Community matters to Moi: Bland Shire


Two main drivers have helped Moira Parkes manage a covid vaccination clinic through the pandemic: The need to take pressure off the local health system and a desire to get the community back to normal.

The Bland Medical Centre practice manager shared her motivation for community service after she was nominated for The Gratitude Project this week.

A joint Bland Shire and Evolution Mining initiative, The Gratitude Project was launched to recognise residents like Ms Parkes, who have gone above and beyond to help others during this challenging period.

Nominations were entered into the first draw on Wednesday, September 15, with 10 winners – essential workers, volunteers and good Samaritans – receiving a $100 Why Leave Town card.

Ms Parkes said the centre began administering the Pfizer vaccine in July this year, with close to 80 residents receiving the jab on average each day since.

“When we started, we were the only Pfizer clinic within a 150 kilometre radius, so we were swamped.” Ms Parkes said. “I’ve got a wonderful team behind me and we’re a well-oiled machine now.”

Ms Parkes said while the general practice services had stayed the same, the nurses’ requirements and demands had changed completely and the administration efforts were increased dramatically as well.

Despite the chaos of the changing health orders and lockdown regulations, she said the support of her “fantastic team” and desire to help the community had kept her forging ahead.

“If there was to be an outbreak it would put too much pressure on our small health system, so we wanted to minimise that,” Ms Parkes said. “My second motivation was to get everyone back together with their family and friends and kids; back to normal.”

She said the community response and attitude had been fantastic as well.

“We’re at 75.2 per cent first-dose vaccinated in the Bland Shire,” Ms Parkes said. “I’d like to see that at 80 per cent next week.”

In addition to Moira Parkes, a huge congratulations was also shared with the following members of the Bland Shire community, who have helped keep the community running, despite the impacts of Covid-19:

  • Rachel Trehearn – Armstrong Toyota
  • Steve Raine – Barmedman Post Office
  • Cynthia Judd – R & G Stephenson’s Funeral Services
  • Charmaine Cowan – Evolution
  • La’shey Cattle – Little Wattle
  • Michelle Steele – West Wyalong Rocks
  • Kay McKenzie – Bernardi’s
  • Nathan Marinkovic – Bernardi’s
  • Christine Hurst – West Wyalong Bowling Club

Bland Shire community engagement officer Craig Sutton said winners could collect their Why Leave Town Cards from Council’s Main Office or contact Council on (02) 6972 2266 to make other arrangements.

“The next draw will take place Wednesday, September 22, so get your nominations in ASAP,” Mr Sutton said. “We all know someone, who has gone above and beyond during this difficult period, who would be very worthy of a nomination.”

Nominate someone today

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