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Message from the RNA Chairperson, Sandy Eagar

Greetings and salutations! As we settle into a new “normal” in this COVID19 era we are all watching events happen around the world.  And as we watch no doubt we are all wondering about our closed borders. 

An important date to watch is September 17th when the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act is up for review. Will our borders remain closed?  Current indicators off shore (rising numbers of infections and deaths) would suggest that our borders will remain closed but there are powerful interest groups lobbying the government to get the Australian economy moving…watch this space! 

In the meantime many refugee health nurses are showing how flexible they are by adapting models of care, focussing on the many asylum seekers who have been left destitute by the Commonwealths refusal to include any temporary visa holder in the Job Keeper/Seeker schemes and assisting in the public health response to the COVID19 response. 

In other news the RNA have received a written response from the Dept of Home Affairs to the issues we formally raised with the Department earlier in the year.  We are working through the responses and we generally pleased with the outcome. One outcome with real practical consequences is that the Department agreed to increase the on-arrival equipment loan period from 28 days to 60 days and increase the range of equipment available. A small but important win. 

As you know we cancelled the RNA Forum 2020 due to the pandemic but I am delighted to advise we will be bringing the Forum on-line! Our Forum convenors are busy contacting all the speakers who would have presented in Melbourne and we hope to start a series of on-line presentations in August….can’t wait to hear from our colleagues and marvel at the breadth and depth of their knowledge base for practice in refugee health nursing.

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