26 September 2023

PS employees honoured through the art

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Canberra Health Services and the Canberra Museum and Gallery have teamed up to pay homage to the tireless work and commitment of Public Service employees who served on the frontlines of the ACT’s COVID-19 response.

Launching the exhibition Stronger Together – Artists’ perspectives on the ACT COVID-19 frontline health response, the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said it captured series of snapshots and experiences from workers in the vaccination and testing centres, as well as the voices of contact tracers, epidemiologists and others supporting the COVID-19 response.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the work of the dedicated clinical and operational staff, among many others, was pivotal to keeping the community safe and strong.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was an event unlike any other our community has experienced,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“The enormity of what we achieved together is something all Canberrans should be proud of, and I’m pleased some of these moments have been captured for others to experience and reflect on,” she said.

“For a small jurisdiction like the ACT to reach world leading COVID-19 vaccination rates, maintain an efficient and ongoing testing program at the height of demand, and have our contact tracing program adopted by international health departments in Germany, Canada, the European Union and Mediterranean, is a testament to those remarkable, unsung heroes working in our health Agencies,” she said.

Ms Stephen-Smith said Stronger Together presented the photographs of Marzena Wasikowska and Dion Georgopoulos, and the watercolours of Waratah Lahy, “capturing a series of poignant moments at testing and vaccination centres”.

She said sound artist, Ellis Hutch, through an artsACT creative residency in ACT Health, had brought the stories of contact tracers and epidemiologists to life through an audio-visual installation.

“This exhibition is one way we can specifically acknowledge and offer our deepest thanks to those health workers on the COVID-19 frontline, who served the community in our vaccination and testing centres with such commitment, or who worked the phones and analysed data, tracing the spread of the virus, often remaining nameless and faceless to the public,” the Minister said.

“I would also like to thank the Canberra community for their strong sense of responsibility and public spirit to get tested and vaccinated,” she said.

“Your contribution to the COVID-19 response demonstrates that we truly are ‘stronger together’.”

Information on the exhibition, open until 30 July, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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