NACCHO Aboriginal News Alert: Support for remote Indigenous communities at high risk from COVID-19

Support for remote Indigenous communities at high risk from COVID-19

While no cases of the coronavirus have yet been reported among Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities, the modelling shows that continuing efforts are needed to limit the effects of an outbreak.

The Impact of COVID-19 in remote and regional settings presentation is intended to inform and support Health Service decision-makers and community leaders to decide how a remote community will respond to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The modelling was conducted for the Australian Government by the University of Melbourne and the Kirby Institute pandemic modelling team, guided by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19 and endorsed for release by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said, “Travel restrictions to remote areas were imposed by a determination I made early in the pandemic, following requests from Aboriginal communities, organisations and leaders. These restrictions can be reinstated if needed.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt said the Australian Government has also worked with the Indigenous health sector to ensure communities are prepared.
“The Australian Government places a high priority on protecting the health of Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islander people during the pandemic,” Minister Wyatt said.

The modelling also highlights the need for all people to get tested if they have even mild symptoms because finding the first case quickly will be key to stopping the spread.

The importance of these actions and the lessons from the modelling are all reflected in the Management Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Populations that has been guiding the response since March, and the updated National Guidance for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities for COVID-19.

For further information visit the Department of Health website.

Indigenous residents in Central Australia train to become coronavirus contact tracers

Western Arrernte man Damien Willie says many remote communities are overcrowded and affected by disproportionately high rates of chronic illness, and he dreads what could happen if the virus finds its way into one of them.

“Our elders, our sick — it’s scary stuff,” Mr Willie said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of confusion,” he said.

“My community doesn’t really understand what the COVID thing is all about — lots of myths are circulating.”

Mr Willie says the remote communities he has strong ties with around Alice Springs are not prepared for the virus.

“We’re trying to un-train 40,000 years of how we interact, do our funerals and stuff like that; it goes against all of the social-distancing stuff,” he said.

“There might be 50, 70 people who come through a house in one day.”

So, when he was given the opportunity to train to become a coronavirus contact tracer, Mr Willie took it. He is now one of dozens of Indigenous people in Central Australia who have been trained in how to perform contact tracing in an Indigenous context.

Read the full article in the ABC here.

Have your say on the National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap

Cancer Australia is inviting the public to have their say on the National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap through a dedicated Consultation Hub. All interested stakeholders are invited to have their say.

The National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap will identify key priority areas for action over the next five years to improve outcomes for people with pancreatic cancer. It will consider all aspects of the cancer pathway, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, supportive and palliative care.

The Consultation Hub will be open until 30 November 2020 and will be available here.

For further information on this initiative, visit National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap.


3x Housing Officers in Canberra and Batemans Bay offering positions as SCHADS level 2 (traineeship) – SCHADS 4 (Cert. IV).

  • Passionate about helping your community and want to learn new things?
  • Permanent Part Time opportunities Canberra & Batemans Bay
  • SCHADS Level 2 – Level 4

Aboriginal Housing Officer – Canberra and Batemans Bay: For more information click here. 

2 x Aboriginal Housing Officers – Batemans Bay and Canberra: For more information click here.

Or both positions together available atEthical Jobs

NCACCH is currently seeking a Chief Executive Officer

North Coast Aboriginal Corporation for Community Health (NCACCH) is a not for profit, community-controlled health corporation providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members of the Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions with choice and access to a wide range of health care provider

For the full job description click here.