July Newsletter

Lunches and afternoon tea catch ups postponed

We regret to inform that due to the restrictions around Covid-19, we have had to stop and postpone our lunches and coffee catch ups for the time being. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and will let you know when these programs will be back up and running. In the mean time, if you require support please don't hesitate to contact us on 0477 001 110.

Covid-19 and Victoria's current restriction levels

  • From 11:59pm on 8 July if you live in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire you must stay at home. You can only leave home for one of the four reasons – shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study and work, if you can’t do it from home.

For more information around restrictions, please visit the DHHS site which is updated regularly:


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).


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.


Rent Help and Relief

Rental relief grants of up to $2,000 are available to those whose income has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


  • You will need to have registered your revised rental agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria or gone through mediation. Deferral of rent is not considered a rent reduction and therefore does not meet the eligibility criteria.  
  • Your household income must be less than $1,903 per week, and you have less than $5,000 in savings and still be paying at least 30 per cent of your income in rent.
  • There are no citizenship or permanent residency requirements for applicants.
  • Applicants that may be eligible include casual workers on holiday and working visas, skilled visas, seasonal workers, New Zealand citizens and all refugee and temporary protection visa holders.

For information on how to apply 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 

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
  • NORTH EAST 360 Main Road,Lower Plenty VIC
  • EAST 251 Maroondah Hwy,Ringwood VIC
  • SOUTH EAST RCS Products, 12 Bormar Drive, Pakenham VIC
  • GEELONG 147 Marshalltown Road,Grovedale VIC


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:


Study Melbourne

Are you currently studying in Victoria?

You may be eligible for a $1100 emergency support relief payment through Study Melbourne.

To ensure Victoria’s international students can buy the basics and get through to the other side of the crisis, the Victorian Government will establish a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

The fund will provide a one-off payment to students in need while expanding emergency provisions for those experiencing exceptional circumstances.

There are also lots of resources around emergency relief, mental health, employment, housing and other FAQs listed here:


Red Cross Migrant Support Program

The Federal Government has committed funds to the Red Cross to assist temporary visa holders. Eligibility criteria for Red Cross Safety Net is that people:

  • Are in Australia on a temporary visa
  • Are in urgent financial hardship
  • Cannot access Centrelink, Medicare or similar services
  • Have no income, savings or other financial support (including from family overseas)

Website: https://www.redcross.org.au/about/how-we-help/migration-support  

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre 

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

Phone: 03 9326 6066 

Email: [email protected] 

Website: https://www.asrc.org.au/get-help/ 

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




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



COVID-19 health costs waiver: Victorian hospitals will waive the costs of treatment for overseas travelers, including international students, with symptoms of corona virus who fall ill in Australia and do not have adequate insurance coverage

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.


National Pharmacies Home Medicine Service

This temporary service allows for the Australian Government to subsidize home delivery of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medications. This service removes the need for a patient to visit the pharmacy in person. The delivery is free of charge to eligible customers.

To see if you are eligible visit:

Free online mental health/support/exercise programs

Managing Your Mental Health Online During COVID-19 & Mental Health Resources Specific to COVID-19

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

Bored In Iso?

Free Art Lessons

Arts and Craft Ideas

Little Bluebirds
A collection of creative ideas for you to share with your children.

Current Victorian Laws regarding the sex industry

From 11:59pm, 8 July 2020, businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire providing personal care services where there is close contact must close.

This includes the following businesses:

  • beauty therapy, spray-tanning, waxing and nail salons
  • spa and massage services. Therapeutic or remedial massage can continue.
  • tattoo and piercing services
  • brothels and sexually explicit entertainment venues.


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: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus 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]