Behind the lens: the photo that captured Wilcannia’s COVID-19 plight

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A cavalcade of motorhomes has arrived in the far-western NSW town of Wilcannia, where about one in seven of the population has tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Sunday, 98 people in the town of 745 people had contracted the virus.

Amid concerns about the effect of the virus on vulnerable Aboriginal communities, the NSW government sent the caravans in to help people living in big households self-isolate.

Police are patrolling the streets, delivering food parcels to people who are self-isolating. But there have been criticisms about the level of support being offered, with one COVID-19 positive woman angry she had been forced to wash her clothes in the river because she wasn’t allowed to use shared laundry facilities.

Last week, Indigenous photographer Rhett Wyman’s photo of Catherine Bugmy being forced to wash her clothes in the river made the front page. Today on Please Explain, photographer Nick Moir joins Bianca Hall to discuss what’s happening in Wilcannia and how that front-page photograph came about.

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