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Place-based COVID response for Aboriginal communities

University of Wollongong

Date Funded:
  • 17 July, 2020
Chief Investigator/s:

Project summary

To develop a culturally-safe, place-based response to COVID-19 for NSW Aboriginal communities and to safeguard effective service provision by ACCOs.

What is the issue for NSW?

Current literature on pandemics in relation to Indigenous populations, focuses on barriers to disease control primarily in remote areas and discrete communities. In regional and urban areas in SE New South Wales, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), with their already stretched resources, are at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic response, delivering health and social services to vulnerable Aboriginal communities still traumatised by the catastrophic bushfires of summer 2019-20.

Focusing on the physical, social and emotional impacts of COVID (immediate and long term), this project will address a gap in knowledge of how ACCOs are responding to the complex health and social challenges confronting local Aboriginal communities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does the research aim to do and how?

This project will develop a collaborative protocol for Aboriginal communities in response to crises. Building on current research and a Community Based Participatory Research approach we will develop and recommend guidelines for a place-based COVID-19 response for NSW Aboriginal communities which can be adapted and utilised in other communities.

Utilising Indigenous qualitative methodologies we focus on the physical, social and emotional impacts of COVID-19 in regional and urban areas in south-eastern NSW. We further investigate social and cultural disruption, trauma, health and safety education and services, information, messaging and communications within Aboriginal communities.