Awabakal helps roll out vaccines, support to vulnerable communities

By Max McKinney
Pictures: Supplied

Aboriginal medical service Awabakal has helped deliver hundreds of vaccines and support to COVID-impacted communities in the Hunter.

In association with a number of other Aboriginal organisations, Awabakal helped administer COVID-19 vaccines and offer food and support to residents in Windale and Hamilton South over the past week.

The Awabakal team provided 280 vaccinations in Hamilton South on Thursday and another 187 vaccinations at Lake Macquarie PCYC in Windale last Saturday.

"We know that sometimes the people who need help the most, whether it be with food or their health, are the least likely to reach out," Awabakal Ltd CEO Raylene Gordon said.

"Taking the clinic to the community is an opportunity for people to connect to services."

The pop-up vaccination clinics were the first activation of the Newcastle Aboriginal Community Collective (NACC), a group which includes Warlga Ngurra, Justiz Community, We Care NSW, Muloobinba Aboriginal Corporation, Koiop Connect and Wandiyali Aboriginal Corporation.

HUNTER COVID STORIES

"Nearly half of the people who came were nervous," Elsie Randall from Justiz Community said.

"Many were just scared of needles in general. Even the kids that came along had questions and it was a chance for them to talk to professional healthcare workers,"

The organisations are working together to provide culturally appropriate care and ensure no one gets forgotten.

"There were a lot of people who showed up who have little to no support services," Petrice Manton from Muloobinba said.

"So many people requesting help either with financial support or just connecting with people due to isolation.

"The collaboration of the Aboriginal organisations on the day highlights our strength to the Aboriginal community when we are all working together to support our most vulnerable communities, our impact can be much greater."


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