- Kids roll up sleeves to protect community
- Wilcannia contacts must get tested, isolate
- AMA warns ‘don’t mess with Delta’
- Darwin and Katherine’s COVID-19 lockdown
- SA rural Aboriginal health workforce plan
- Headspace’s Take A Step campaign
- Stroke support for survivors, carers, family
- New process for job advertising
Kids roll up sleeves to protect community
For Aboriginal 17-year-old Kaidyn Wright, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was a no-brainer. The Thungutti teenager and his younger brothers – aged 12,15, and 16 – got the jab at Airds in SW Sydney on Thursday morning so they could better protect their Aboriginal community.
“I just think it’s important we get vaccinated, so we don’t spread the disease to our elderly and to my younger brothers, who have weaker immune systems,” Kaidyn said. The boys were vaccinated as part of a drive aimed at 12 to 18-year-olds run by the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation (TAC), now that First Nations people over 12 can get the jab.
The organisation said it had vaccinated around 160 Aboriginal teenagers on Thursday, and Kaidyn said the turn-out had already made him feel safer in his community. “Yeah it’s great, so we can all get back to normal soon,” Kaidyn said.
Kaidyn’s father Lachlan Wright who is the operations manager at the TAC said he was thrilled with the numbers, and said that it was important for young Aboriginal people to protect themselves, “We know that it’s a hard time for them not being able to socialise with family and friends, and to go out and see their mates from school, and they’re all doing school from home which is even harder.”
The TAC advertised its event to young people by inviting Aboriginal Tik Tok stars with around 150,000 followers to promote the jabs last week, “We’ve got them to come in and have their jabs with us and then promote it on their Tik Tok … so we’ve found that’s really helped to get our youngsters,” Mr Wright said.
“If [COVID] gets out to our community then it could ravage us because we like to have a lot of people in our houses, we like to spend time with our families, we’re very social mob. So we want to get back to that way of living and the only way we can get back to that is if we all pitch in together and get our vaccination rates up,” he said.
To read the full article in the Sydney Morning Herald click here.
Wilcannia contacts must get tested, isolate
The Centre for Aboriginal Health at NSW Health have become aware of some risks relating to Wilcannia in the past week and have important information for community members and organisations. They strongly suggest that:
If you have recently been in Wilcannia on or after Thursday 12 August 2021, or you have spent time with someone who has been in Wilcannia, you should immediately get tested and self isolate until you receive a negative result.
If you or someone you know has any symptoms of COVID-19 (runny nose, cough, fever or body aches and pains) you must self isolate until you receive a negative result.
For those across NSW, you must stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse to leave your home. We understand this may be challenging and wanted to make you aware of the following services that may support you and your community to stay safe:
For community members identified as positive, close or a casual contact will be directly referred by NSW Health and will be supported by Resilience NSW.
For community members not being directly assisted by NSW Health in health directed isolation and are in the Public Health Order to stay at home you can be supported by Service NSW by calling 13 77 88 who can support with a range of services including food relief. You can access information on a range of support services available on the Supporting NSW through COVID-19 page of the NSW Government website here.
Alternatively, you can also search for local support services via this link.
The NSW Government and the Australian Government also offers financial assistance and support if you have been impacted by COVID-19 and are experiencing financial difficulty. You can find out about the various types of payments here.
Some community information is also available here.
In a related news article, Sam Brennan, the director of the Victoria-based Mallee District Aboriginal Service (MDAS), said “a lot of our mainly Aboriginal community from both sides of the border attended the funeral. We do believe there are people who have attended that actually live in Mildura [in Victoria], but the main focus is on the Dareton-Wentworth area [in NSW],” she said.
“So we’re using our social media platforms and any other avenue to say if you’ve been [to the funeral], come and get tested and stay at home until you’ve got that test result.”
You can read the ABC News article in full here.
AMA warns ‘don’t mess with Delta’
Australia’s peak medical association has called on National Cabinet to immediately strengthen the national approach to preventing the spread of the Delta virus, especially in the states and territories where there is currently no community transmission.
AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said the key to fighting Delta was to get ahead of the virus and stay ahead, “We can’t be complacent in those places that don’t have Delta because once we find it, it’s often already spread significantly.”
“We need a buffer to curb the spread that happens before we detect it, especially until we get vaccination rates up, in the form of sensible restrictions – things like caps on numbers in stadiums and nightclubs, mask wearing on public transport and social distancing. We can’t take any chances with Delta. We need this short-term strategy of pre-emptive measures and a reasonable level of restrictions around the country, at least until the end of the year. We’ve seen in NSW and overseas that once the Delta virus takes hold, it is very hard to contain.”
To view the AMA’s media release in full click here.
Darwin and Katherine’s COVID-19 lockdown
It takes about three and a half hours to drive from Darwin to Katherine, which is the trip the town’s local MP made as soon as a snap lockdown was declared and parliament cancelled on Monday. Member for Katherine Jo Hersey said she has since observed quiet streets as well as residents following the rules during the town’s first lockdown.
“Most people I have seen are all doing the right thing by wearing masks when they are out in public, and I hope this continues so we can come out of lockdown as soon as it is safe,” she said.
Wurli-Wurlinjang Aboriginal Health Service CEO Suzi Berto said during lockdown the service had been out in communities promoting safety measures and vaccination among residents. “We have been really busy since we received the news of the positive case in Katherine,” she said. “Our people are now looking to be vaccinated, which is a good thing.”
Ms Berto said the service had delivered an increased number of shots since the lockdown. “Everything is going really well … we have been operating a vaccine clinic since May, and through the lockdown we are triaging clients that are coming through.”
You can view the article in full here.
SA’s rural Aboriginal health workforce plan
SA faces many challenges in recruiting, training and developing the health professionals and skilled volunteers needed to deliver public health services in rural areas. A draft plan to strengthen and grow the Aboriginal health workforce, part of the state government’s Rural Health Workforce Strategy, has been released for consultation. The draft Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan explores strategies to attract, recruit and strengthen the regional Aboriginal health workforce.
Health Minister Stephen Wade said the aim was to continue to deliver a high level of care in rural areas. “The Aboriginal health workforce in rural and remote SA is integral to delivering culturally responsive health services and improving the health and wellbeing of our Aboriginal communities,” he said.
“Our draft Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan aims to increase the Aboriginal health workforce in regional areas and provide culturally appropriate and supportive health care for Aboriginal people, closer to home. Consultation with Aboriginal communities, regional Local Health Network leads, the Aboriginal health workforce and key stakeholders will occur across the state until October, [and] feedback will be brought together to ensure we can secure the workforce we need for the future.”
Headspace’s Take A Step campaign
Brisbane-based social change agency Carbon Creative has developed the Take a Step advertising campaign to promote mental health and reduce youth suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The campaign launched this week and was co-created with headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people from around the country who had lived experience of mental ill-health.
Research shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 24 and under are three times more likely than other young people to die by suicide.
The campaign encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to recognise the signs that something’s not right and provides small, practical steps towards feeling better, such as ‘doing something that makes you feel good.’
Carbon Creative Managing Director and Birri Gubba manvWayne Denning said they understood the sensitivities of the campaign. “We spent a lot of time working with headspace, community elders and young people before any creative was developed to ensure we not only understood the challenge but could co-create something real and meaningful with them that would really resonate.”
You can view the videos here.
Stroke support for survivors, carers and families
Jude, from StrokeLine, says “While most people ask StrokeLine practical questions about stroke, many conversations turn to mental wellbeing. Survivors of stroke, carers and families are finding the uncertainty and the isolation are taking a toll.
Everyone has their own ways to cope. People know what works for them and their families. When you’re finding it tough, you may need to refresh what you are doing. What worked yesterday might not work today.
It’s a good time to focus on the people and things that make you feel good. Text or call people who lift you up. Do things you enjoy. The point is to feel good. If you can, be physically active every day. You don’t need to be Jane Fonda – just do whatever works for you. Eat more fresh food. Take time to rest and if your sleep is being affected speak with your GP.
The StrokeLine team are here to help. “When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s hard to look after yourself. That’s when talking with someone can be helpful. On StrokeLine (1800 787 653), we take the time to listen and we know which services and strategies may help. You’ll come away from a call, or email conversation, with a plan that works for you.”
You can access the recently released Stroke Foundation EnableMe newsletter here.
New process for job advertising
NACCHO have introduced a new system for the advertising of job adverts via the NACCHO website and you can find the sector job listings here.
Click here to go to the NACCHO website where you can complete a form with job vacancy details – it will then be approved for posting and go live on the NACCHO website.