Western Sydney, where Jesuit Social Services has provided a range of programs and services since 2008, is one of the critical locations at the centre of New South Wales’ COVID-19 outbreak.

Our research into locational disadvantage, conducted over more than 20 years, demonstrates that locations in Western Sydney, including Mount Druitt, are among the most disadvantaged locations in NSW.

Preventing the spread of the virus and promoting health and safety among Western Sydney residents is critically important in supporting the community to navigate the current crisis.

That is why Jesuit Social Services, in partnership with Emerton’s Holy Family Parish, has taken a leadership role in establishing a vaccination centre in Western Sydney.

“When we heard that NSW Health was focusing on reaching vulnerable communities, we knew that Jesuit Social Services could play a key role. We approached the Premier’s department and negotiated with NSW Health to establish the vaccine hub, and we are working with local service providers to receive referrals for eligible community members to book their vaccine,” says Monique Perusco, Manager – Social and Community Services with Jesuit Social Services’ Western Sydney team.

The vaccination centre is open once a week and can administer up to 100 vaccines per day. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are prioritised in recognition of lower vaccination rates among this group nationally.

“By utilising our long-standing relationships with local people, agencies and communities, we are able to provide access to vaccinations for people who may not have otherwise had access to them, and connect them with clear, factual health advice,” says Monique.

“This initiative has been extremely well received by the local community, and we are proud that we can play a meaningful role in keeping Western Sydney safe during this challenging time.”

As our vaccination program is small and very targeted to reach vulnerable community members in a particularly high-risk area, we cannot offer vaccines to the wider public at this stage.

To find your local vaccine centre and book an appointment, please visit www.health.nsw.gov.au.