Vaccine information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
5 to 11 vaccination campaign materials
Suggested social posts and advice on tile use across Facebook and Instagram
Social tiles for Facebook and Instagram
'Community Unity Immunity' campaign materials
These campaign materials can be used by Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and community.
Watch these important messages about getting tested for COVID-19
Registered Nurse Naz Rind discusses how to support your community by getting vaccinated
Dr. Ngaree Blow discusses COVID-19 vaccine safety
Jill Gallagher - Aboriginal community testing for coronavirus
Glenn Harrison - Aboriginal community testing for coronavirus
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms to watch out for are:
- loss or changes in sense of smell or taste
- chills or sweats
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- runny nose.
Headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can also occur.
No matter how mild the symptoms, it is important that you get tested as soon as you show any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
You should take a RAT:
- if you have COVID-19 symptoms, even if they’re very mild
- if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19
- before visiting a hospital, aged care facility, or disability care facility
- before visiting elderly people, people with disability or people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
COVID-19 can spread before you have symptoms. You can protect others by checking that you are negative before you leave home.
If you are at high risk of severe illness and have symptoms, you should speak to a GP about a PCR test even if you have tested negative on a RAT. This is so you can get any help you need, including , as quickly as possible.
There are culturally safe health services to help you get a PCR test with a GP referral:
What to do if you have tested positive
If you test positive, it’s important that you speak to a doctor as soon as you can if you are:
- aged 12 or older with severe immunocompromise
- aged 35 or older and have not yet received three doses of vaccine
For information on how to manage COVID-19 at home, download this fact sheet:
COVID Positive Pathways
COVID Positive Pathways provides targeted care and support for Victorians diagnosed with COVID-19 who need support to recover or who experience barriers to accessing care.
The program is delivered by community health services and hospitals, including collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.
The program is free and ensures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be cared for in the best possible place, depending on personal needs and circumstances, whether at home or in a hospital bed.
Staying connected to community, Country and culture
Community is an important aspect to Aboriginal culture. It is important to stay connected with community and your social networks.
You can stay connected by:
- following your local Aboriginal community organisations on Facebook and/or Instagram for updates on their services
- joining local community groups on social media
Financial help and support
What financial support is available?
If you are a casual or contract worker, you may be eligible for the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee. This payment provides financial support for up to 38 hours a year of sick and carer's pay. To check your eligibility or to apply, visit or visit the page for more information.
How do I access emergency relief?
Emergency relief packages include personal care, long-life and non-perishable items.
If you would like help with your electricity or gas bills, read this factsheet:
Looking after your mental health
It’s important to look after your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember that you are not alone, and support is available. Visit the for resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians.
If you or someone you love is feeling anxious, lonely or uncertain, you can call:
- Yarning SafeNStrong - Call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A free and confidential phone crisis line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to talk to someone about their wellbeing.
- Dardi Munwurro Aboriginal Men's Support Line - Call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A free and confidential phone support line for Aboriginal men to reach out to talk to someone when times are tough.
- Lifeline Australia - Call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A crisis support service offering short-term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
- Beyond Blue - Call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A COVID-19 mental wellbeing support service.
Taking care of your mental and physical health has never been more important. Take a look at this resource for self-care advice that can help you feel healthier and happier.
Family violence support
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, you are not alone. There is help available.
Family violence support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians is available through the where you can choose to be supported by an Aboriginal Worker or be referred to an Aboriginal service.
- Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) - Email or visit their
- Djirra - Call on or visit their
Information for people with disability
The First Peoples Disability Network has developed a series of short films to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure families and communities are safe.
Reviewed 31 December 2022