Staying engaged in the time of Coronavirus
In these strange and uncertain times with the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic hanging over us all, I wanted to share some ideas on how you can stay engaged with First Nations rights and social justice issues.
I am sure many of us are already self-isolating with our families and hopefully you are as prepared as possible for the coming time of disruption. While we may be restricted in our movements and gatherings for the foreseeable future, there are a number of things we can all do from home to continue our support.
Some such suggestions are:
- Take time to read the 2020 Close the Gap Campaign Report ‘We Nurture our Culture For our Future, and our Culture Nurtures Us’ and share it with your networks. Furthermore, you can promote the Report and its recommendations by sharing through social media, we suggest using the resources provided here or share what we are posting at Close the Gap and ANTaR.
- Take the extra time you might have at home to read that pile of books that has been gradually stacking up on your shelf or bedside table. I am currently reading Archie Roach’s new memoir ‘Tell me Why’ which you can find at the ANTaR online bookstore along with a great range of other publications from credible authors.
“You can’t be happy ‘til you’ve been sad
You can’t know the good unless you’ve known the bad
You can’t have peace until the battles ore
And you can’t heal unless you’ve been sore”
From ‘Open up your Eyes’ (Archie Roach)
- Continue to dig deep at this time where finances may be a little more stretched, and support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations that are working so diligently to support their communities. Sadly, we have seen that our governments have no qualms in short-changing the most vulnerable people in our communities in the support they need. Where government fails, so many of us are committed to a real rather than a rhetorical ‘fair go’ in this country and its at times like these that the support counts the most.
Please stay safe and well. If you are unwell at all, even just moderately, please follow the public health advice and self-isolate. If you are unsure what to do, call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
Paul is ANTaR’s National Director and has experience working in both Government and non-government sectors – covering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, health, immigration and social services. Paul studied politics and international relations at the University of Canberra and has a Masters of Strategic Studies from the Australian National University. Prior to his role with ANTaR, Paul was the Executive Officer for the Close the Gap Campaign Secretariat and the National Health Leadership Forum at the Australian Human Rights Commission.