NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #CoronaVirus News Alert  No 17 #KeepOurMobSafe @GregHuntMP @KenWyattMP investing $6.9 million through NACCHO, its sector support organisations to coordinate Australia’s COVID-19 response efforts, including to ensure cultural safety across all GP respiratory clinics

Government backs remote communities with COVID-19 support

1.What is COVID-19?

2.What are the symtoms?

3.We all need to work together to keep our communities safe and stop the spread of the virus

4.Protecting our communities and Elders

5.Stay Connected

6.National COVID19 Directory listing

Government backs remote communities with COVID-19 support

 ” The Government is investing $6.9 million through the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, its sector support organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services to coordinate Australia’s COVID-19 response efforts, including to ensure cultural safety across all GP respiratory clinics “

The Australian Government is offering 45 flexible grants to help 110 remote communities across Australia protect themselves against COVID-19.

The grants are available as part of the Government’s $57.8 million Remote Community Preparedness and Retrieval package.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the Government was focused on ensuring remote Indigenous communities were prepared for an outbreak of COVID-19.

“We know that isolation and remoteness may help delay an outbreak of COVID-19 in remote Indigenous communities,” Minister Hunt said.

“Nonetheless, the Government is committed to playing its role in protecting communities and ensuring appropriate steps are taken to delay or prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in these areas.”

“We are empowering local communities to take the steps they think are necessary to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19.”

To help stop the spread of the virus, governments are restricting the movement of people in and out of remote areas.

The decision to restrict access to remote communities follows advice from Indigenous leaders, decisions by a number of Indigenous communities and the Western Australian and Northern Territory Governments to implement similar measures.

Travelling to other towns and cities could increase the chance of community members getting sick. It could spread the virus between communities.

Community members are encouraged to return to their own community as soon as possible. Anyone returning to community will need to self-isolate for 14 days, outside of their community, before they can return.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, said the flexible grants funding will ensure culturally safe measures can be developed and implemented.

“It’s important that remote communities will have the opportunity to develop local, flexible solutions in planning their response to COVID-19,” Minister Wyatt said.

“By implementing local solutions, we can make it easier to ensure people in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can access the support they need.”

“The Government’s number one priority is to keep all Australians safe, and this of course includes our Indigenous communities, especially those in regional and remote areas, where many already live with major chronic diseases.”

The grants package is part of the Government’s broader $2.4 billion health package to fight COVID-19, which includes initiatives to help remote communities limit their exposure, have the capacity to evaluate cases, and respond effectively if an outbreak occurs.

Minister Hunt said the Government’s new GP respiratory clinics are a crucial part of the mix of health care services the Government is putting in place to respond to COVID-19, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The respiratory clinics will help assess people with mild to moderate fever and respiratory symptoms away from hospitals and other general practices,” he said.

“The clinics won’t cost people anything to use them – and we will ensure they are culturally appropriate.”

Some GP respiratory clinics will be operated by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, supplemented by mobile and deployable options to respond to needs in remote communities.

This information has been prepared by the Australian Government Department of Health in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

It aims to provide key information to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households, communities and stakeholders as information changes, or new resources become available.

You can share this information with your friends, family and community networks. 

1.What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a sickness that can spread from person to person. It can be dangerous, especially for our Elders, people who are already unwell or people with a chronic health condition.

The sickness spreads from person to person when people cough or sneeze. Germs can stay on things people touch. Germs can spread fast.

When a person who has the virus coughs or sneezes, tiny drops of the virus can spread. It can get into the eyes, nose or mouth of people around them, making them sick. Help stop the spread of the virus by keeping your hands away from your face.

It can also spread to things people who have the virus touch. Like a table, door handle or mobile phone. When other people touch those things, they can catch the virus.

2.What are the symtoms?

For some people, the virus will feel a lot like having a cold or flu. People who have the virus may have a high fever, a cough, a sore throat, and feel tired.

Some people will get better without treatment. For other people the virus can be very dangerous. Especially for Elders and people in our community who have health problems, like bad heart, lungs, kidneys or diabetes.

For some people the virus can get worse and become a sickness called pneumonia. It causes damage to the lungs and makes it hard to breathe. This can also stop people’s organs working like they should.

3.We all need to work together to keep our communities safe and stop the spread of the virus.

  • Staying healthy and strong with good hygiene
  • Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after you cough or sneeze, go to the toilet, and before you make any food.
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm or elbow, not your hands.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Put your tissues in the bin after you use them and wash your hands after.
  • Clean surfaces often, such as doors, kitchen and bathroom
  • Don’t hug or shake hands with people.
  • If you are sick with a fever, cough or sore throat and feel tired or are having trouble breathing, keep way from people and family in the community and seek medical help.

New black fella hug features Redfern ACCHO CEO La Verne Bellear

4.Protecting our communities and Elders

Don’t travel to places in your community, or other communities, unless you have to.

Stay at home and away from other people as much as you can. If you are around people, try to stay two meters away from them. That’s two big steps.

5.Staying connected

It’s important we stay connected with family, friends and community.

Call people for a yarn on the phone.

Talk to the community and check if they are OK.

Talk about the virus and how to stop the spread.

Connect to family and friends on social media.

Visit for the latest national medical advice.

Call your local Aboriginal Medical Service, or someone you trust in the community if you feel unwell.

Call the 24-hour National COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Visit for information about community closures.

Information about all support available from the Australia Government in response to COVID-19 is available at

Directory listing of all National , State and Territory Department of Health , Help Lines and NACCHO Affiliate Facebook pages


Health Department link here

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

NACCHO Facebook link here

NACCHO Website

NACCHO Communique Corona Virus Alerts


Health Department

NSW: 1300 066 055

AHMRC link here


Health Department

VIC: 1300 651 160

VACCHO link here


Health Department

QLD: 13 432 584

QAIHC link here


Health Department

WA: 08 9222 8588

AHCWA link here


Health Department

SA: 1300 232 272

AHCSA link here


Tasmania Health Department

TAS: 1800 671 738

TAC link here


ACT Health link here

ACT: 02 6205 2155

Winnunga ACCHO link here


NT Health link here

NT: 08 8922 8044

AMSANT link here

One comment on “NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #CoronaVirus News Alert  No 17 #KeepOurMobSafe @GregHuntMP @KenWyattMP investing $6.9 million through NACCHO, its sector support organisations to coordinate Australia’s COVID-19 response efforts, including to ensure cultural safety across all GP respiratory clinics

  1. I note this recommends self isolation ‘before returning to community’ Does this mean just those returning from interstate or actually between communities eg someone travelling from Gunbalanya to Elcho Island. At the moment here on Elcho Island, people are supposed to self isolate if only travelling from interstate or overseas. The Miwatj Clinic is trying to screen people as they arrive by plane but I feel this should have been done much more stringently at the airport of origin eg Darwin as well as charter companies. At the moment there appears to be very little screening according to arriving passengers. The best opportunity to screen passengers would be either at check in or certainly at the security check, not once they have already travelled to community where it is being left up to the respective health clinics to try to find them and where it is near impossible to implement self isolation or provide other alternatives due to lack of staff and facilities. There have been recommendations by Government and aboriginal organisations but it doesn’t appear to be happening on the ground. Certainly where protection of remote communities are concerned. Family members have been returning back, often by charter, and AirNorth, facilitated by Larrakia Nation but are only having ad hoc checking if at all. CAN YOU PLEASE PUSH THAT ADEQUATE SCREENING IS DONE BEFORE EMBARKING. IF PEOPLE HAVE TO SELF ISOLATE, THAT THERE IS APPROPRIATE ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE IN DARWIN OR THE BIGGER CENTRES BEFORE TRAVELLING TO COMMUNITIES. I work as a midwife at the clinic here at Galiwinku and am extremely concerned for the safety of the community and workers, most being in the at risk age group. Thank you for your attention. Lyn Kmon Midwife Galiwinku.

    Sent from my iPhone


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