Tackling conspiracies and misinformation within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

19 April 2022

An important paper by UQ Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Indigenous Engagement Bronwyn Fredericks, Professor James Ward, Shea Spierings and Troy Combo from UQ's Poche Centre for Indigenous Health featured in Croakey Health Media

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and its fluctuating waves of infections and the emergence of new variants, Indigenous populations in Australia and worldwide have remained at high risk.

As COVID-19 spreads, preventative measures and vaccinations have never been so important. Vaccination rates in some Indigenous communities, however, remain low with hesitancy coinciding with the spread of misinformation and amplification of conspiracy theories.

A 2021 study conducted at the University of Queensland (UQ) has mapped some of the risk and protective measures that influence responses to COVID-19. Amongst the findings was that an inherent mistrust of mainstream authorities exist in some communities and that this increases the chance of some community members seeking, encountering, or basing their actions on unverified sources of information.