Bags packed with caring

Daryna ZadvirnaAlbany Advertiser
Albany Noongar elder Eliza Woods appreciated her care package.
Camera IconAlbany Noongar elder Eliza Woods appreciated her care package.

The Southern Aboriginal Corporation has been delivering care packages with hygiene products to self-isolating Aboriginal communities in the Great Southern.

The packages, containing toilet paper and sanitary products, among other items, have been distributed to Albany, Tambellup, Gnowangerup and Katanning communities, and would be delivered to Cranbrook and Kojonup this week.

SAC chief executive Asha Bhat urged Aboriginal community members to stay home and reach out if they needed anything.

“Aboriginal populations are much more vulnerable (to COVID-19) ... many live at close quarters in overcrowded housing, meaning disease can spread rapidly and their health outcomes are much lower than non-indigenous Australians,” she said.

“This is often compounded by a resistance within the Aboriginal community to seek medical care.”

SAC has partnered with Share the Dignity to provide hygiene and sanitary products, and NSW charity Good360, which provided five pallets of toilet paper.

Albany’s Eliza Woods was one of the Noongar elders to receive a care package from SAC, which contained something a little extra.

“Many of us would regularly go to SAC’s arts and crafts workshop, so because we haven’t been able to meet, they also brought some stuff and supplies for us to continue on with it,” she said.

But Ms Bhat said SAC was still looking to meet the needs of many communities with no access to hygiene products, such as hand sanitisers, hand wash and disinfectants.

“We are having conversations with funding bodies for the allocation of immediate emergency relief funding,” she said. “SAC has also developed partnerships with all Aboriginal community-controlled organisations in the Great Southern. We will be able to work with (them) to be able to distribute the essential products to every Noongar family that needs them.”

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