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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


This AHCWA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Toolkit for Member Services has been devised to assist in planning and responding to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It is important that Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are prepared to deal with an outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in their community and can follow an appropriate framework to ensure they are in the best position to deal with an outbreak.

The information provided here is of a general nature to be utilised as a framework and should be considered in line with relevant advice from state and national authorities. As the situation evolves advice may change rapidly. It is the responsibility of the individual health service to regularly seek updates from state and national health authorities, including WA Health and the Australian Government Department of Health, to guide their response to a potential or actual pandemic.

Key Findings/Recommendations:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are highly mobile. This increases the risk of transmission even in generally isolated communities.
  • Throughout all phases, COVID-19 response work should be collaborative to ensure local community leaders are central to the response. 
  • Messages should be strengths-based and encompass Aboriginal ways of living, including family-centred approaches during both prevention and control phases. 
  • Families should feel empowered and be part of decision-making around quarantine. This can be achieved through exploring with families what quarantine looks like, working through how it might impact on their family and way of living, and identifying ways around it. 
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