In the midst of a horrific crisis, a community shines.
While Covid-19 has run rampant in the remote indigenous town of Wilcannia in Far West New South Wales, it has not stopped the community from rallying together to help distribute much-needed supplies to people in isolation.
A town that on any other day of the year feels marginalised and ignored, the outpouring of support and concern for the community has been truly heartening. As a result of this support, on Saturday the 21st of August 2021, community volunteers distributed 566 hampers throughout the town. The initiative was a joint effort between Wilcannia Central School, Maari Ma Health, Regional Enterprise Development Institute (REDI.E), Central Darling Shire Council, Aboriginal Affairs NSW and the Local Emergency Management Committee.
Food security concerns
The outbreak has caused many locals to feel reluctant to leave their homes to gather groceries and household items. With only one small general store, and most people travelling over 200kms to Broken Hill for supplies, food security has been a great concern.
The volunteering efforts of everyone involved have significantly reduced the anxiety levels of individuals in the community. Particular thanks needs to be given to Tauona Bugmy, Cassier Sullivan, and Doris Bugmy who have devoted their time to sourcing food and necessities for the hampers.
From these concerns has risen a community Facebook page Coordinated Food Support for Wilcannia. This page is another great initiative dedicated to relieving some of the pressures being felt in the town at the moment. Specifically dedicated to supporting the distribution of food and personal hygiene items to local people, this page encourages people to stay in their homes allowing them to continue to isolate.
((Photo: Volunteers in ‘The Shed’ preparing to deliver donated food hampers)
What still needs to be done
While these hampers have gone a long way to helping the 745 who live in Wilcannia, there is still lots to be done to help support the community as they try and navigate their way through the devastating effects of this pandemic.
The local community of Wilcannia has worked its way through the major lockdown phase and are now starting to turn their focus to ‘what is next’
This initiative is funded/supported by the Australian Government.