The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA) supports the Black Lives Matter movement which is currently gaining strong support around Australia, and across the world.
In its role as the peak body for 23 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Australia, AHCWA has consistently and strongly advocated for equality in the achievement of health outcomes for Aboriginal people and their communities.
Central to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people is equity across the many complex social determinants of health, which includes the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal people coming into contact with the justice system.
Black Lives Matter, and Aboriginal people in custody deserve the same human rights as all people; to be treated with dignity, with the right to life and security.
AHCWA recognises that many people across the community want to show their support for Black Lives Matter by partaking in protests and public gatherings.
However, as we are still living with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, AHCWA strongly recommends that people across the state continue to take all the recommended precautions to protect themselves and their families from contracting the virus. This includes maintaining social distancing to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
If you are planning to attend a public event for Black Lives Matter, AHCWA strongly recommends the following measures:
• Make sure you are 1.5m away from other people at all times
• Wash your hands before you leave home and use hand sanitiser regularly
• Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose
• Avoid touching your face, in particular your mouth and nose
• Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze (and wash and sanitise your hands when you have discarded the tissue)
• If you attend and develop any respiratory symptoms in the 14 days after the event, you must get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible
• DO NOT GO if you feel unwell or have any symptoms of coughing, sneezing, fever or difficulty breathing
• DO NOT GO if you are vulnerable, including people with chronic disease and the elderly.
AHCWA encourages everyone to take care of themselves and their families at this time.
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AHCWA, as the peak body for 23 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across Australia, exists to support its member services in their delivery of culturally secure, comprehensive primary health services to optimise the health, and social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people and their communities.