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COVID-19

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Employment and Finances

Employment Support

If you are looking for a job or have questions about your rights in the workplace here are some ideas to assist:

  • Access the employment support services from your education provider to help with job searching
  • The Gordon Jobs and Skills Centre can assist students from all education providers search for a job, write a job application, or even practise interview skills. Their industry panels help you learn more about a particular industry and their recruitment processes. They even can provide individual assistance.
  • You can access free work rights advice from Barwon Community Legal Service (BCLS) by phoning them on 1300 430 599
  • If you are a Deakin University student you can access the Deakin Student Legal Service (DSLS) that provides free and confidential legal advice, information, referral and education through BCLS qualified lawyers over the phone. You can request an appointment here: https://www.eclc.org.au/can-eclc-assist-you/legal-programs/sort-it-deakin-legal-service-for-students/#resources
  • Study Melbourne's International Students Work Rights Legal Service offers free, confidential and independent legal advice for international students with work problems (excluding migration), including students who remain overseas.
  • The Fair Work Ombudsman provides helpful resources about your workplace entitlements and obligations if you're affected by the outbreak of covid-19.
  • The Fair Work Ombudsman also provides general resources about employment rights for international students
  • Register with Job Match, that connects workers looking for jobs with employers in industries that are ramping up their work

Financial Support

We understand that some international students are struggling to meet their living expenses and funding sources from home countries may have also been impacted by Covid-19. Here is some information to assist you in seeking support:

  • Reach out to your family support network for help if possible

  • If you are concerned about your enrolment, fees or other issues related to your studies and finances, speak first to your education provider to find out what your options are. Many have hardship funds and financial counselling services.

  • International students who are studying and working in Australia may be able to access financial assistance when they are:
    - required to self-isolate or are caring for someone with COVID-19 (Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment) or;
    - adversely affected by a state public health order and are required to be in lockdown for more than seven days (COVID-19 Disaster Payment).
    For more information on the financial support payments, including eligibility criteria, refer to https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink

  • The Australian Government has announced a new COVID-19 Disaster Payment to help people affected by COVID-19 restrictions. The new payment will help Victorian workers who are unable to earn income due to lockdown restrictions.To be eligible you must be an Australian resident, permanent resident or eligible working visa holder. For more information visit payments and services during coronavirus.

  • The Victorian Government has established a rental assistance fund to provide Rent Relief Grants of up to $1,500 to Victorians, including international students experiencing rental hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    The one-off grant is specifically for renters living in their primary residence to help them maintain safe, secure and stable accommodation. It is paid directly to the renter’s agent, lessor or landlord to contribute to their rental payments, under their new rental agreement. Eligibility criteria apply. For more information go to: https://www.housing.vic.gov.au/help-renting/rentrelief

  • Students who are experiencing a temporary financial crisis and can demonstrate they are on a low income can apply for relief grants to pay overdue gas, electricity or water bills. Visit the DHHS website to find out more.

  • CatholicCare, Geelong provides Emergency Relief in the form of financial or material aid to assist people experiencing financial hardship resulting from their current life situation or an unexpected crisis event - including the COVID-19 pandemic. International students are eligible to apply.

  • Uniting Barwon provides support to individuals and families residing in the Barwon area in the form of material aid – food, clothing and household goods, back-to-school costs, bill payment assistance and financial counselling to people living in disadvantage. They also have Microfinance and No Interest Loan Service (NILS) for individuals and families on low incomes facing financial hardship, to help pay for big expenses, such as car repairs, furniture and electrical appliances.
  • St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) and The Salvation Army (Salvos) provide a range of financial support services for people seeking assistance
  • Red Cross, Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Department of Health and Human Services have implemented the Extreme Hardship Support Program to provide emergency financial assistance to people who are unable to access income support. This includes international students and those on a post study work rights visa. Eligibility criteria must be met. To apply for emergency financial assistance go to www.redcross.org.au/vicrelief. There is also a dedicated phone line on 1800 855 240. 

Last Modified: 08.09.21