A statement from Lisa Fitzpatrick, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) Secretary
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) is calling on city protesters to stop thinking only of themselves, stop the violence and put the health and welfare of the Victorian community first.
On behalf of more than 95,000 members, especially those working to care for hundreds of ill COVID positive patients currently in our in-home programs, wards and intensive care units, and more broadly the thousands of nurses, midwives and students working across the health system, vaccination and testing hubs, we are calling for common sense and voices of reason to prevail.
Nurses, midwives and carers are exhausted and frustrated as they watch protesters fight for their right to overwhelm our health system.
We condemn yesterday’s pointless violence on the CFMEU building. We praise the brave efforts of our police force.
We condemn those who created fake protest posters using our name, incorrectly, to create fraudulent legitimacy.
CFMEU members are known for their proud health and safety advocacy. Masks, restrictions on accessing tearooms and vaccination are all critical health and safety measures during this pandemic. These measures will help Victoria emerge from lockdown, see our friends and family again and re-open our businesses.
Nurses have supported dying COVID patients only able to comfort their families via a screen.
Midwives have supported new parents finding their feet without the village of their families and friends.
Aged care nurses and carers have seen hundreds of their residents contract COVID-19 and die without loved ones with them.
Through it all they wear hot, bruising and uncomfortable PPE, have their breaks in an outdoor tent or the carpark and are getting vaccinated – to protect themselves, their patients, their colleagues, loved ones and the community.
Do not leave all the heavy lifting to nurses, midwives and personal care workers.
Only respectful dialogue, not violence, can resolve the issues driving people apart.