August Newsletter

Covid-19 and Victoria's current restriction levels

From 6pm on Sunday 2 August, if you live in metropolitan Melbourne, Stage 4 restrictions apply.

  • A curfew is in place between the hours of 8pm until 5am. This means you must be at your home during these hours. The only reasons to leave home between 8pm and 5am will be work, medical care and caregiving.

  • The four reasons that you can leave home remain, but further limitations are now in place for:
    • shopping for food or other essential items 
    • exercise (applies to outdoor exercise, and with only one other person) 
    • permitted work

You can only travel up to 5km from your home. You should stay as close to your home as possible, for example shopping at the nearest supermarket. For some people the nearest essential goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider.

Check your 5km radius via this tool -

Caregiving, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment also remains a permitted reason to leave home.

As much as you can, you must stay at home. When you leave home, you must use a face covering, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.

For translated information


Masks By Sarah

Masks are now mandatory in Victoria. Needing to purchase a mask? Please consider supporting Masks By Sarah, all profits will help a woman who has lost her work as a result of COVID-19 and due to her temporary visa status, she is ineligible for government assistance.
Masks are made in line with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommendations, including three layers (two layers of cotton and one layer of polyester). The masks come in a range of sizes and colours.


Government Covid-19 financial support

Victorian workers can apply for a $450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment that provides financial support while they self-isolate to wait for the results of a coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

$1500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment for Victoria
The Australian Government announced support for Victorians who can't earn an income because they must self-isolate or quarantine at home or they are caring for someone with COVID-19.


Rent Help and Relief

Victoria corona virus rental eviction moratorium to be extended to the end of the year
Tenants will be further protected from rent increases and evictions, and landlords will be able to apply for cash payments, under a suite of measures announced by the Victorian Government.

  • A moratorium on evictions and rent increases will stay in place until 2021
  • Support for eligible residential and commercial landlords is also being extended
  • A new $600,000 package will include funding for tenant advocacy services
  • Rental Relief Grant payments increased to $3,000 for eligible residential tenants and landlords


Dear Landlord
A self-help tool that can identify what actions Victorian renters can take and provide the necessary resources and information to help them avoid eviction.

Dear Landlord first asks a series of questions and, based on the answers it receives:

  • Empowers renters to generate tailored letters to their landlords/real estate agents to negotiate a rent reduction
  • Generates rent reduction agreements to lodge with CAV
  • Provides renters with information on the process of changing or ending rent reduction agreements or Dispute Resolution Orders
  • Helps renters to navigate VCAT proceedings, including generating VCAT review applications for renters who have missed VCAT hearings
  • Provides renters with information on ending leases
  • Provides referrals to renters for specialised legal and financial help.


Help paying bills 

Utility relief grant scheme
Relief grants for paying overdue energy or water bills are available to low-income Victorians experiencing unexpected hardship. If you have a Health Care Card you may be eligible for a maximum of $650 on each utility type in a two-year period (or $1,300 for households with a single source of energy (e.g. electricity only).

The Energy Assistance and Broker program
The Energy Assistance and Broker program helps eligible Victorians save money on electricity and gas, and get advice on other energy issues, like making your home more efficient. Phone 1800 830 029

Victorians on low incomes can receive concessions and benefits to help pay their energy bills.
If you have a relevant concession card, you may be eligible for one of these concessions:

Other Info
The National Cabinet (Heads of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments) have issued a set of principles for energy, water and rates.
The principles include offering flexible payment options and not disconnecting people in financial stress.
Telecommunication providers have issued a joint statement that includes financial hardship assistance and not disconnecting people in repayment arrangements.

Energy Info Hub
For more advice on saving money on bills, energy concessions, cheaper energy plans, saving energy and getting help with payments visit


Financial Assistance

Good Sheppard Household Relief Loans Without Interest
Household Relief Loans Without Interest for anyone impacted by COVID-19 are available now. In collaboration with the Australian Government, Good Sheppad are providing no interest loans of up to $3,000 towards rent and utilities, repayable over 24 months.

Good Sheppard No Interest Loan Scheme
No Interest Loans (NILS) provide individuals and families on low incomes with access to safe, fair and affordable credit.

Loans are available for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines, car repairs and medical procedures for up to $1,500. Repayments are set at an affordable amount over 12 to 18 months.

Am I eligible?

  • I have a Health Care Card / Pension Card or earn less than $45,000 a year after tax ($60,000 for couples or people with dependants)
  • I have lived at my current or previous address for at least 3 months
  • I can show that I have a capacity to repay the loan

Financial Counselling

Micare and EACH presents : MONEY MATTERS, free online session
Are you worried about finances? Would you like help with budgeting? Do you have questions about loans or bills?
Tuesday 1st of September 10:00 am via Zoom
For more information speak to the Monash Community Strengthening Worker : Sarah Chong via 049169 3862 or
[email protected]
Please register with
[email protected] to
recieve session invite

Free Food

Empower Food Relief Centres
Sundays 10.30am – 3pm

Empower Food Relief Centres are open Sundays at these 5 locations! They are open to anyone in need who is facing serious food insecurity. 

  • CITY 412 City Road, Southbank VIC 3006
    Fridays 3pm – 5pm &
    Sundays 10am – 3pm
  • NORTH EAST 360 Main Road, Lower Plenty VIC 3094
    Sundays 9.30am – 1pm
  • EAST 251 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood VIC 3134
    Sundays 9.30am – 1pm
  • SOUTH EAST RCS Products, 12 Bormar Drive, Pakenham VIC 3810
    Sundays 9.30am – 1pm
  • WEST Boardwalk Specialist Centre, 54 Boardwalk Boulevard, Point Cook VIC 3030
    Mon -Fri  9am-7pm Sat 9am-1pm


List of free food parcels, free meals, material aid and assistance by area

Due to Covid-19 please call ahead to confirm opening hours as they may have changed.

Melbourne CBD









Port Phillip




Support for Students and Women on Temporary Visas

Contact your education provider to ask what your options are during this time, such as moving to online study, deferring your enrolment, managing your payments, or accessing extra student supports or financial assistance. Link to institutions and translated info here:

The Extreme Hardship Support Program
 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.

To be eligible for this program a person must:

·        live in Victoria, and

·        be unable to access Commonwealth income support (such as JobKeeper or JobSeeker) or the Victorian International Student Emergency Relief Fund, and

·        have zero or very limited income, savings or community support

·        be a temporary or provisional visa holder, or an undocumented migrant.

To apply for emergency financial assistance go to

  • Applicants will need their passport and bank statements showing transactions for the last three months. 
  • The website has information in simplified Chinese, Farsi, Malay, Nepalese, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese
  • To assist you in promoting this program, further information is at the Red Cross website and in the flyer and FAQ attached.

RISE: Refugee, Survivors and Ex-detainees
Welfare support, employment and resume help, material aid/free food, work shops and social networking

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre 

Address: 214-216, Nicholson Street, Footscray VIC 3011 

Phone: 03 9326 6066 

Email: [email protected] 


Call up or go to the above address. 

Monday – Friday between 9:00am-5:00pm

Multicultural service offering support for both humanitarian visas under SETs and New migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and international students under Monash Community Strengthening program. SETs covers City of Kingston, Monash, Greater Dandenong and Frankston. Monash Community Strengthening is limited to those who live, work, study or have connections to City of Monash. Support includes but is not limited to information advice and referral regarding Centrelink, Family/Relationship issues, Making appointments, Referral to legal services, Health Related issues, Advocacy for Utility Relief Grants, Concessions and Payment plans, links to other services.

MyAusCovid-19 App
Migration Council Australia (MCA) has developed a multilingual resource for Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities about COVID-19, its impact and available support.

With the MyAusCovid-19 app you can:

  • Browse articles to find out more about COVID-19, tips for prevention, caring for individuals and community, information on government response, and access to health care, financial assistance and support
  • Search for topics or points of interest
  • View short animations with helpful summaries of specific topics
  • Find useful tips and contacts to help you adjust during COVID-19

AIM Covid Stimulus Fund
AIM launches $2 million fund with long term focus on upskilling. 

In order to support the development of Australia’s workforce long term, AIM has launched the COVID Stimulus Fund. This fund can be used by eligible students and organisations to:

  • Apply a contribution towards tuition fees for AIM Vocational Qualifications capped at:
    • $3,200 for online Diplomas
    • $2,000 for online Certificate IVs
  • Provide an additional 2 training seats at no cost to organisations who book in 3 or more employees to an AIM short course



Building culturally safe and inclusive communities

Intersect aims to enhance the visibility, safety, mental health and wellbeing, social inclusion and sense of belonging amongst LGBTIQ people from multicultural and faith based communities. Supporting the ongoing development of culturally diverse LGBTIQ-inclusive services through increased connection, conversation and understanding.

An online list of doctors and mental health professionals who have been recommended by lesbian and bisexual women in Australia.

Switchboard Victoria
Provides peer-driven support services for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) people, their families, allies and communities.

National LGBTI Health Alliance


Indigenous Services

Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

If you have symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or shortness of breath – book an appointment at VAHS Fitzroy to be tested for COVID-19. The VAHS Fitzroy Respiratory Clinic is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their immediate family members.

CALL 0478 767 140 to book an appointment and get tested

Yarning SafeNStrong
Now available 24/7 to offer free and confidential support during COVID-19 lockdown.  1800 95 95 63



Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre is currently open to provide testing and treatment for sexually transmissible infections, including HIV. Monday - Friday 8.30am-5pm.
Routine STI testing: No walk in service. Call first to book a time to test. 93416200


Providing Victorians with reliable information about sexual and reproductive health and help to connect you with services.
The phone line operates weekdays, 10am -4pm, excluding public holidays.

Interpreter:13 14 50


Telehealth provides you with the ability to book a phone appointment with an InstantScripts GP in the comfort of your own home. At the moment InstantScripts GPs are providing medical consults via the phone. Free with a valid Medicare card, $50 without.


Mental Health

COVID-19 Mental Health Support
The Australian Government will provide 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions for people subjected to further restrictions in areas impacted by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Mental Health Foundation Australia - Parenting in Multicultural Families during COVID-19
Fear, uncertainty, and being holed up at home to slow the spread of COVID-19 can make it tough for families to keep a sense of calm.
The Foundation's Multicultural Ambassadors: Christina Chia, Santi Whiteside & Latha Srinivasan will be sharing their views on parenting during these tough times of pandemic.
Tue 8th Sep 2020, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Bored In Iso? Free online programs

Free online Zoomba classes

Free health and fitness videos

Full length POP Pilates, PIIT28 and fun Bootcamp Sculpting workouts with certified fitness instructor Cassey Ho aka Blogilates!

At home work outs for all levels

Free Art Lessons

Arts and Craft 
City of Melbourne Library and Creative Bug presents : Free online classes

Converstations in isolation!
Are you currently struggling to stay socially connected during the COVID-19 lockdown, and would like someone to talk to?

A group of Victoria-based health students started Conversation in Isolation to help support Australians who are at risk of loneliness and social isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. You sign up, and match you with a student volunteer to be your ongoing telephone supporter.
Multi-lingual supporters available via request.

Current Victorian Laws regarding the sex industry

All forms of sex work are currently banned under stage 4 restrictions in Victoria.


Free Legal Advice

Victoria Legal Aid
1300 792 387 or 03 9269 0120

Consumer Action Law Centre
1800 466 477

Women's Legal Service Victoria
03 8622 0600 or 1800 133 302

Aboriginal Community Legal Service
1800 064 865

LGBTIQ Legal Centre

In case of emergency please contact: 

1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) – available 24/7, speak to someone if you are experiencing family violence 

Homeless Crisis Hotline (1800 825 955) – available 24/7, speak to someone if you are homeless or at risk of being homeless 

Victoria Police/Ambulance (000) – available 24/7, call for any other emergency 

National Coronavirus Helpline (1800 020 080) – if you think you or someone in your family might have COVID-19 

Further information on Covid-19

Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) fact sheet available in different languages

Find out if you should be tested, who can perform the test, where you can get tested, what it involves and how long it takes to get the result.


Check out: to keep up-to-date with what the government is saying about coronavirus and what we should all do!

Translated Resources



If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Project Respect via email: [email protected] or call/txt/whatsapp: 0477 001 110.  


Feedback and Complaints 

If you would like to provide feedback or are unhappy with the service you have received, you can contact Project Respect on (03) 9416 3401 to discuss further or email [email protected]