Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Radio – Dr Ngiare Brown

Dr Ngiare Brown shares information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about coronavirus (COVID-19).


Gamarada (Dharawal language meaning friends). Hi, I'm Dr Ngiare Brown. I'm a Yuin nation woman, mother, and community member from the South Coast of New South Wales. I've been asked to share information about the coronavirus and ways to keep ourselves, our families and our mob well.

Coronavirus, or COVID 19, is a viral illness like the flu that can spread from person to person when we cough or sneeze and spray tiny droplets of the virus. These germs can also stay on things people touch. It can be dangerous, especially for our very young children, our elders and people who are already unwell or have a chronic health condition like heart disease, diabetes, lung problems, or kidney disease. For some people, getting coronavirus will feel a lot like having a cold or the flu, and only be very mild. For others, they may develop a high fever, a cough, a sore throat, and feel tired. A very small number of cases may develop into severe illness, like a pneumonia, and need hospital care.

We can all help to stop the spread of coronavirus, and protecting our communities and elders is very important. Don't travel to places in your community or other communities unless you really have to. Stay at home and away from other people as much as possible. If you are around people, try to stay two meters away from them. That's about two big steps, or two to three wide arm spaces. Visit for information about community closures.

In my day to day work as a doctor, I usually travel to see children and adolescents in their communities. Because of the coronavirus, I've had to change the way I do my work in order to keep my mob safe, but also still see the children that need us, so we're using video links and telemedicine to do consultations and chat to children and their families. We are a resourceful people and we have lots of other ways of doing our usual work.

Being stuck in one place can be challenging, but there's a lot of ways to stay active, knowing we are helping to keep all of our community, our elders and our children safe and well. Read, learn and practice a language, our own language. Dance, play board games, challenge your family members to physical activities, creative ways to get 10,000 steps done inside. Sit ups, squats, the dreaded burpees. Make sure you keep your brains and your bodies active.

You should call your local Aboriginal medical service or someone you trust in the community if you feel unwell, and please share this information with your friends, family, and community networks. Visit for the latest national medical advice and more information, or call the 24 hour national COVID-19 hotline, on 1800 020 080. Information about all supports available from the Australian government in response to coronavirus is also available at Stay well.

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Dr Ngiare Brown shares information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about coronavirus (COVID-19), and offers some tips to help keep ourselves, our families and our mob well.

Note: The National Coronavirus Helpline and Easy Vaccine Access service are no longer in service.

For information about COVID-19 support services and resources including information on booking a vaccination, COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and other COVID-19 services, please visit

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