May Newsletter

Update: Take away community lunch

We are excited to launch our take away community lunches from June! As we are still unable to host our monthly lunches, we are offering an option for you to come and pick up free, tasty and healthy lunches from the office.

When: Tuesday, June 2nd
Frequency: Fortnightly (Next one is Tuesday, June 16th)
Time: Between 1-4 pm

Due to Covid-19 measures and your safety we will need to adhere to social distancing rules. To abide by this we ask that you confirm the time you will be coming to collect via text on 0477 001 110.

If you would also like to stay and do some gardening, our friends from Cultivating Communities will also be around to assist. We are planning on using the produce we have planted into our lunches!

Caseworkers will also be available on this day to you if you need a chat, but via appointment ONLY. Please call to request and confirm a time.


Food Boxes available!

We have partnered with Oz Harvest and are able to offer women free weekly food boxes. These boxes are full of fresh fruit/veg, and plenty of staples. We have had great feedback from the women who have received them regarding the quality and amount of food.

Free delivery is available to you if you live within the areas of Clifton Hill, Westgarth, Fairfield, Collingwood, Fitzroy.

Boxes are delivered every Thursday, just let us know on Fridays if you would like one for the week via text or phone on 0477 001 110.

Please note this will only be a temporary service operating during Covid-19.


We have also developed an online newsletter that consists of Covid-19 specific resources should you need them. There is information on housing, payments, material aid, and other support services. Please read on!


Current Victorian Laws regarding the sex industry

A person who owns, controls or operates a brothel, sex on premises venue, strip club, escort agency or other adult entertainment venue must not operate that facility from midnight on 30 March until midnight on 11 May 2020. 

A Restricted Activity Direction issued on 30 March 2020 requires escort agencies and brothels to cease operation until midnight on 11 May 2020. 


Housing Laws, Rent Relief and Negotiating with Landlords

New laws help protect you as a tenant from eviction and allow you to negotiate a rent reduction with your landlord if you’re suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The laws apply for six months from 29 March 2020. This means you can’t be evicted if you are served a notice to vacate on or after this date because you can’t pay your rent due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

See your rights and more info here :

A Rent Relief Grant has been made available
To be eligible for the grant you will need to have registered your revised rental agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria or gone through mediation, have less than $5,000 in savings and still be paying at least 30 per cent of your income in rent. Lodge your inquiry with Consumer Affairs Victoria

Negotiating lower rent with landlords

Having trouble paying rent due to the impacts of Covid19? You may be able to negotiate paying less rent.

While there is no obligation under the law for the landlord to agree to such arrangements, there is a general understanding at the moment for everyone to make sacrifices in order to meet the challenge of the pandemic and keep each other safe. The landlord may therefore be open to compromise.

Here are some links to template letters you can edit and send to your real estate/landlord.

For more information please go to:

Crisis and emergency accommodation

Help if you are homeless or at risk of homelessness or family violence.

Government Benefits and Payments

If you have lost your job due to Covid-19 you may be eligible for government payments.

Here are the links to the separate payments.


There is also an option to lodge an "Intent to Claim" form where Centrelink will call you back. Centrelink will back pay you from the date you lodge the claim.
To do this you will still need to create a MyGov account through
Next, log in and you will see a button that says "Have you been affected by coronavirus? Do you wish to claim a payment?" Click on this and complete the process.

For sole traders, Jobkeeper:

Accessing your super and advice

Child Care Subsidy (CCS)
You won’t need to pay child care fees when you access child care between 6 April and 28 June 2020.
For more information


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).


Support for women on Temporary Visas

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.

Red Cross Migrant Support Program


Let us know if you would like us to make a referral for you to access this support. 

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. 

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


Need Food?

If you need access to free food simply go to one of these 5 locations on Sundays between 10.30am and 3pm (bring an ID card showing your address): 

412 City Road, Southbank VIC (enter Whiteman Street) 

360 Main Road, Lower Plenty VIC 

251 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood VIC 

RCS Products, 12 Bormar Drive, Pakenham VIC 

147 Marshalltown Road, Grovedale VIC 

You can choose your own items from the shelves and fill up a bag or two!  

Phone: 03 9896 7999 

Email: [email protected] 

Check Empower Pantry's website to stay up-to-date with locations and times as these with change over the next few weeks: 


Free online mental health/support/exercise

Yoga with Adriene

Free online yoga classes

Keep it Cleaner

Free live online workouts hosted by Steph Claire Smith & Laura Henshaw to help you remain calm and active with an inspiring community.
With no equipment required, these sweat sessions will promise to get your heart racing, all from the comfort of your own living room.
In these unique times, lets come together and be there for one another

Thrive Inside with Smiling Mind
Thrive Inside is a special COVID-19 Initiative to help you proactively support your psychological wellbeing while you're spending extended periods of time at home.

5 Ways to Wellbeing
This website gives you practical tools and resources so you can discover how to make the 5 Ways part of your ways to wellbeing. Everyone can ‘try the 5’ at home, work or during study. It costs nothing and it’s easier than you think!

​Victoria Together
Victoria Together shares some of the best music, entertainment, nature and art our state has to offer. Because even though we're at home - we're together.


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 land 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 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


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

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.