Professor Tom Calma
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Hi, I'm Tom Calma.

I'm Kungarakan on my mother's side, and Iwaidja on my fathers side, coming from just outside of Darwin.

My current role is the national coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking, but I've been working in the health sector for quite a long while.

You might even remember as social justice commissioner I put out the first report that talked about closing the gap, and the gap in health and how do we get good health for us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You've seen a lot of messaging coming out about coronavirus, about COVID-19, so I just
wanted to give you a couple of hints from my side.

The first one, and most importantly, is on hygiene.

What's really important is that wherever possible we should regularly wash our hands, with soap, wash them very thoroughly, sing a song if you've got a song to sing, but really wash your hands hard, and use soap, then put them away.

The other important one is when we're coughing or sneezing, or if we see somebody else that is coughing and sneezing, what we've got to do is tell them don't just cough, put your face into your elbow, and cough or sneeze that way.

And if you have to, try not to use a hanky, but that's ok if you use a hanky but make sure you wash it really thoroughly.

Use tissues wherever you can.

Use paper that you can blow your nose in, but then make sure you put that in the bin, or if there's a fire handy, throw it in the fire.

Kill those germs before they spread.

What's also really important is that you try not to go and put your hands in your face, and around your mouth or your nose, or your eyes.

Because that's the way that the virus gets in and can affect us.

We are the longest continuing surviving culture in the world.

We are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from Australia.

So it's really important that we look after our health, as we do.

Make sure that we do our exercise, if we can.

We can't go walking around everywhere because many of us are in isolation.

But, we should try and do some exercise in the house.

But, the main thing is hygiene, hygiene, hygiene.

And making sure it's all good.

The other important message is that if you've got sanitiser, you know the hand stuff that you can get, the antibacterial sanitiser or the wipes, if you've got them, then make sure that the phone, you wipe that down, your keyboard, the door handles, you try and keep them really

If not, use warm soapy water.

But don't use warm soapy water on your phone, just on the doors and other surfaces.

That's the best way to go.

The other important thing is that, what we have to do is to make sure that we take notice of not moving around.

And particularly with Easter coming up, we've got to make sure that we don't go travelling, going and hanging around and celebrating.

Over this time, we have to really be strong and stay in our houses, and make sure that we do stay isolated, stay away from infected people, that way we can be strong, we won't get affected, and that all of us, if we all practise this, there's a better chance that we will see the virus not impact on us.

And particularly us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

So, stay fit, stay healthy, good hygiene practises, cough and sneeze into your elbow, that's the way we're all going to fight coronavirus together.

Video type: 

Professor Tom Calma AO shares his tips to help keep our mob safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus.