Public Health Unit Aboriginal Support Team - SESLHD
Acknowledgement of Country
SESLHD Public Health Unit acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia. We acknowledge the lands we work and provide care for as Dharawal, Gadigal, Wangal, Gweagal and Bidjigal. We pay our respects to Elders of the past, present and future generations and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our team are committed to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health with shared knowledge, care and providing culturally appropriate services.
COVID-19 & Influenza Vaccinations
COVID-19 booster vaccination – if you are 75 years or older and haven’t had a COVID vaccine in the past 6 months you should get your booster NOW. For those aged 18 - 74 years, you are eligible for a COVID booster – please consider especially if you have other health problems. COVID vaccines are free, and available from GPs and local chemists. COVID-19 booster vaccination doses help maintain your COVID-19 immunity, to continue protecting you from COVID-19 and any new strains of this virus.
Influenza vaccination – recommended and FREE for ALL Aboriginal people 6 months and over EVERY year – get yours now from your GP (Doctor) or local chemist. Make sure your health service knows you identify as Aboriginal to qualify for free vaccine (please check first if they charge a service fee; children under 5 need to go to a GP).
Medicare Urgent Care Clinic
Maroubra Urgent Care Clinic is now open, seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm – please check out the website for a list of conditions that can be seen by a doctor and nurse at the clinic
You can either book an appointment online, call 02 9349 9001 or walk in to the clinic.
Address: 806 Anzac Parade, Maroubra NSW 2035
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 provide information and services to help keep our mob safe from infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Our Aboriginal health workers know the latest health advice and are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
If you need to have a yarn with our Aboriginal support team please call us on 0439 413 094 or call the Public Health Unit on 9382 8333 - option 1, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday(except Public Holidays).
Please leave a voice message if calling outside of these hours or text message and the team will contact you when they are available.
You can also email us - the inbox is monitored Monday to Friday during business hours.
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 getting sick from this virus because of the higher rates of chronic health conditions and because COVID-19 can be easily spread between family members. It can be very serious for some people, especially people with health conditions who may find it harder to get better from COVID-19 infection.
Click here for more information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and COVID-19
Symptoms & Testing for COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 can be the same as a cold virus or the flu. Each person’s symptoms can be different. Some people might get mild symptoms and able to get better at home, but some people can get very sick and might need to go to hospital.
If you are feeling sick it is important that you get tested, to check if you have COVID-19. You can use a RAT test (home test kit) or book in with your doctor for a PCR test. Get tested even if it is mild symptoms. If you test positive for COVID-19 it's best to rest at home until you feel better and have a yarn to your doctor about the antiviral tablets, especially if you have any health problems that can put you at risk of getting very sick with COVID-19.
What to after testing positive for COVID-19
If you test positive for COVID-19 please register your test result with Service NSW.
This pamphlet below provides you with more information about how to get better when sick with COVID-19:
Please seek health advice:
- 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 (shortness of breath, fainting or chest pain) call triple zero (000) immediately.
- If you are aged 30 years and over with health conditions contact your doctor to discuss options for antiviral treatment
More help and information is available from the links below:
It is not mandatory to self-isolate but it is recommended you stay at home until you feel better and to protect others if you test positive to COVID-19 or have cold or flu symptoms.
These are things you can do to protect others during the first 10 days after you’ve tested positive:
COVID-19 safety and 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 (from age 30 years and over) are able to receive antiviral treatments to help recover from COVID-19 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.
Click here to know more about recommendation for antiviral treatment
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.
Please click here for more information about COVID-19 booster vaccination recommendations
For more information about COVID-19 vaccinations information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people click here.
You can book to have your COVID-19 vaccinations at your local doctor, chemist, or AMS. 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:
- Pain where they had needle
*If you experience any other side effects that you are worried about, please contact a doctor, hospital or health worker.
- COVID-19 and flu information for Aboriginal communities
- COVID-19 and Flu Aboriginal health resources
- COVID-19 information and advice for Aboriginal people and communities
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and COVID-19
- Keeping workers safe
- COVID-19 vaccination information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- COVID-19 vaccines
There are a lot of harmful diseases which are very dangerous for our mob. The PHU works hard to provide information to prevent spread of infectious diseases.
The NSW Immunisation Schedule has a list of FREE vaccinations available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help provide protection against harmful diseases.
For more information about vaccinations for our mob please visit the SESLHD Public health unit Aboriginal immunisation webpage.
Click here for more information about Chronic disease support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Our team are here to offer cultural support, to answer any questions you may have about infectious diseases including COVID-19. We are able to send out COVID-19 RAT - home test kits if needed. We can also have a yarn to you about understanding any important information that the Public Health Unit needs to share with you.
Below is some information about services you can contact whilst recovering from COVID-19:
Services Australia (Centrelink) and Service NSW are not connected to the Public Health Unit. Click here for more information about their services
If you are experiencing financial difficulty please try one of the following services below:
- Foodbank - https://www.foodbank.org.au/find-food/?state=nsw-act
- Mission Australia - https://www.missionaustralia.com.au/servicedirectory
- National Coronavirus Helpline (option 5) – 1800 020 080
They may ask you questions about your situation to see if you are eligible for their services and to find out the best way to help you.
See these links for more information:
13YARN (13 92 76) – call anytime, day or night, to have a yarn to an Aboriginal crisis support worker
WellMob - Social, emotional, and cultural wellbeing online resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
Weave – Youth and Community Services – providing practical support in housing referral support, counselling, mental health services, drug and alcohol support, access to education and employment opportunities.