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nib donates 10,000 facemasks to support Awabakal’s frontline healthcare workers

Toni Carson (Regional Manager Newcastle), Una Taufaao, Olivia Smith, Jamahl Douglas and Michelle Morcombe (Hamilton Clinic staff)

nib Group (nib) has delivered 10,000 urgently needed surgical KN95 facemasks to Awabakal’s Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service to help protect their frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delivered to the Awabakal Medical Service located in Hamilton and Maitland, the facemasks will enable frontline workers to continue to safely administer COVID-19 vaccines as well as other health services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples while Newcastle and the Hunter Region remain in lockdown.

nib Chief Executive Australian Residents Health Insurance, Ed Close said that while COVID-19 is active in the community it’s vital we come together to protect our healthcare workers so they can continue to provide health services to our most at-risk community members.

“When we heard from the Awabakal Medical Service that they were running low on facemasks we knew we had to do our bit to help, so we reached out to our contacts to ensure their stock could be quickly replenished,” Mr Close said.

“It’s a small way that we can support our local First Nations people to access the healthcare they need in a safe manner,” he added.

Awabakal CEO, Raylene Gordon said the delivery of the surgical facemasks comes at just the right time, with their service currently experiencing an increase in visits from community members to receive their COVID-19 jab as well as routine health checks.

“Our healthcare workers at our Awabakal Medical Service play an important role in providing the best education, advice and care for our people and their health, particularly now as we experience lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mrs Gordon said.

“The delivery of these facemasks by nib come at the perfect time, with our current stock already running low as more of our people show up to receive the COVID-19 jab following our campaign on social media. It will mean our healthcare workers can continue to safely carry out their work and care for our community,” she added.

nib has also been working alongside Awabakal throughout the year to support community-based initiatives through funding from our charitable organisation, nib foundation.

“We’ve supported Awabakal’s Community Sponsorship program which offers grants to organisations and community members to support their participation in local community events, art, culture and sports,” Mr Close said.“

Awabakal do a fantastic job in providing accessible and culturally appropriate health and social services to their community members and we hope the delivery of these facemasks will help provide the protection our frontline healthcare workers need to continue to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

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