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18 March, 2020

NORTHSITE CLOSES GALLERIES, SHOP and SWITCHES ONLINE COVID:19

Good morning.

As we take all precautions to keep our staff, artists and audiences safe and supported at this time, we will not be opening the doors to NorthSite at Bulmba-ja today and will not be physically open to the public again, until after an inevitable period of greater disruption to everyday life and the issue of  COVID-19 virus passes.

Our small team of four, needs to prioritise today to ensure we swiftly adapt given the rapidly changing global circumstances.

As of 19 March 2020, we’ll be working online as required, reduced hours. Certainly, not what I thought we’d be doing when we opened the new KickArts as NorthSite only two weeks ago!

Although there are still no officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cairns, Cape York, Torres Strait or wider FNQ, COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Please be cautious and take this viral health issue seriously, but do not panic.

Follow the advice of the World Health Organisation and Queensland Health, particularly for your area.

You are not alone in this and everyone you know is experiencing the waves of emotion as we realise situation at hand and the effect that closures will have on our daily lives. The unknowns are challenging and everyone will be at different stages and situation throughout this course, but keep a positive and rational approach. Smile at your neighbours. We will get through.

After two days of testing of remote working capabilities, I feel there are many things we will be able to do to help manage stress, information overload and our mental wellness at this time. This is what we’ll be focusing on when we pick up our programs again.

  • Get outside and soak up sunshine – the sky is still there and with water a seed will still grow
  • Keep moving
  • Get creative – with more time and much emotion, great art will be made. Write and tell your stories.
  • Get connected – social distance doesn’t have to be emotionally isolating but limit your time online
  • Daily structure will be important
  • Look after those around you

Across the world social distancing measures are being implemented and may be required to flatten the curve. This will affect our ability to undertake our line of business- therefore we are moving now, so we can keep working through this period.

We encourage each and every one of you to continue best personal hygiene practices and talk with your households, families and friends about how you will approach this difficult time.

We are working through the immediate changes and challenges and then we’ll be here online for artists as we engage in new ways.

We ask that if you have urgent questions, please phone 07 4050 9496.

We have set up remote access and phone lines – if you haven’t already seen it SPOKE is a system we’ve recently set up, turning our office phones to our mobiles. If you can, just calmly gather passwords and make sure you’ve got what you need to log into online portals.

Stay squeaky 🖐💦🤚

Stay safe

Ashleigh