On a Saturday, morning a few weeks ago, I heard the first reports that 4 people tested positive to Covid-19 in Wilcannia. Another 6 in nearby Broken Hill, 197 miles away. That’s nearby in Australian standards. People travel those distances regularly to play football and visit family.
Wilcannia is 946 kilometres (547 miles) from Sydney with a population of 745 mainly Indigenous residents. It sits on the Baaka River, better known to European settlers as The Darling. Since my youth, the river has been notable for its long dry spells. Few would imagine its days as part of a paddle steamer route, joining with the Murray River.
The story told here is best left to the people of Wilcannia and Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), including Karla Grant and her team. We will make a few observations after you’ve made your own.Read more