The information on this page is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are currently accessing or who may need to access health services in the ACT during the COVID-19 pandemic. The links below also have useful information about COVID-19 and other community services.
View the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Health COVID-19 information
Information on Community Services in relation to COVID-19
Canberra Health Services - Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol and Drug Services (MHJHADS)
MHJHADS have reduced the number of face-to-face consultations (for social distancing) by providing telehealth options either via video link or phone. They will make sure that all those with appointments are contacted by phone to discuss options. This will be followed up by a letter confirming the change.
Aboriginal Liaison Officers (ALO) are still available to provide one-on-one support at any of the mental health inpatient facilities at least two days a week and have arranged to be available for phone support/consultations as required.
ALO’s are also available to provide support on:
- Monday, Wednesday and ½ day Friday at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, Bimberi and Dhulwa, and
- Monday through Friday at the Alcohol & Drug Services Withdrawal Unit, to provide one on one support, guidance, advocacy and consultation where needed.
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services (Winnunga Nimmityjah)
Due to high demand, Winnunga Nimmityjah have stopped taking on new client memberships and have prioritised services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during this period.
During this time Winnunga Nimmityjah doctors can provide telephone consultations for some clients at greater risk, this includes current Winnunga Nimmityjah clients who are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and 50 years or older
- Non-Indigenous and 70 years or older
- Being treated for chronic health condition or are immune compromised;
- pregnant; or
- a parent with a child under 12 months.
Winnunga Nimmityjah is also now an ACT respiratory clinic, providing a culturally appropriate assessment and COVID-19 testing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans. Before visiting, please call ahead to let the clinic know you think you have COVID-19.
Enter the clinic using the front (main) entrance. Anyone who has a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath should go to this entrance. You will be asked to wear a mask while waiting at the respiratory clinic.
Address: 63 Boolimba Crescent, Narrabundah ACT 2604
Phone: 6284 6222
Please visit www.winnunga.org.au for more information.
Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation (Gugan Gulwan)
Gugan Gulwan’s community support programs have been greatly impacted by current social distancing requirements and gathering number limitations.
They will continue their modified operations at the centre in Erindale and continue daily wellbeing checks on clients and families in these challenging times. This includes providing opportunities and support to clients that focus on activities that can be achieved at home; such as addressing maintenance/repairs, providing cleaning supplies, and facilitating family planning activities.
Community members can continue to access the service to support children, youth and families in need of health information, educational activity packs, food and transport supplies.
Please visit www.facebook.com/GuganGulwanYAC, https://gugan-gulwan.com.au/ or contact (02) 6296 8900 for up to date information.
Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm (NBHF)
Current and past NBHF clients are continuing to be contacted on a weekly basis by NBHF Community Liaison workers, either directly or via their nominated support person, for a general wellbeing check and information to help them make links with other services and online tools.
The NBHF is still accepting referrals with assessments carried out by phone or videoconferencing.
For all referral enquiries, please contact Adrian Baxter, Charmaine Barratt or Wynetta Rix on (02) 6237 6700 or email at NBHF@act.gov.au.
Influenza Vaccinations and Immunisations
Flu vaccinations have been dispersed across the health sector, including to Winnunga Nimmityjah, and have commenced distribution to the community.
The flu vaccine is free for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 6mths of age from your doctor or GP.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from 6 months to 5 years can also get the flu vaccine through the Early Childhood Immunisation Centres at no cost. You can book an appointment through Central Health Intake on 02 5124 9977.
Pharmacies across the ACT provide flu vaccinations to all community members at a cost.
It is important to make sure that immunisation schedules are maintained, particularly for younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as we head into the winter months.