Click the play button above for the full interview
On Thursday the 27th of August 2020, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (VACCO) released a statement saying that along with members of the Aboriginal Executive Council (AEC), more should be done to ensure Aboriginal communities are well placed to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher spoke about this on Connection Matters Radio (CMR).
In addressing the issue of the impact on Aboriginal Community Controlled (ACCO) health workers, she said: “It is really becoming quite concerning.
“Our workforces are fatigued. When you look at our member organisations – our ACCOs – in Gippsland, they’ve come from the worst bushfires on record then to COVID. Workforces up there would be just exhausted.”
We have to be innovative
Ms Gallagher urged the [State] government to be innovative in providing support to Aboriginal healthcare workers in this current environment.
“In other states there’s [a healthcare] workforce. We’re doing a lot of health via tele-health, so it’s quite easy to access workforce anywhere. It doesn’t have to be local.
“There has to be more innovation – thinking outside the box in relation to supporting the current workforce,” Ms Gallagher said. “Here in Victoria there is fatigue everywhere.”
In evidence given by the AEC, which includes VACCHO, to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Ms Gallagher said: “Without targeted supports being delivered now, I worry that our Communities will not be able to access cultural safe services which they need, over the longer-term.”
…more in the interview above