibilities, it was soon realised that young people's problems are multifaceted and interconnected. The issues covered in the comics broadened out to include health, drugs, welfare, sexuality, employment and personal rights.
Because streetwise comics are based on the philosophy that effective communication must be built around the perceptions and needs of the audience, in-depth research and consultation with target audiences informs the development of each comic, drafts are tested in workshops, and the final results are subject to evaluation.
The comics were initially distributed in youth refuges and institutions in NSW, but Streetwize Communications went on to produce specially adapted editions for other states. Funding comes from federal and state goverment departments, non-government and community organisations. The Streetwize Comics concept has been so successful that it has been emulated in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.





Archival collection received from Streetwize when it closed in 2007. At the time, most of the comics were archived alphabetically by Streetwize as their dates hadn't always ben recorded.

Founded in 1984, Streetwize Comics mainly produced free educational comics for young people covering a wide range of issues. The comics communicated important messages in an easy-to-read format that young people could relate to, particularly disadvantaged youth. The comics (as well as other material including posters, infocards, and educators' notes) dealt with topics such as health and safety, legal issues, racism, sexual harassment, domestic violence, homosexuality, housing, employment, gambling, drug and alcohol abuse and other social issues. They were developed in consultation with young people from the target audiences and based on the philosophy that effective communication must be built around the perceptions and needs of the audience. Funding came from federal and state government departments, non-government and community organisations.


Credit Line

Gift of Streetwize Communications, 2007

Acquisition Date

9 August, 2007

Cite this Object


Streetwize Communications archive 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 January 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Streetwize Communications archive |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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