AbSec News

As NSW entered lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, we decided to run a sector wellbeing survey to hear from the workers in our sector about how they were dealing with this difficult period and if they had enough support.

A strong Aboriginal sector in NSW is key to the success and wellbeing of many Aboriginal children and their families across the state. These organisations are controlled and run by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people and understand our needs, putting self-determination first.

The current COVID-19 outbreak and social restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the virus have been incredibly impactful to the sector.

The AbSec Sector Wellbeing Survey gained responses from a wide range of professions within the broader sector, people in both Greater Sydney and Regional NSW. The survey found that a majority of respondents have been able to manage their stress during the lockdown (77%), showing the resilience of our sector. There were varied views on the outlook for the state dealing with the outbreak, with 50% of people having a negative or very negative outlook, 26% positive or very positive and the remainder neutral.

Positively, 88% of survey participants were comfortable with the changes to their working arrangements, though there were a number of concerns highlighted with communications, wellbeing and technology noted as the most prevalent issues for workplaces. A majority of respondents also felt like they are receiving adequate support in their workplace (92%), a testament to the Aboriginal organisations working hard across the state.

On testing and vaccinations, most people (88%) felt like the information was readily available and easy to distribute and understand, and we see this reflected in the hard work of our sector to keep our mob safe from the virus and promote the safe and effective vaccine to protect our families.

The question of major importance to AbSec, whether people think there needs to be more support from the NSW Government, was very telling and will be driving our work moving forward.

We appreciate the input from so many workers during this difficult time and are dedicated to promoting the voices in our sector.

This survey was conducted over the end of July and August and as the response to the COVID-19 outbreak is fast-moving, we acknowledge attitudes may change. AbSec does, however, remain committed to voicing the concerns of our sector in whatever way we can, and we will continue to advocate for the appropriate support for Aboriginal organisations to meet the needs of our children and families.