During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blacktown Community Leaders Forum established a Community Leaders COVID-19 Emergency Taskforce to bring the community together to create awareness of COVID-19 safety measures, lockdown and vaccination.
The taskforce provided a platform to share challenges faced by a diverse range of communities with key stakeholders, including the Western Sydney Local Health District, Members of Parliament, and other organisations.
The group has been meeting fortnightly to explore a community response to the challenges presented by public health orders and the spread of infection.
With Virtual Door Knocking the taskforce reached out to the community to:
- conduct welfare checks to determine the needs of families and their feelings and motivation about vaccination
- understand and address the community need in response to COVID-19 restrictions
- motivate community members to take available vaccinations as early as possible
The taskforce successfully reached out to more than 1000 community members via telephone and online platforms. It is now developing a series of videos to further emphasise the importance of vaccination to the local community and NSW.
The Blacktown Community Leaders Forum is a SydWest Multicultural Services initiative funded through the Community Capacity Building component of the Australian Government’s Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) Program.
Since 2019, community leaders and representatives from emerging and dispersed communities (e.g., Iraqi, Syrian, Afghani, Bhutanese, South Sudanese and Ethiopian) in the Blacktown LGA have met regularly. The program now engages with leaders from more than 20 different communities in the Blacktown LGA.