Aboriginal Support Team for our Community during COVID-19

Aboriginal Support Team for our Community during COVID-19


Acknowledgement of Country

SESLHD Public Health Unit acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land. We support and respect the survival of this proud culture and are committed to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. We would like to pay our respect to Elders of the past, present and future generations and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


About the Aboriginal Support Team and our services for our mob

The Aboriginal Support Team was developed in 2020 during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team members are Aboriginal health workers who work with the Public Health Unit providing cultural support for our mob when dealing with outbreaks of infectious diseases that are affecting our communities such as COVID-19.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at a higher risk from sickness leading to chronic health conditions, hospitalisation and in some cases death from infectious diseases such as COVID-19. It is an important part of our role to assist the District response and provide culturally appropriate ways to support the needs of Aboriginal families and communities.

The Aboriginal Support Team helps provide important information to help keep the mob safe, how to be protected with vaccinations and recover from infectious diseases. You can also have a yarn to the Aboriginal Support Team about any concerns or questions you may have, especially if you need help with understanding COVID-19 isolation requirements or referrals for other support – such as social work.


COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that can make you very sick. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be at a higher risk of catching this virus because it can spread easily between family members. It can be very serious for some people – especially people with other health conditions. 



Symptoms & Testing for COVID-19

Common symptoms of COVID-19 can be the same as a cold virus or the flu, such as: cough, sore throat, fever, tiredness, body aches, runny nose, headache.  Your symptoms can be very mild and you may not be very sick at all, or you could be very sick and even needing to go to hospital.

It is important that you have a COVID-19 PCR (COVID-19 Clinic) or RAT test (home test kit) to check if you have COVID-19, so you can isolate and recover. You should self-isolate at home while waiting for your results. You should test yourself each time you develop new symptoms and start to feel sick.  Get tested even if it is mild symptoms.


What to after testing positive for COVID-19

If you test positive for COVID-19 please register your test result with Service NSW. If you need help completing the form you can call 13 77 88.

If you live within South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, you will receive a call from health staff at the Public Health Unit who will go through some questions with you, to check if you are ok managing your symptoms. They will also ask if you want support from the Aboriginal Support Team and if you do, they will arrange for the team to contact you for a yarn.

  • If you have a serious health condition, are pregnant or feeling very unwell with COVID-19 contact your doctor immediately and tell them you have COVID-19.
  • If your symptoms are really bad or get worse call triple zero (000) immediately.

Please read this fact sheet for more information about testing positive for COVID-19: testing and care at home.


COVID-19 Isolation

As of 14 October 2022, it is not mandatory to self-isolate but it is recommended you stay at home and take steps to protect others if you test positive to COVID-19 or have cold or flu symptoms.

NSW Health recommends

  • Stay at home if you have cold or flu symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever) and get tested for COVID-19.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be infectious for up to 10 days, but you are most infectious in the two days just before your symptoms start, and while you have symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever).
  • Let your GP know you have tested positive for COVID-19 – they may recommend you take antiviral medication. If you have any medical appointments, call your doctor to discuss.

These are things you can do to protect others during the first 10 days after you’ve tested positive:

Covid Advice

Returning to work after testing positive to COVID-19:

If you work in health, disability services or a nursing home – they may ask you to wait until after 7 days (from when you tested positive) before returning to work. Other workplaces may have these rules too, so check with your workplace before you return.


COVID-19 antiviral treatments

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are able to receive antiviral treatments to help recover from COVID-19 (from age 30 years and over) or flu infections (any age).  Antivirals are medicines that can help stop a virus from infecting healthy cells or multiplying in the body.  They work best when taken as soon as possible after your symptoms start.  Please book an appointment with your doctor to have a yarn about these treatments. 

Are you Aboriginal and aged 30 years and over?  If you have two or more risk factors for severe illness, you may be eligible for anitviral treatments which stop you from getting really sick from COVID-19.  Make a plan with your doctor now.

COVID-19 Vaccinations & Booster doses

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and are the best way to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19. It is important to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters to help keep our mob safe.

COVID-19 booster doses helps maintain your COVID-19 vaccination immunity, to continue protecting you from COVID-19 and any new strains of this virus.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations & booster doses for all age groups please click here

From 5 September 2022 some kids aged 6 months – 4 years old who have serious health condition/s or have a disability, will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Have a yarn to your doctor or health worker to see if your bubs are eligible.

You can book to have your COVID-19 vaccinations at your local doctor's clinic or AMS. If you don’t have a local doctor you can call Health Direct 1800 020 080 to ask them to help find a clinic near you.

After COVID-19 vaccinations some people may experience mild side effects such as:

  • Headaches
  • Pain where they had needle
  • Tiredness

*If you experience any other side effects that you are worried about, please contact a doctor or health worker.


For more information on Aboriginal Immunisation please click here


For enquiries, you can call us on 0439 413 094 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except Public Holidays). Please leave a voice message if calling outside of these hours and a staff member will respond to you the following business day.  Or you can call the Public Health Unit on 9382 8333 (option 1). 

You can also email us - the inbox is monitored Monday to Friday during business hours. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) & our community poster: printable version here


Coronavirus (COVID-19) & our community #KeepOurMobSafe poster: printable version here