The face mask has become one of the latest medical weapons against the dreaded coronavirus pandemic, and ready to do its bit in the fight against spreading the disease is the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC).
These masks, designed by Aboriginal artists, have become popular worldwide since they went into production at the Murrook Culture Centre.
Worimi LALC chief executive officer Andrew Smith said that they had sold more than 4000 face masks all over the world, including in the US and UK.
"I was approached by a fellow church member some time ago, asking me if I knew where she could acquire some face masks for the older parishioners," Mr Smith said.
"We happened to have a seamstress on board and after exchanging a few ideas we came up with these cloth masks designed by various Aboriginal artists. It also enabled us to keep some of our staff employed producing the masks during the lockdown.
"Before too long a Facebook post had gone viral and we were getting requests from people and organisations both locally and abroad."
Mr Smith said that like so many other small businesses in Port Stephens, the LALC was still coming to terms and learning to adapt to the impact of COVID-19, including the forced postponement of NAIDOC Week (traditionally held in the first week of July) to November 8-15.
"It is a shame that we had to postpone celebrations, but having said that November - with its warmer climate - could be a more appropriate time of the year for some of our elders."
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He said the NAIDOC Week committee will meet on August 1 to discuss the date changes and map out a way forward.
Ms Smith said that the pandemic had also delayed construction work on the $10 million redevelopment of the Murrook centre.
Once completed, the iconic centre, which attracts up to 20,000 visitors annually, would create a unique Aboriginal cultural, interpretive, educational and heritage hub not seen anywhere in Australia.
"We are a fortnight away from lock-up stage then we can start work on the fit-out. New facilities include a conference centre, new office building, cafe, cultural display and exhibition centre, educational/training rooms, commercial kitchen and dining area, swimming pool and amphitheater," Mr Smith said.
"We have built this centre with our own blood, sweat and tears and our vision is to have a facility that can showcase and celebrate the great work of Aboriginal people, while embracing and welcoming displays from all over the world.
"We want to make available our Worimi elders to educate visitors and share their knowledge and experiences with the local community. We are hosting camps for sporting and corporate organisations and will be looking to build on that market as restrictions are lifted."