Welcome to the second edition of our CALD-focused newsletter.
Information develops daily concerning COVID-19, and to support your important work, we are sharing some useful resources and links to assist organisations supporting culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
If you would like us to get answers to particular issues or if you have information to share, please contact us.
If you would like to flag any gaps or issues affecting your organisation, or any services that require increased funding to meet an immediate need in the COVID-19 response, please get in touch with ACTCOSS through our general email address [email protected] or someone from the team, or joining one of our teleconferences below.
ACT Government condemns rise in racist incidents in response to COVID-19 – media release from Minister Rattenbury and Minister Steel.
Reports of racism and discrimination in the ACT can be made directly to the ACT Human Rights Commission, by contacting 02 6205 2222 and/or [email protected].
Health & International Student Support
- The Embrace Multicultural Mental Health Project provides a national focus on mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The Embrace Project website includes information for community members about mental health, including where to access services, personal stories, and translated resources.
- ACT Health: Telehealth Info and Consumer Tips.
- Telehealth Guide for Patients by University of Queensland Centre for Online Health.
- Accessing Medicines When Confined To Home (pdf).
- Australian university support for international students – including Australian National University, University of Canberra, Australian Catholic University, and University of New South Wales.
Financial & Visa Support
- ACT Government Jobs for Canberra Fund – register your interest and/or view a list of available vacancies, jobs will be available for people affected by COVID-19 and who have relied on casual work and are not eligible for Australian Government’s wage subsidy scheme or other support.
- The ACT Government has announced a package to support individuals on temporary visas. The ACT Government has also announced that Medicare ineligible patients (including temporary visa holders) can now access a wide range of COVID-19 related public health services.
- New FREE COVID-19 Pandemic Event option under subclass 408 for temporary visa holders, including students and skilled visa holders unable to leave, to remain in Australia lawfully
- International student hotline: The Australian Government has provided a dedicated email and hotline for international students if you have further questions - [email protected] or call 1300 981 621 (8am to 8pm AEDST Mon-Fri – calls within Australia only)
- National Debt Helpline: If you are struggling to pay rent/mortgage or household bills – call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. You can speak to a financial counsellor confidentially to discuss options, including applying for hardship with your bank/telcos/utility providers.
- Care Financial Counselling's Financial Counselling Program. Call 1800 007 007 or email [email protected].
- Canberra Business Advice and Support Service launched (includes NFPS & charities). For more info contact 02 6297 3121.
- Fairwork: COVID-19 & Australian Workplace Laws.
- Australian Government Factsheet: Income Support, Household Support, Superannuation Early Release.
- Australian Government Factsheet: Cash Flow Assistance for Business, Not-for-Profits, and Charities (pdf).
- Australian Government Factsheet: Job Keeper for Employees (updated 20 Apr) (pdf).
- Australian Banking Association summary of offers from 21 Banks with phone numbers and links to more financial hardship relief info.
- ACT Government: COVID-19 website can be translated into 107 languages via Google Translate. When on the ACT Government COVID-19 website, click on the translation box at the top right-hand side of your browser if on a computer, choose the language, and it should auto-translate into the language chosen.
- Federal Government: Translated COVID-19 resources.
- SBS Australia: COVID-19 video explanations and factsheets in 63 languages.
- IDEAS: Easy English Coronavirus COVID-19 Resource for non-native English speakers.
- The NDIS has published COVID-19 info in multiple languages, however, if you if you require any assistance to support people with a disability who are of a cultural and linguistically diverse background, please contact Feros Care’s CALD community development coordinator Tara Barrett on [email protected].
- Cenrelink has translated information and a Multilingual Phone Service. To speak with a skilled bilingual service officer, call 131 202, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
- Charter of Aged Care Rights – multiple languages.
- Domestic violence support for those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) continues to operate and support children, young people and adults who are impacted by family, domestic and intimate partner violence, including those who use violence. There are a number of bi-lingual and multi-lingual staff and access to translators. Clients are welcome to contact DVCS via their 24/7 crisis line on 02 62 800 900, via email to [email protected], our confidential contact form or via their online chat. It’s not required to give your name.
- A variety of resources are available on their website, including:
- DVCS can provide social media tiles (in English) pitched at people who are new to Australia and can read and understand English; and social media tiles translated into the following languages: Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, Filipino, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish. If you would like to receive a copy of some or all of their social media tiles for sharing within your networks, please contact DVCS at [email protected], advising which languages you wish to obtain.
Food & Emergency Relief
- Canberra Relief Network (CRN): The aim of CRN is to support individuals who are not able to purchase items in the supermarket due to vulnerability. Migrants, refugees, and international students are eligible for this service. Eligible clients to contact the call centre on 1800 43 11 33 or 02 5104 9599 which is open Monday to Friday, 10am-2.30pm or go online at www.canberrarelief.com.au.
- Free Meal, Emergency Relief and Accommodation Services & ACT Legal Services Guide by Volunteering ACT – updated weekly.
- Australia Post: Free Pharmacy Home Delivery Service for vulnerable community members that meet eligibility criteria.
- New COVID-19 helpline for Canberrans: from 8am-8pm daily – 02 6207 7244 – call for health advice/referrals, ACT Government stimulus package advice, assistance for vulnerable and isolated persons, and any other general COVID-19 enquiries.
- ACT Government Factsheets for Private Residential Tenants (pdf), Landlords (pdf), and Real Estate Agents (pdf) during COVID-19.
- FECCA – CALD Resources for COVID-19.
- The ACOSS Coronavirus Information Hub provides a variety of resources and information for the community sector and service users, including ACOSS advocacy and support, accessing income support and services, and COVID responses and resources from ACOSS members.
- Australian Government's Coronavirus Australia app: download from Google Play Store or Apple Store.
ACT Legal Services
- The Consumer Law Centre is a project of Care Inc. We provide free legal advice and representation in the areas of consumer credit (mortgages, credit cards and personal loans), debt recovery, banking, contract, general fair trading and consumer protection. Find out more about Consumer Law Centre services. Contact: 02 6143 0044 or [email protected].
- Legal Aid ACT provides advice, assistance and representation in a range of areas including employment, tenancy, criminal and family law, Legal Aid can also provide advice and assistance to people needing to apply for Family Violence Orders and Personal Protection Orders. Legal Aid also operates the Older Person’s ACT Legal Service (OPALS).
Contact: Legal Aid Helpline on 1300 654 314 or legalaidact.org.au
- Women’s Legal Centre provides legal assistance to women in the ACT and region who cannot afford a private lawyer and do not qualify for legal aid. Our main areas of practice are family law, domestic violence, victims of crime, employment and discrimination. Contact: 02 6257 4377 or womenslegalact.org.
- Canberra Community Law (CCL) is providing legal advice, assistance and representation to people in the ACT on low incomes for matters relating to tenancy, public housing, social security and disability discrimination law, including issues related to COVID-19. CCL is also still providing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the Dhurrawang Aboriginal Human Rights Program and through the Street Law program. Contact: 02 6218 7900 or canberracommunitylaw.org.au.
- ANU Students Association Legal Service provides free and confidential legal advice primarily to undergraduate ANU students and ANU student clubs and societies. The service is continuing to offer an uninterrupted service online. Contact [email protected] or anusa.com.au/services/legal.
- Postgraduate and Research Student's Association (PARSA) provides free and confidential legal and migration advice to postgraduate ANU students. PARSA, continue to offer uninterrupted service to students online during the COVID-19 crisis. Contact [email protected], [email protected]. Find out more about PARSA legal services.
- ACOSS ‘Who misses out on access to Australia’s safety net under COVID-19’ Briefing (pdf).
- Participate in the campaign to extend wage support to all visa holders through the hashtags #NoWorkerLeftBehind #WageSubsidyForAll – social media images you can use in your posts from the Migrant Workers Centre is on Dropbox
- The Refugee Council of Australia have an online email template to send to your local Federal MP to ensure refugees and people seeking asylum have the medical, social, and financial support they need during COVID-19, and a full list of priorities that need to be addressed.