Covid Messages from Russell

COVID Messages from Russell – 28 May

May 28, 2020

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week marks a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The dates for this special week remain the same each year – 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in relation to reconciliation: the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision.

In 2020, Reconciliation Australia marks 20 years of shaping Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation.

This year’s theme ‘In This Together’ is resonating in more ways than one in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and aims to remind everyone that we are all #InThisTogether.

Community donations

Many of you will have been the beneficiaries of the community’s great generosity in recent months as some of our local restaurants and caterers turned their attention to supporting health care workers, at times supported by the generosity, in turn, of their customers. This has been a great show of community support for the fabulous job you are all doing.

Of course all good things must come to an end, and as the community restrictions begin to step down, we are seeing, understandably, a number of our wonderful meal donors turn their focus back to the business of getting their business up and running again. I am sure this is something we will all support.

I think I speak on behalf of all of us at Western Health when I say how much we’ve appreciated the support from local caterers and restaurants.  While they’ve been struggling to stay afloat, they’ve put us top of mind, and looked after us incredibly well. Thank you!

A conversation with Dr Marion Kainer

One of our clinical leaders in our COVID response over the past four months, has been the Head of our Infectious Diseases Unit, Dr Marion Kainer. Today we have an opportunity to hear from Marion once again in an extended interview. She is very grateful for Australia’s and Victoria’s “science based response” while heartbroken at the loss of 100,000 US lives to COVID-19. Marion is deeply distressed by this loss and the challenges that many of her ex colleagues in the United States, where she worked for 20 years before returning to Australia, have endured.

As Chief Executive I am pleased to know that Marion feels Western Health is an organisation where “science has a real seat at the table and senior leaders are driven to make science based decisions”.

You can hear Marion’s interview via the links below.


COVID Catch-Ups

Today we are continuing the regular publishing of the latest episodes of COVID Catch-Ups, where I have the opportunity to meet with three staff at a time, from different areas of the organisation.

Our new releases this week are my recent catch-ups with the resourceful PPE team, who had to become overnight experts in the logistics of PPE and its distribution, having been redeployed from their usual gigs in SNAP and CBR.

You can also hear the inside story on the making of the #FRONTLINERS video by the team in the Joan Kirner Theatre – a video that has now received more than 25,000 views thanks to some bonus publicity by 3AW’s Neil Mitchell! (Click here if you missed it.)

The third episode now available is the catch-up with some of our other wonderful Women’s and Children’s staff – two midwives and a paediatric nurse.

Thanks to all for being prepared to have these discussions with me and to be recorded!

Next week I will be catching up with some of the Drug Health services crew; members of the COVID Team; and Sunshine Food Services. Plenty of variety there!