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The two biggest COVID induced challenges Aboriginal people are facing right now are job loss and compromised immune systems.

So Indigenous Ministries Australia are running an appeal to provide essential supplies to vulnerable Indigenous Australian families and individuals experiencing hardship during COVID-19 in W.A. through our Indigenous church partners.  Essentials packs will be delivered to those experiencing a high risk of virus exposure, compromised health or financial hardship during COVID-19

Tony Riches is the Pastor of The Melbourne Indigenous Church Fellowship, one of the churches partnering with IMA to distribute these packs. The concern was evident in his voice as he spoke about how COVID has made a vulnerable community even more isolated.

“We couldn’t run church services, we reach out in a broader context so families couldn’t connect with other families, funerals obviously are a big part of Aboriginal culture so not being able to do those and share those moments as families again made people more vulnerable.”

Pastor Tony saw these essential packs as an opportunity to show support and demonstrate care and compassion. As Victoria is seeing a second wave of the pandemic, it’s near impossible for the Elders in that state to get out into the community, “so it’s just a wonderful thing to show up at the door and say ‘we’re caring for you’ and show some love and compassion in the name of Christ.”

Each pack is valued at $50 each and covers the basics of what people might need.

“But it allows the individual Indigenous Ministries to determine what their community actually need,” said Nick Wright the Eastern States Coordinator for Indigenous Ministries Australia.  “So maybe one pack includes some (internet) data for a student that still needs to do their schooling from home. Or maybe it’s basic groceries or sanitary products. Which has proved so important to empower the local communities to empower themselves. This isn’t just practical help, it’s the act of love and compassion in the midst of a really isolating and difficult time.”

Have a listen to the conversation with Nick Wright, Pastor Tony Riches, Colin Battersby and Bec on The Morning Show below:

If you would like to support this appeal and give an essential pack, click here.

Follow along on their social media for updates on the appeal and see the stories of those receiving the essential packs. 


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