Health And Safety A Priority At Garma 2022

28 June 2022

A partnership of national and local health providers will be at this year’s Garma Festival to help deliver a safe and healthy event for all on site, the Yothu Yindi Foundation said today.

With COVID-19 still circulating, and flu back with a vengeance, YYF is partnering with the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC), Miwatj Health, and St John’s Ambulance NT to minimise the risk of transmission and care for anyone who gets ill.

YYF CEO Denise Bowden said the Foundation was also encouraging all Garma patrons to get their flu shot before this year’s event, in addition to being up-to-date with their COVID vaccinations.

“The rules around large gatherings have relaxed in recent months, but we’re taking a cautious approach and asking our guests to be vigilant with their health too, especially in the days immediately before travelling to Garma,” Mrs Bowden said.

“Please remember that while life may have returned to normal in our larger southern cities, we will be on very remote, Yolngu land, with limited response capability at hand. Health and safety needs are a priority for us all.

“There will be a clinic on site to care for anyone who becomes ill, while St John’s Ambulance NT willalso be on hand to provide first aid around the grounds, as they have in previous years.”

Mrs Bowden said YYF was asking all Garma guests to follow a number of guidelines to help ensure a healthy and safe event.

  • In addition to being fully up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations, all patrons are encour-aged to get a flu shot in the lead-up to Garma.
  • Please do a RAT test before you leave home on the day you depart for Garma, and again atyour layover airport (Darwin or Cairns) en-route to Gove.
  • If you are ill for any reason, do not travel and do not attend Garma.
  • Please have a back-up plan in place should you fall ill while travelling.
  • Please practice good hand hygiene while at Garma, which will help reduce the risk of spread-ing infection in high-traffic communal areas, such as the kitchens.
  • If you can’t socially distance, please consider wearing a mask.

The NCCTRC said: “The NCCTRC is bringing its extensive experience in the prevention and management of COVID-19 across Australia and the Pacific to the Garma Festival in 2022.

“We look forward to working with the Yothu Yindi Foundation and partners to promote a safe and enjoyable festival for all.”

Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation provides primary health care services in East Arnhem Land. CEO Steve Rossingh said: “We are thrilled to be hosting a culturally safe walk-in clinic at Garma.

“This year Miwatj will also have COVID and flu vaccines available, and will continue to care for the community after festival-goers have returned home.”

St John’s said: “St John NT is thrilled to be once again working with the Garma Festival in delivering this important event.

“We will have a paramedic ambulance crew on-site and available to attend to medical incidents within the festival grounds from 8am until 6pm and will have a single paramedic onsite overnight. We wish everyone involved success with the event.”

Garma makes its long-awaited return this year, and will take place between Friday 29 July – Monday 1 August. Tickets for this year’s event have now sold out.


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