In light of the escalating COVID-19 crisis, Tracey Shillingsworth, Chief Executive Officer for the Regional Enterprise Development Institute Ltd (REDI.E) based in Dubbo, Central Western NSW, has come to the decision, that all program operations should temporarily be suspended for the safety of the most vulnerable people in NSW.
REDI.E is an Aboriginal owned and operated employment, training and community services organisation that provides a range of services right across Western NSW.
REDI.E works in the most vulnerable communities where living standards are generally low while the paucity of health services in a health crisis such as COVID-19 can have dire consequences.
CEO Tracey Shillingsworth demands that the health and wellbeing of our people and our staff be the highest priority.
‘In fact - the health and wellbeing of our clients is why we exist. Our primary objective as an organisation is to support our communities,’ she said.
‘Entire countries have been shut down due to this unprecedented viral pandemic. We take this very seriously.’
The Government has recommended:
- initiating measures to protect vulnerable populations, such as reducing visitors to all residential care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- limiting non-essential organised gatherings to fewer than 500 people
- limiting non-essential meetings or conferences of critical workforce e.g. healthcare professionals and emergency services
- encouraging all Australians to exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures
Meanwhile the Federal Government has ruled that non-essential indoor gatherings of greater than 100 people (including staff) will no longer be permitted.
Taking this into consideration, our proactive approach to protect our communities and in particular, our Elders, is to suspend program operations until the risk is mitigated.
Therefore, our Community Development Program (CDP), our Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) and all other program operations delivered by REDI.E, will be temporarily suspended until the threat COVID-19 presence is no longer a danger to those we are here to protect and support.
We trust that the Federal, and where appropriate, State Government will support REDI.E in this decision to ensure continuation of these important services when this threat has been eliminated.
Anyone participating in the CDP program who wishes to discuss their situation with Centrelink can call the following phone numbers
- Newstart Allowance, JobSeeker Payment and Special Benefit recipients call 132 850
- Youth Allowance recipients can call 132 490
- Parenting Payment Single recipients with mutual obligation requirements call 136 150
- Indigenous Australians can also contact the Centrelink Indigenous Call Centre on 1800 136 380.
This initiative is funded/supported by the Australian Government.