Another month has come and gone and it continues to be business as usual within in a COVID World.

I know for many of us it is distressing and sad when we see how remote and isolated communities are now being affected with the virus.  The National Aboriginal Community Control Health Organisation (NACCHO) in partnership with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical Centres are leading the way in supporting the community with vaccinations, education and support.  Unfortunately getting enough vaccine to ensure all communities are covered is out of their control, but I commend them for the work they are doing to ensure that our mob and our community are looked after.  This week we saw the first known death of an Aboriginal Man in Dubbo, NSW.  We send our condolences to his families and friends and hope that we lose no more of our mob.  I, like many of my family, my friends and community have already received the vaccination. Some of you may not support vaccinations, that’s your choice and I’m ok with that.  But for me I’m doing my part to protect myself, my family, my elders and the community in which I live.

Finding inspiration during lockdown

Whilst much of the county lives in lockdown, this past fortnight I have been inspired by our Paralympians especially the achievements of four Athletes who are not only winning medals but are also breaking records.  Amanda Reid, Ruby Storm, Samantha Schmidt and Torita Blake strong Aboriginal women all demonstrating that it’s not about their disability it’s about their Ability.  In some ways the lockdown has provided an opportunity for many people to watch the Paralympics for the first time.  Some of these events are tough and the competitors are even tougher.  Not sure about you but Wheelchair Rugby is rough and teams are mixed gender even through it’s the first time in 17 years that our Rugby Team is returning without a medal they certainly represented Australia with pride.  Others who swim, run, jump and throw just as far as many able bodied athletes and with pride we support them, cheer for them and celebrate them.

Samantha Schmidt, Wakka Wakka and Gubbi Gubbi Woman from my home town of Bundaberg, has cerebral palsy but says it doesn’t hold her back. 

 “What they call a disability, I call it a challenge – because it is a challenge – it’s not something that everyone out there can go through”.   

 So just like Samantha let us all take the challenges that are in front of us and lets turn those challenges into opportunities.