The Islamic Council of NSW (ICNSW) is committed to helping the Muslim community recover and thrive post COVID-19.
To understand the challenges experienced by the community during the pandemic and establish a plan for recovery and beyond, ICNSW established a Muslim community COVID-19 recovery forum and conducted field interviews with over 100 stakeholders.
This report summarises the insights and recommendations gained through this process and will serve as a reference for ICNSW as it coordinates future action to advance the issues raised.
In the immediate term, eight key areas were identified to support the community to recover and thrive:
- Address community trauma and peace building
- Grow awareness and utilisation of mental health support
- Address inequality and accelerate growth
- Combat COVID-19 complacency and support those in recovery
- Invest in education and support children in transition back to school
- Improve leadership and capacity building for community organisations
- Re-imagine the role of religious organisations and support provided
- Reconciliation and truth-telling to build trust between the community and Government
In addition, several priority areas were identified to help inform the response to future health crises (COVID-19 or other) in NSW:
- Make information more accessible to local communities
- Enhance support for vulnerable communities
- Provide impacted families with practical advice as well as health advice
- Amplify the efforts of community organisations and professionals to reach more people
- Improve access to culturally appropriate health advocates
- Review processes for home quarantine including patient clearance
- Consider the potential for mosques to play a role in emergency responses
- Review policing protocols for enforcement of public health measures
- Assess existing communication channels and ways to improve interagency communication in emergency situations
- Improve connections between local grassroots community organisations and with Government