NAIDOC Week 2021 — Healing Country — 2

It is so important to take the time to listen. That is the point of these posts, and I begin with a person doing wonderful things in the Kalgoorlie area.

Indigenous pastor Geoffrey Stokes and his paediatrician wife Christine Jeffries-Stokes are worried something sinister is deterring Aboriginal people in their community from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Mr Stokes runs a Christian church at Ninga Mia, on the outskirts of the West Australian gold mining town of Kalgoorlie.

Between March and in June, the couple received a series of emails from a Queensland man named Kris Schlyder, who runs the so-called Australian Indigenous Prayer Network.

Copies of the emails have been seen by the ABC and contain conspiracy theories about the vaccines that greatly concerned the couple.

The theories include the completely false claim that the vaccines implant “digital devices” or chips to “monitor” people.

Mr Stokes has been vaccinated and is angry Mr Schlyder’s emails may be scaring his flock off getting the jabs….

Dr Stokes strongly encourages Aboriginal people to get vaccinated, saying they are at an increased risk from COVID-19, particularly if they have other illnesses and could put vulnerable family members at risk if they contract it.

Now turning to other countries, this time in what we call Queensland, then others:

And closer to home: