Australian music icon Julia Stone recites moving poem for NRMA Insurance’s new ‘Invisible Fires’ campaign via Thinkerbell


NRMA Insurance has partnered with Australian music icon Julia Stone and Lifeline Australia, in a new initiative by Thinkerbell, to highlight the continued need for mental health support for people affected by the Black Summer bushfires.


As part of the idea, Stone has created a moving bush poem, “Next To Me”. The poem sheds light on the ongoing mental health trauma experienced by people impacted by bushfires and aims to reassure those who are struggling a year on, that help is still available. The poem is in response to Lifeline Australia continuing to receive more than 400 calls a day to its dedicated Bushfire Recovery Helpline.

To illustrate Julia’s evocative poem, Thinkerbell, produced in partnership with Vandal and Eardrum, have created a mesmerising video titled “Invisible Fires”. Beginning as an MRI scan, a brain morphs in response to Julia’s lyrics, to metaphorically highlight the overwhelming negative mental impact the catastrophic natural disaster had on so many Australians.

Says Paul Swann, executive creative tinker, Thinkerbell: “We wanted to capture the link between natural disasters and mental distress in a powerful and captivating way that would make people stop and take notice of such an important message. Julia’s poignant words accompanied by the visual metaphor in the video effectively draws attention to the fact that while the bushfires ended a year ago, for many, the invisible fires still burn.”

The poem is personal for Stone, who trained as a mental health counsellor and volunteers as a crisis support worker, assisting people and families living with anxiety disorders.

The campaign follows a two-million-dollar donation to Lifeline Australia from NRMA Insurance and RACV. The donation is helping Lifeline provide video counselling support and community resilience training in bushfire affected areas.

Says Zara Curtis, director of content and customer engagement, IAG: “While most Australians saw the devastation of the bushfires on their screens, as an insurer we also see that the emotional toll on our customers and their communities goes beyond the physical damage to homes, businesses and wildlife. This initiative is a reminder that help is still available – no one needs to suffer in silence.”

The video will be supported via PR and social media channels.

Client: IAG
Chief Marketing Officer: Brent Smart
Director of Content & Customer Engagement: Zara Curtis
Lead Content & Editorial: Rae Metlitzky
Content & Social Media Lead: Sinead Hoffman
Principal, Corporate Communications: Claire Morgan

Client Partner: Lifeline
Executive Director, Marketing and Fundraising: Lisa Cheng
National Manager Communications and Public Affairs: Ina Mullin

Creative & PR: Thinkerbell
Executive Creative Tinker: Paul Swann
Head PR Thinker: Natalie Duncan
Head Production Tinker: Grant Anderson
Lead PR Thinker: Taylor York
CEO: Margie Reid
Chief Thinker: Adam Ferrier
National Chief Creative Tinker: Jim Ingram
Lead Tinker: Chris McMullen
Head Tinker: Sesh Moodley
General Manager: Katie Dally
Thinker: Josh Green
Head Thinker: Ruth Hatch

Visuals: Vandal
Managing Director: Brenden Johnson
Creative Director: Emile Rademeyer
Lead Artist: Mick Watson
Producer: Laura Tenison
Sound Design: Nigel Crowley

Audio: Eardrum
Sound Design and Voice Direction: Ralph van Dijk
Audio Producer & Casting: Jessie Williams

Written and Performed: Julia Stone