Chief Health Officer delivers COVID message at Soroptimist International Bayside women's event

THE state's top medico has emphasised the importance of staying vigilant during COVID-19, as she spoke at a Soroptimist International event on the bayside last week.

Jeannette Young, Queensland's chief health officer, gave a keynote address at Soroptimist International Bayside's 23rd Women's Voices, speaking on the theme of survival.

During her address, Dr Young focused on the resilience and support of Queenslanders to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also reflected on the challenges which the state had faced and the lessons learned along the way.

She praised the media for communicating significant messages to the general public, saying everyone she had spoken to know exactly what they needed to do.

Moving forward, Dr Young emphasised the importance of testing everyone with symptoms, contact tracing when positive cases emerged and rapidly responding to cases to keep the virus contained.

A Soroptimist spokesperson said Dr Young's advice to the Queensland government and response to COVID-19 had saved lives across Queensland.

After Dr Young's address, 2019 Queensland Young Achiever of the Year Madina Mohmood interviewed notable Redlands figures including Night Ninjas founder Alix Russo, arts administrator Dominique Fegan and Capalaba State College community education counsellor Jasmin Stephenson.

All panellists hold roles supporting the Redlands' vulnerable populations, and reflected on challenges facing these community members.

When asked what messages they would like to pass on to those in authority who can make a difference, key messages included greater financial support to the arts community from the federal government, increased mental health support for young people and affordable housing in the local area were the key messages.

Their final question asked each member to tell the audience what they could do to make a difference in the lives of others.

"The strong messages which emerged asked people to support the arts (especially in the local communities) as this industry re-emerges from lockdown, to be kind to others and to check on their neighbours," the Soroptimist spokesperson said.

"More than ever, it is essential for people to connect or reconnect with those around us."

During the night, audience members could also read survival stories gathered from around the world.

These stories highlighted the common issues facing people throughout this pandemic.

Stories showed the vulnerability of certain groups in local communities as well as systemic problems of aged care, homelessness, and domestic and family violence.

Accounts of ingenuity and initiative to respond to the need for masks and personal protective equipment to be produced were widespread too.

The raffle raised funds for SI Bayside's annual Maris King Scholarship, to be awarded on International Women's Day in 2021.