COVID Chronicles keep regional community connected during the pandemic
- 11 May 2021 2:39PM
Blackall locals have been kept informed, entertained and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic by watching their Neighbourhood Centre’s Covid Chronicles video series.
Community Development Officer, Jaimee-Lee, hosts the Covid Chronicles, a series of videos that capture how a small town in Central Western Queensland is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Covid Chronicles were conceived after the initial lockdown in March 2020 as a way forward through the pandemic. They enable people to connect virtually and still feel together and informed,” Jaimee-Lee said.
“The stories have enabled our community to share their personal experiences of COVID-19 and its impact on their everyday lives.
“The Covid Chronicles have also become a valuable tool to determine community needs and experiences throughout COVID-19, helping guide what services are needed in our rural communities.”
Terry, a Thursday Island man, who moved to Blackall 15 years ago, is one of the stars of the latest Covid Chronicle. The video titled ‘Vaccinating the West’ highlights the COVID-19 vaccination clinic that was run by the Central West Hospital and Health Service at the Blackall Cultural Centre.
Terry is Central Western Queensland's first indigenous person to be vaccinated against COVID on day one of Blackall's clinic. For Terry, there was no hesitation to lining up for the jab. And he strongly urges others to do so.
I was born on Thursday Island, and um... Yeah I grew up there and was sort of educated in Townsville. Worked at TI for a bit. And that's where I met Cecile and ended up down here. So, I've actually gone from the beach to the bush. I'm proud to be the first Indigenous person in the Central West to get the COVID needle and to encourage all Indigenous people to get it and non-Indigenous people to get it.
Terry, whose mother’s tribe is Ugarem-Le and Magaram and father’s tribe is Peibre/Dauareb, was the first Indigenous person in Central Western Queensland to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
“I felt it was really important not only for myself, but for my community. We need the vaccine to move forward and the benefits far outweigh the risks,” Terry said.
“We have an older community. If COVID-19 got all the way out here it would be devastating.”
While Blackall has remained COVID-19 free, Terry has realised what his local neighbourhood centre means to him during the pandemic.
“We have been pretty lucky out here. Other than a short period in 2020 when gatherings were shut down, our Neighbourhood Centre has kept going as normal as can be.
“COVID-19 has made me much more appreciative of local activities and events. Since COVID-19 I have made more of an effort to get involved in community things.
“It’s always a great time out with the family with something for everyone.”
The Blackall Neighbourhood Centre is operated by the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council. Programs at the centre aim to enhance the quality of life for individuals living in the Blackall-Tambo Region. The centre’s staff are committed to building a stronger and inclusive community.
As well as producing the Covid Chronicles about the Blackall COVID-19 vaccination clinic, staff at the Blackall Neighbourhood Centre supported the Central West Hospital and Health Service by promoting the COVID-19 vaccination clinics and assisting community members with bookings.
There are more than 125 local Neighbourhood and Community Centres in Queensland. Find out more about your local Neighbourhood or Community Centre.