Heartfelt messages go west

When IGS students and staff heard that COVID had spread to Yuwalaaraay Country in Goodooga, they felt inspired to send messages of support.

“During such challenging times, it is so heartwarming to see the IGS community rally to support their friends in Goodoooga,” IGS Teacher Lucy Sensei said.

Students and staff have donated art supplies, games, PPE gear, as well as hand sanitiser, masks and more.

Students also wrote messages of support.

“The kids may be in lockdown for some time and we wanted to ensure they had some resources to help keep their spirits up,” Lucy said.

“The response already has been tremendous. Families have donated art supplies, board games, pallets of hand sanitizer and masks. We are currently organising for them to be sent to our friends out west.”

The Principal of Goodooga Central School Malcolm Banks thanked IGS for the messages and support.

He shared the messaged with students and staff at Goodooga.

Mindy Gibbs, Yuwalaraay elder and teacher at Goodooga Central School said: “I want to send my love and thanks to IGS and all the birralii djul (Yuwalaaraay word for children) We are so grateful for your support and friendship.”

Kira Gibbs, Goodooga Central School parent wrote “How sweet of everyone to take time out of their day to send the community and my family such heart-warming messages. They are all so sweet.”

Messages from students and staff below:

Hi Mindy I hope you and your town have had a great time before lockdown and I am really sorry that your town has gone into lockdown and hope you have got lots of stashes of food and that you can enjoy lockdown and make the best of it. And just know that you can get through it. I also hope you can go down and still go yabby fishing because that was a really fun time.

Dear the town of Goodooga,

I have recently heard about the lockdown in Goodooga. Like Sydney we are also stuck at home doing home learning and so forth. We have been stuck in lockdown for 8 weeks now and cases are still growing rapidly but I can’t believe how frustrating it would be to have to lockdown with barely any cases around. From experiencing all the amazing things to do in the town a couple months ago I understand how hard it would be for them all being taken away. I hope everything is well and hopefully COVID will clear up soon.
Kind Regards,

Dear Mindy,

It’s timely that Lucy sent us a message saying that she will be sending any messages from us through to you. I was reminiscing on our time in Goodooga just the other day and the experiences that not only our kids had but what I had on a personal level as well.

I thought of the mighty township of Goodooga as I watched the news and saw that Dubbo, Walgett and its surrounding towns have been affected by COVID. It strangely stung me as I reminisced. I thought of the people I met there, including yourself and the impacts that you all made on us; the games of touch footy with the older boys on your back oval, my yarn with Bobby, our giant Canvas painting, the trip into Lightning Ridge, that beautiful billabong and of course our Aunty Mindy.

I thought of what you taught us, what has stuck with me and what I have already passed on in knowledge and stories. All because of you.

I hope that you, your family and the people of Goodooga stay safe in these troubled times. Just know that there are a lot of people here in Sydney thinking of you.

I have already and will continue to pass on Aboriginal culture that you taught us, not because you asked us to, but because you taught me how to.
PDHPE Teacher Lawrance Hunting

Hi Mindy I hope you and your town have had a great time before lockdown and I am really sorry that your town has gone into lockdown and hope you have got lots of stashes of food and that you can enjoy lockdown and make the best of it. And just know that you can get through it. I also hope you can go down and still go yabby fishing because that was a really fun time.

Hi everybody I hope you are doing well in this bizarre lockdown. I thought after our last lockdown we wouldn’t have to do another one but here we are. I hope you will all keep safe and happy!!


I hope you are all doing well during another one of these lockdowns. I wonder how many more we will have. Have a great day and stay safe during this lockdown.

Kind regards,

Hello Goodooga students and teachers,

It is Chenelle here. I would just like to say that I had the best time in Goodooga with all of you. I loved when we went yabbying and when we caught prawns by accident. We have been in lockdown in Sydney for quite a while but I would just like to say everything will be okay so don’t worry. I love you, Goodooga.


Hi Goodooga kids,

I’ve just recently heard that you’ve gone into lockdown. It’s no fun, but you can push through. You can do this.

From Max

Dear Goodooga kids,
Hey there we just heard that you guys are in lockdown and that must be really hard without being able to go to lightning ridge. We all just wanted to give you a little note of hope and tell you guys that everything will be fine and to hang in there, it will end eventually. We hope you guys are ok and still able to go yabbying and bike riding outside and stuff. It was really nice meeting you when we came to see you guys.

Hang in there,

Hi Goodooga community I hope you are all safe in the lockdown. It is sad that you will probably have to travel in lockdown to get food because for you food is not just right around the corner. I hope that you are all still able to go to lightning ridge so that you can shop for food. It is very bad that your community has gone into lockdown because that would probably get rid of lots of places that you can go. I hope you are all going well and can still go to the shops.
Sincerely Toby

Hi Mindy and all the kids at Goodooga,

It’s me Alex Walker,
I came to stay with my school on a visit and loved spending time with you and playing around.

I am sorry you are in lockdown. We are in lockdown in Sydney too and it’s very boring and we have been doing it for 7 weeks now.

I hope you are out of lockdown soon and get to go and see your family.

Stay safe, mob.

From Alex

Dear Goodooga Students,
How are you doing in lockdown? What have you been doing in lockdown? I have been going on lots of walks and reading lots of books. When I went to Goodooga I enjoyed yabbying and going to the Bore Baths. How hard is it to work if you don’t have technology?
From Connor

Dear Mindy and Goodooga kids,

I hope you are doing well over there. I wish you guys the best luck and I hope you will get through this.

Dear: Goodooga Community

I get the tuff times you guys are going through. It must have been a big shock that all of a sudden there was COVID in Goodooga and having to be locked up in your houses. Getting essential items must be very hard.

Sorry for all this COVID, I just hope all of you are alright and we can all get through this together if we all take are part.
From Paige

Dear Residents of Goodooga,
We have heard that Goodooga has gone into lockdown. We are saddened, as we know your community is so kind and everyone works together! It’s devastating how much this pandemic is affecting everyone. But especially Goodooga and other similar communities. We know that you have to drive a whole hour long trip just to get to Lightning Ridge for some of the essentials that we in Sydney often take for granted.

But stay strong! Every single person in Goodooga is a pillar of the community, and no matter how hard things get, it’s vital that everyone helps each other through these tough times. Whether that means chatting to a neighbour through a window or taking advantage of the extra time at home by hanging out with family, we know you will all find ways to make this lockdown bearable!

I recommend spending time with family, but also drawing, because taking out your feelings on paper is beneficial for lots of people. If it doesn’t work for everyone though, that’s ok! But we believe in you!

Thank you so much for your kindness and hospitality when we stayed with you. We are all wishing that you stay safe and content.