Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW

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Keeping the Aboriginal community COVID-safe

October 16th, 2020

Categories: Blog

Thanks to the fast work of the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation (TAC) team, the Aboriginal community of Campbelltown in south-western Sydney, have remained COVID-safe. More than 11,200 Aboriginal people live in South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) and 3,405 Aboriginal people attend Tharawal for their primary health care. Caring for the Aboriginal community is what the TAC team do, but at no time has this care been more important, than during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in south western Sydney, the team established a drive-through and walk-in testing service for the Aboriginal and wider community at Airds, for a four-week period. These actions were in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the area and the need for broader testing to detect additional cases. The team managed to pull together all elements required and the clinic was fully operational within two working days. The agility and timeliness of the response is an example of the strong partnership Tharawal has with SWSLHD.

Additional staff from SWSLHD provided their support at the clinic. With support from Histopath, the clinic has now tested more than 1500 people. Tharawal’s Chief Executive, Darryl Wright and his team, worked tirelessly adapting to meet the community’s needs in what was already a very challenging time for health service delivery.

‘This is a deadly virus, but we are more deadly,’ Mr Wright said.

Tharawal GP Dr Bemand said this is no time to relax. ‘The community needs to maintain vigilance in practising COVID-safe behavior,’ said Dr Bemand. Recognising the ongoing threat of COVID-19, Tharawal will continue to offer testing to the community through their regular GP Clinic to ensure the community remains COVID-safe.

Author –

NSW Health