NAVIGATION

NAVIGATION

VMC | UPDATING | Community on COVID-safe Summer resources, seasonal workforce information sessions for CALD community, youth survey, inclusive education | Friday 27 November 2020

[Edited extract from public address]

A massive congratulations to Victoria ... 28 consecutive days of no new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases reported! And zero active cases. 

Message from the Chairperson

It is truly cause for celebration and deep thankfulness, particularly when other parts of the world are experiencing such high case numbers. Our thoughts are with them.
Let us enjoy this moment of victory - and do everything we can to keep this insidious virus out of our community. I thank you for your continued efforts to remain vigilant and adhere to the Last Step restrictions

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence began this week. Respect Victoria has launched a new campaign Respect Women: Call It Out 'Respect Is' and there are many activities planned in Victoria to raise awareness about this silent pandemic. 

The Victorian State Budget was released this week. I welcome the targeted investment in multicultural communities as we begin the hard work to recover from the pandemic. The VMC has been reaching out to the Victorian Government to discuss how the rollout of budget initiatives respond to the needs of people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

The VMC has responded to the Inquiry into the Victorian government’s coronavirus (COVID‐19) contact tracing system and testing regime. Our submission collated information sourced from our work in supporting Victoria’s multicultural communities since the pandemic’s impact commenced earlier in the year, including our support of public housing residents, and other consultations. The submission is available on the VMC website

This week we are sharing a welcome announcement about additional funding for students with a disability.

We are highlighting an important opportunity for young Victorians to share their experiences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to help government better tailor information for young people. 

Finally, we are encouraging you to promote COVID-19 safe summer resources and helpful information for people considering employment in season agriculture. 

Enjoy the 28 days of zero cases. We all deserve it. Stay well and look out for each other,
Viv Nguyen, Chairperson

Inclusive Education: Making Sure Our Kids Can Be Their Best

A world-leading pilot in more than 100 Victorian schools delivering extra support to students with a disability will be rolled out across Victoria through a $1.6 billion Disability Inclusion package.
The number of students getting this extra support will double to 55,000 including students with autism, dyslexia or complex behaviours. Facilitators placed in the schools will help schools and families work through the new approach, and more than 100 extra staff will provide on-the-ground implementation support and program delivery.
 

Young Victorians and coronavirus (COVID-19) survey

Are you aged 18-25, living in Victoria and identify as belonging to a CALD community? You can complete a short survey about your experiences during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The information you provide will help the Victorian Government understand how young people access, understand and act on coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, information and support. Survey responses are completely anonymous, and participants will receive a $20 gift card from a retailer of their choice for completing the survey. 

COVID-Safe Summer Resources

Keeping coronavirus (COVID-19) case numbers low this summer is simply a case of keeping up what already works to keep us safe. These campaign materials are a friendly reminder to Victorians to keep up our COVIDSafe behaviours. Please share these materials with your networks through your social media and digital platforms. 
 

Helping CALD communities fill seasonal workforce vacancies in agriculture

Agriculture Victoria is hosting an online series of one-hour community information sessions on how to join the seasonal workforce, in fruit and vegetable picking, along with grain harvesting and sheep husbandry. Interpreters will attend the sessions to provide support where required. Participants will learn about about seasonal harvest work available across Victoria, eligibility to work, what support is available and how to be COVIDSafe at work. 

Session dates, times, and l Zoom inks are below. 
There is also information about working in agriculture on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.  

    Coronavirus hotline

    • Coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398 (24 Hours).
    • Interpreting service: If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450.
    • Testing locations: Find a testing location near you.
    • Triple Zero: Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

    MORE:

    Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)
    Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
    Tel: (03) 9651 5901

    MYAN | WEBINAR | National Multicultural Youth Panel | Monday 30 November 2020 | 12noon-1.45pm

     [Edited extract from public address]

    Join MYAN's National Youth Panel led by young people from diverse cultural backgrounds with lived experience of disability. 

    This panel has been initiated and led by young people from CALD backgrounds with lived experience of disability.

    The session will begin with a panel discussion followed by Q&A.

    Where: It will be held over Zoom, streamed onto Youtube (with closed captions on the Youtube stream) and supported by a live Twitter thread.

    Considerations: This event will include AUSLAN interpreters.

    Cost: Free


    MORE:

    Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network Australia (MYAN)
    Address: 304 Drummond St Carlton, Victoria 3053 
    Tel: (03) 9340 3700

    MOIRA | WEBINAR | Connect! Digital Disability | Thursday 3 December 2020 | 9am-4.30pm

     [Edited extract from public address]

    MOIRA provides a range of support services or people from all walks of life. Join together online this International Day of People with Disability.

    Includes a diverse range of interactive webinars, world renowned presenters in Autism, experts in Positive Behaviour Support, Mindfulness and Resilience classes with opportunities for Q&A, an exhibitor hub and a range of wellbeing experiences that celebrate and connect the disability community.

    Where: online

    Cost: free


    MORE:

    Moira Limited (MOIRA)
    Level 3 , 42 Lakeview Drive, Caribbean Park, Scoresby VIC 3179
    Financial Plan Management: 1300 666 472
    Tel: (03) 8552 2222

    Supporting people living with disability, youth in crisis, their families and carers.

    UN | COMMEMORATING | International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) | 3 December 2020

    [Edited extract from public address]

    Aiming to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. 

    A day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability. This year’s theme is, ‘Seeing the ability in disability’, challenging perceptions and common stereotypes and celebrating the achievements of Australians living with disability.

    When we secure the rights of persons with disabilities, we move our world closer to upholding the core values and principles of the United Nations Charter. 

    The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy provides the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through all pillars of the work of the United Nations: peace and security, human rights, and development. 



    NDIS | UPDATING | Community on Reforms, Price Guide, Quarterly Report, Quality and Safeguards Commission

     [Edited extract from public address]

    NDIS Reforms – Information Paper 

    On 28 August 2020, the Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, also announced significant reforms to the NDIS, including the use of independent assessments, fully paid for by the NDIA. 
    • An Information Paper summarising these reforms was released on 24 November 2020.
    • This paper explains what the changes are and what they mean for people in the scheme and those applying to become participants.
    • Easy Read and audio versions of the Information Paper also available.

    NDIS Price Guide update 

    On 17 November 2020 the following NDIS guides were updated, with changes effective from Tuesday 1 December 2020:
    • Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2020-21
    • Price Guide 2020-21 for Specialist Disability Accommodation
    • Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide.
    Updates to the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2020-21 include: 
    Increased price limits for 369 support items as a result of the final Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) adjustment

    New columns in the Support Catalogue to help providers identify if a support item is eligible for:
    • non-face-to-face support provision
    • provider travel
    • short notice cancellation
    • NDIA requested reports
    • irregular Supported Independent Living (SIL) supports.
    The Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide has been updated to include:
    • Clearer names and descriptions of 111 support items
    • Five high risk hearing support items that now require a written assessment and prescription from a qualified practitioner.

    Latest Quarterly Report now available 

    The NDIS has released the latest Quarterly Report that provides a summary of how the Scheme performed from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020.
    • The report shows the Scheme is growing, supporting approximately 412,500 people with disability, with nearly 22,000 joining this quarter. Diversity is increasing too. Of note, 9.1 per cent of participants who entered this quarter identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. This is the highest percentage in the history of the NDIS.

    NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

    Easy Read resource about the Positive Behaviour Support Capability Framework.
    Resource explains what behaviour support is, what the framework does, and who can provide behaviour support.

    MORE:

    National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
    Address: GPO Box 700, Canberra ACT 2601
    Tel: 1800 800 110 (Contact centre open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (local time))

     

    ECCV | UPDATING | CALD NDIS Readiness Bulletin | Friday 27 November 2020

    [Edited extract from public address]

    Continuing purpose to influence and collaborate with government, business, community and all individuals to support our vision of a Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) in a harmonious society that is just, fair and inclusive for all Victorians.

    Employment Opportunities with the ECCV – Disability Advocacy Project Officer 

    The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria Inc. (ECCV) represents the voices of multicultural Victoria. We are a community based, member driven peak body for ethnic and multicultural organisations committed to strengthening and building our community through advocacy and leadership, empowering people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
      
    An opportunity exists for a highly motivated Disability Advocacy Project Officer to work in the Projects team delivering the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) project Raise Our Voices – Disability self-advocacy for CALD communities.
     
    The project plans to improve understanding of the disability service system for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) Victorians with disability. It aims to build consumer voice, awareness of support pathways and reduce systemic barriers for people with disability of CALD backgrounds. The position reports to the ECCV Projects Manager and oversees the day to day co-ordination and implementation of the project, including tracking proposed outcomes, liaising with partners and community stakeholders as well as monitoring and reporting to government.
     
    The position is 0.8FTE and remunerated at Level 5 of the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010.
     
    Applications close Monday 7 December 2020. A CV and cover letter addressing the Key Selection Criteria can be sent by email to Diana Mastrantuono, Projects Manager at eccv@eccv.org.au. Further information can be requested by phoning 0411 735 558.
     
    Suitably qualified candidates from a non-English speaking background with lived experience of disability are strongly encouraged to apply. ECCV is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    ECCV Annual Report 2019-2020


    Multicultural NDIS Community Connector Program

    Members of Victoria’s multicultural community may face additional barriers when trying to access government services, this can include differences in culture or language, or not knowing what services are available.
     
    The Multicultural NDIS Community Connector Program supports people from multicultural backgrounds to engage with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
     
    The Community Connectors could help you apply for the NDIS, better understand the NDIS process, and connect you with your local NDIS contacts and services.
    Our aim is for people with disabilities to live independent and empowered lives.
     
    This is a free service and currently available to people with disabilities, carers and families from multicultural backgrounds who are living in Brimbank, Darebin, Hume, Moreland, Whittlesea, and Greater Shepparton.
    • Families of children aged 0-6 with developmental delay or disability.
    • A person 7 to 65 years of age with a disability that affects their ability to engage in daily activities.
    • Australian citizens, permanent residents, holders of Protection Special Category Visas.

    Referral Information
    Referrals accepted by means of service providers or Self-Referral by calling, 9am-5pm on weekdays, ECCV Project Coordinators on:
    • Surmeli Aydogan: 0466 038 261
    • Shahnoor Shah: 0412 681 988 
    Or sending your enquiry or referral form to communityconnectors@eccv.org.au

    How to develop easy English materials for CALD people with disabilities?

    Almost no research literature exists about developing easy English materials for Australians with disabilities of CALD backgrounds? Yet, we know hundreds of agencies have created or commissioned them! If this is you or an organisation that you know of, then we really want to hear from you. 
     
    By completing a brief survey you can help gather the wisdom of hundreds of agencies that have worked closely with people with disabilities from CALD communities for decades. We believe collecting practitioner wisdom is a vital step for identifying current practice and working towards evidence-based practice. We also believe your work should be recognised.
     
    Who Are 'We'?
    We are every State and Territory Ethnic and Multicultural Communities Council across Australia. Together, we are delivering the national Speak My Language: Diverse Communities living well with a disability program. 
     
    The Speak My Language (SML) program involves CALD and Indigenous people with disabilities and their supporters sharing real stories and experiences in up to 25 languages via podcasts, broadcasts and online. These stories will be about living well with a disability and will inform people about resources available in the community to support people to live well. 
     
    Like you, we wanted to ensure people of CALD backgrounds with disabilities have accessible and culturally appropriate information about their rights and choices. Developing easy English materials, and considering their translation into languages other than English was an important component. In the process we, and our Advisory Group, discovered this surprising gap in research.
     
    We KNOW the sector has wisdom. And as peak bodies for multiculturalism in each State and Territory, we believe it is essential that this wisdom is gathered, recognised,  celebrated, and built upon.
     
    So go on! Fill in the survey. Pass it on to every agency and program you know of. 
    We will share the findings broadly and acknowledge every agency that contributes.
     
    We look forward to learning from you. And we look forward to sharing the results. 
     
    Survey closes 15 February 2021.

    UN | OBSERVANCE | International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) | 3 December 2020. 

    The theme for IDPwD 2020 is Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World.

    This year, IDPwD will promote and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of people with disability through online stories and videos which will be shared on the IDPwD website and social media channels.
    Visit website for event calendar

    NDIA invites participants to have their say on NDIS reforms 

    The NDIA is calling on people with disability, participants, their families and carers and the wider disability sector to have their say on changes to make the NDIS simpler, faster, fairer and more flexible.
     
    NDIA CEO Martin Hoffman said the Agency has today released three consultation papers about changes to how people access the NDIS, planning and plan flexibility, and early intervention services - the latter supported by the release of a detailed consultation report around best practice Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) reform.
     
    Release of the papers today kicks off the launch of a three-month open public consultation on how the NDIS reforms will be implemented. People with disability, participants, their families and carers and the wider disability sector are strongly encouraged to take part.

    NDIS Reforms – Information Paper 

    On 28 August 2020, the Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, also announced significant reforms to the NDIS, including the use of independent assessments, fully paid for by the NDIA. 
    • An Information Paper summarising these reforms was released on 24 November 2020.
    • This paper explains what the changes are and what they mean for people in the scheme and those applying to become participants.
    • Easy Read and audio versions of the Information Paper also available.

    NDIS Price Guide update 

    On 17 November 2020 the following NDIS guides were updated, with changes effective from Tuesday 1 December 2020:
    • Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2020-21
    • Price Guide 2020-21 for Specialist Disability Accommodation
    • Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide.
    Updates to the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2020-21 include: 
    Increased price limits for 369 support items as a result of the final Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) adjustment

    New columns in the Support Catalogue to help providers identify if a support item is eligible for:
    • non-face-to-face support provision
    • provider travel
    • short notice cancellation
    • NDIA requested reports
    • irregular Supported Independent Living (SIL) supports.
    The Assistive Technology, Home Modifications and Consumables Code Guide has been updated to include:
    • Clearer names and descriptions of 111 support items
    • Five high risk hearing support items that now require a written assessment and prescription from a qualified practitioner.

    Latest Quarterly Report now available 

    The NDIS has released the latest Quarterly Report that provides a summary of how the Scheme performed from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020.
    • The report shows the Scheme is growing, supporting approximately 412,500 people with disability, with nearly 22,000 joining this quarter. Diversity is increasing too. Of note, 9.1 per cent of participants who entered this quarter identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. This is the highest percentage in the history of the NDIS.

    NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

    Easy Read resource about the Positive Behaviour Support Capability Framework.
    Resource explains what behaviour support is, what the framework does, and who can provide behaviour support.

    Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services 

    The Victorian Government has a plan for how it will reopen and take steps towards COVID Normal. It is called the Roadmap for reopening. 
    • Face masks remain mandatory in some settings, unless you have a lawful reason not to wear one. Find out more here 
    • There are no restrictions on reasons to leave home. During the Last Step restrictions on gatherings remain in place.
    • Contact and non-contact sport and recreation can resume for all ages, with limits applying to numbers of people. 
    • Shops, recreational facilities, entertainment, hospitality and cultural venues will be open, although there are still restrictions. These include operating with a COVIDSafe Plan, density limits (the number of people allowed in a venue depends on its size so that people can keep at least 1.5 metres distance apart), record keeping and cleaning.
     

    Expression Australia 

    Keep up to date with regular Auslan videos on COVID-19, breaking news in Victoria, Australia and abroad.
     

    SBS News and information

    Discover news and videos on the latest coronavirus (COVID - 19) information available in 65 languages.
     

    International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD)

    IDPwD is a United Nations observed day celebrated internationally on 3 December 2020. 
    The theme for IDPwD 2020 is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”. 

    This year, IDPwD will promote and acknowledge the achievements and contributions of people with disability through online stories and videos which will be shared on the IDPwD website and social media channels.
     

    MOIRA | Connect! Digital Disability | Thursday 3 December 2020 | 9am-4.30pm

    MOIRA is bringing people together this International Day of People with Disability with a free online event including a diverse range of interactive webinars, world renowned presenters in Autism, experts in Positive Behaviour Support, Mindfulness and Resilience classes with opportunities for Q&A, an exhibitor hub and a range of wellbeing experiences that celebrate and connect the disability community.
    Where: online
    Cost: free
     

    Vision Australia Bendigo | Thursday 3 December 2020 | 10.30am-4pm

    Vision Australia Bendigo is celebrating International Day of People with Disability by holding an event at the Bendigo Library to raise awareness of blindness and low vision and spread the message ‘seeing the ability in disability’.

    Vision Australia exists to support people who are blind or have low vision create equal opportunity to get an education, get a job and be as independent as they choose. 

    Where: Bendigo Library, 259 Hargreaves St, Bendigo 
     

    MYAN Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia) | National Youth Panel | Monday 30 November 2020 | 12noon-1.45pm

    Join MYAN's National Youth Panel led by young people from diverse cultural backgrounds with lived experience of disability. 
    This panel has been initiated and led by young people from CALD backgrounds with lived experience of disability.
    The session will begin with a panel discussion followed by Q&A.

    Where: It will be held over Zoom, streamed onto Youtube (with closed captions on the Youtube stream) and supported by a live Twitter thread.
    Considerations: This event will include AUSLAN interpreters.
    Cost: Free

    AMES Australia

    NDIS Community Connectors Program will support CALD communities in the Casey and Dandenong region to support people to get access to the NDIS including:  
    • Support community members to access and apply for the NDIS
    •  Increase awareness of disability and the NDIS
    • Reduce barriers to accessing the NDIS by providing outreach
    • Support communication between NDIS and the community
    This is a free service funded through the National Disability Insurance Agency.
     
    Flyer in 6 multilingual languages:
     

    Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre

    This program supports people who are providing care to someone else. The care recipient may be a family
    member or friend.
    • The program organizes activities to maintain the social, physical and emotional health of carers themselves
    • Carer Support Program is available to all carers from CALD background who are supporting people with a disability, mental illness, dementia or who are frail aged living in: City of Greater Dandenong, City of Casey, Shire of Cardinia, City of Kingston and City of Monash
     

    VALID

    VALID’s plain language guide to NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation
    • 16 Page booklet which uses plain language, clear sections and headings, and an easy to read layout – to make it easier to work out how SDA (and SIL – Supported Independent Living) works in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
     

    Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of people with disability

    Interim report details abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation. 
    People with disability are experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation across all aspects of their lives. This includes in education, health care and justice settings, and in their homes, workplaces and communities.
     

    Health Translations 

    Free website with access to high quality consumer focused translated materials on COVID-19, & much more. Over 22,000 resources in over 100 languages including Auslan & Easy English.
    November newsletter multilingual resources on COVID-19, information for seasonal workers, children mental health, refugees and new arrivals, cervical screening, liver health, multicultural parent easy guides, sexually transmitted infections, Dementia, men's health, Diabetes, Thunderstorm Asthma and many more.
     

    MORE:

    Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV)
    Address: Suite 101, 398 Sydney Road, Coburg VIC 3058
    Tel: 9354 9555
    Email: eccv@eccv.org.au

    GEIFN | CONSOLIDATED | Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Tuesday 24 November 2020

          [Edited and compiled from public addresses]

    Topics

    1. VIC | UPDATING | State of Emergency
    2. VIC | PROVIDING | Disability counselling and advocacy support
    3. VIC | PROVIDING | Free Kinder in 2021
    4. VIC | ADVISING | Rent Reduction and Rent Relief Grant Guide
    5. VIC | ASSISTING | Utility Hardship Support Package
    6. VIC | ASSISTING | Small Business Digital Adaption Program
    7. VIC | TRANSLATED | COVID-19 support materials for the workplace
    8. AUST | TRANSLATED | Fact sheets about pandemic leave payments
    9. AUST | TRAINING | Free culturally responsive training for NDIS service providers
    10. VIC | ENDORSING | Respect for Women: Call it Out 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence | from 25 November 2020
    11. VIC | FCCV | PROMOTING | Faith Communities and Healthy Relationships | Wednesday 25 November 2020 | 2-3.30pm
    12. MELB | PROVIDING | Foodbank International Student Pop-Up Store​
    13. MELB | ASRCC | HERALDING | Back in the kitchen
    14. CoPP | CELEBRATING | International Day of People with Disability  | Thursday 3 December 2020
    15. CoPP | TRAINING | Securing your community group's future with a fundraising plan | Thursday 3 December 2020 | 10am-12pm
    16. CoPP | GRANTING | Youth Access Grants Program | applications now open
    17. CoPP | RENEWING | Fitzroy Street
    18. AUST | Coronavirus hotline
    19. AUST | Helpers and Reliable Sources Along the Way
    20. Acknowledgment to Sources
    21. Bye bye to Essentialists
    22. Self-Isolators, Non-Essentials And The Homebound


    1. VIC | UPDATING | State of Emergency

    Metropolitan Melbourne

    Three months ago, Victoria had 4293 active cases. Sunday 22 November we have one. It’s an incredible achievement. And the clearest evidence there is of our determination to not only get on top of this virus – but to squash it.

    From 11:59pm on Sunday 22 November 2020
    , these are the advised changes to understand if you live in metropolitan Melbourne:

    Masks
    • A mask to be worn when you’re indoors and on public transport – and where you can’t keep your distance. 
    • When outdoors and you can keep a safe distance, masks will no longer be mandatory but you will need to carry one, in case the situation changes
    Movement and visiting
    • 15 visitors from different households plus dependents allowed per day, either together or separately; this can be split across different times – 10 for lunch, and 5 for dinner – as long as people are sticking to a total of 15
    • Outdoor gatherings in a public place – the park, the beach – will increase to 50.
    • If you can work from home, you must work from home until nominated by your employer; From 30 November; a phased approach for staff heading back to the office, beginning with up to 25 per cent of workers to be able to attend onsite and
    • Organisers will also be able to apply to host a public event. Different requirements and rules will need to apply, depending on whether it’s a school fete or a major sporting match.

    Age and Healthcare
    Care facilities

    • No visitor restrictions on purpose, number or time limits for visitors.
    • Visitors may be limited by rules of the care facility.
    Hospital visitors
    • No visitor restrictions on purpose, number or time limits for visitors.
    • Visitors may be limited by rules of the hospital.

    Arts and entertainment
    • Cinemas, galleries and museums are able to host up to 150 people indoors

    Ceremonies and religious gatherings

    Religious gatherings and ceremonies:
    • Indoor religious gatherings and ceremonies: Cap of 150 with a density quotient of 1 per 4sqm. No group limit.
    • Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies: Cap of 300 with a density quotient of 1 per 4sqm. No group limit.
    • Either indoor or outdoor ceremony, not both at the same time.
    Weddings, including receptions:
    • Cap of 150 people with density quotient of 1 per 4sqm indoors or outdoors. No group limit.
    • Weddings at private residences: private gathering limit applies.
    • Persons necessary to conduct the wedding (such as celebrant or wait staff) excluded from this limit.
    Funerals, including wakes:
    • Cap of 150 mourners with density quotient of 1 per 4sqm indoors or outdoors. No group limit.
    • Funerals at private residences: private gathering limit applies.
    • Persons necessary to conduct the funeral (such as a faith leader) excluded from this limit.

    Community facilities
    Community facilities, including libraries and toy libraries:
    • Indoor: Cap of 150 patrons with density quotient. Group limit of 20 patrons.
    • Outdoor: Cap of 300 patrons with density quotient. Group limit of 50 patrons.
    • Community venues: Cap of 150 patrons with density quotient. Group limit of 20 patrons
    • Recommendation that no more than 5 people per space singing or using wind instruments for amateur groups.
    • Persons necessary to conduct activities (such as the person running a class) excluded from this limit.

    Creative studios
    Indoor:
    • If venue less than 80sqm, maximum of 20 people, subject to a density quotient of 1 per 2sqm
    • If venue 80sqm or larger, maximum of 150 people indoors subject to density quotient of 1 per 4sqm
    • Group/class limit of 20 patrons.
    • Recommendation that no more than 5 people singing or using wind instruments for amateur groups.
    Outdoors:
    • Venue cap of 150 people, with a group limit of 50 people, density quotient of 1 per 4sqm
    • Persons necessary to conduct activities (such as the person running a class) excluded from this limit.

    Education and childcare
    • Early childcare education and care: No change.
    • School: Open.
    • Higher education and training: Return to campus for students and staff for summer programs.


    Entertainment and leisure

    Indoor entertainment – seated and non-seated, including cinemas, small theatres, small galleries:
    • maximum of 150 patrons per space, subject to the density quotient
    Major cultural institutions and large venues >600 fixed seated capacity
    including large galleries such as the NGV, museums, large theatres:
    • Maximum of 25 per cent capacity
    • Subject to the density quotient, except in areas covered by proportion of fixed seated capacity.
    • Requirement to publish a COVIDSafe Plan.
    • Staff are excluded from this limit.
    Outdoor entertainment:
    • Seated spaces: Open, for up to 50 per cent seated capacity up to a maximum of 500 people with no requirement to apply density quotient.
    • Non-seated venues, for example zoos, outdoor museums: subject to a density quotient, venues with capacity of greater than 500 patrons to publish a COVID Safe plan. Group limit of 50 patrons in line with outdoor gathering limits.
    • Indoor spaces at outdoor venues: Open, subject to restrictions on entertainment, hospitality, or retail depending on the space.
    Drive in cinemas:
    • No patron cap
    • Subject to a density quotient in communal spaces.
    • Venues with 500 or more capacity at one time must publish their COVIDSafe Plans online.
    Retail betting venue:
    • No change.
    Permanent Amusement Parks:
    • Patron cap of up to 25 per cent of the venue capacity, subject to the density quotient
    • Venues with capacity of greater than 500 patrons are required to publish a COVIDSafe Plan.
    • Group limit of 50 patrons
    • For indoor venues, patron cap of 150 subject to subject to the density quotient, group limit of 20.
    Temporary Amusement Parks:
    • Maximum of 300 patrons per venue, subject to the density quotient
    • Group limit of 50 patrons in line with outdoor gathering limits.
    Arcade, escape room, bingo centre:
    • maximum of 150 patrons, with a group limit of 20 patrons, subject to the density quotient
    Casino:
    • Cap of 1,000 patrons with every second gaming machine disabled, subject to a density quotient, group limit of 20 patrons, smoking permitted.
    Electronic gaming:
    • Cap of 150 patrons per venue with every second gaming machine disabled, group limit of 20 patrons, subject to a density quotient
    Nightclubs:
    • to operate seated service only in line with hospitality settings.
    Karaoke:
    • Cap of 150 patrons per venue, group limit of 20 patrons, subject to a density quotient
    Sex on premises and brothels:
    • Cap of 50 patrons, subject to the density quotient
    Strip Clubs:
    • Open for seated service, cap of 150 patrons, group limit of 20, subject to the density quotient


    Exercise and recreation

    Indoor physical recreation and community sport, contact or non- contact

    • Cap of 150 patrons with group limit of 20, subject to density quotient
    Large multipurpose sporting facilities (e.g. Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, YMCAs, large basketball stadiums, and large swimming pool complexes):
    • Total venue cap of 25 per cent capacity, subject to the density quotient of 1 per 4sqm for each space. No separate patron limit. o For classes a group limit applies of 20 participants indoors and a group limit of 50 participants outdoors.
    • Persons necessary to conduct classes (such as the person running a class) excluded from this limit.
    Outdoor physical recreation and community sport, contact or non- contact:
    • Cap of 500 patrons, group size limited to 50 people o Subject to density quotient of 1 per 4sqm
    Indoor pools, including lessons:
    • Cap of 150 patrons, subject to density quotient, no group size limit. o Indoor and outdoor pools can open subject to the separate limits in each area.
    • Saunas, steam rooms and non-chlorinated spas open.
    Outdoor pools, including lessons:
    • Cap of 300 patrons, subject to the density quotient, no group size limit.
    • Indoor and outdoor pools can open at the same time, subject to the separate limits in each area.
    • Saunas, steam rooms and non-chlorinated spas open.
    Skateparks:
    • Indoor: cap of 150 patrons, subject to the density quotient, no group size limit
    • Outdoor: open
    Playcentres:
    • Cap of 150 patrons subject to the density quotient, no group size limit.
    Trampolining centres:
    • Indoor: cap of 150 patrons, subject to the density quotient, no group limit
    • Outdoors: open


    Fitness and Sport

    • community clubs, contact and non-contact sports can begin for adults as well as kids – 150 people indoors with a group size of up to 20 and 500 outdoors with groups of up to 50.
    • Organisers will also be able to apply to host a public event. Different requirements and rules will need to apply, depending on whether it’s a a major sporting match or school fete.


    Hospitality
    (seated service only):
    Indoors:

    • Venues less than 200sqm of floorspace subject to density quotient of 1 per 2sqm up to a total of 50 patrons. QR codes must be used for venues using the small indoor venue density quotient. No group limit.
    • Venues 200sqm of floorspace or larger subject to density quotient of 1 per 4sqm up to 150 patrons. No group limit.

    Outdoors:

    • Up to 300 patrons per venue outdoors, subject to density quotient of 1 per 2sqm.
    • Total venue capacity cannot exceed 300 people including both indoor and outdoor spaces.

    Food courts:

    • Indoor: Limited to the lesser of 50 per cent of a venue’s fixed seating capacity or a density quotient (1 per 8sqm).
    • Outdoor: Limited to 50 patrons per area subject to a density quotient of 1 per 2sqm. Each such area must be separated by 10 meters from the next. No more than 10 areas per facility to a maximum of 500 people.

    Public events
    Public Events may occur in accordance with the Public Events Framework, for Tier 1 and Tier 2 events an application and approval process apply.
    • A public event is an organised public gathering for a common purpose which is conducted on a one-off or periodic basis, it may be open to members of the public, publicly announced or advertised, and may be subject to specific license, approvals or permits.
    • The Public Events Framework applies to events in three categories:
      • Tier 1: highly complex and involving more than 5,000 attendees
      • Tier 2: moderately complex involving 500-5,000 attendees
      • Tier 3: low complexity and involving 500 attendees or less
    • The Public Events Framework enables applications to be made by event organisers to hold an event that falls within Tier 1 or Tier 2 events. Tier 3 events can be held in accordance with published guidelines. Other risk factors may mean that an event is classified at a higher tier and will require approval to go ahead.
    • Public health advice will inform the approval of Tier 1 or Tier 2 events, based on the epidemiological conditions and broader restrictions at the time.
    • All events will be considered on application under the Public Events Framework and there are no pre-defined limits on the nature or size of events.
    • Private events such as weddings and funerals, routine religious gatherings and ceremonies, and public gatherings for ordinary, day- to-day activities are subject to the publish restrictions limits and not covered by the Public Events Framework. The Stay Safe Directions (Victoria) and Restricted Activity Directions (Victoria) continue to apply to these day-to-day event activities and gatherings.

    Real Estate Services
    • Indoors: a maximum of 20 people, subject to the density quotient.
    • Outdoors: Up to 50 people from any number of households, excluding infants under 12 months.

    Shopping, retail and personal services
    Hairdressing, beauty and personal care services: Masks can be removed for the person receiving the service of procedure if necessary, such as facial waxing, facials, beard trimmings and piercings around the mouth, nose and cheeks


    Accommodation and Tourism
    Accommodation:
    • open
    • density quotient applies to communal spaces.
    • Visitors to accommodation capped as if it were at the home of the
    • person who booked the accommodation (host household with up to 15 visitors allowed). Children 12 months and under are excluded from cap.
    Tourism spaces:
    • Indoor and outdoor spaces open subject to the restrictions that apply to that specific setting, and COVIDSafe requirements.
    Tour groups:
    • Limited to 20 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
    • Infants under 12 months and the minimum number of people required to operate the tourism service not included in cap.
    Tour Transport:
    • Enclosed vehicle: group limit up to 20 people from any number of households.
    • Open vehicle: group limit up to 50 people from any number of households.
    • Infants under 12 months and the minimum number of people required to operate the tourism service not included in cap. o COVIDSafe requirements.

    Logbooks

    It is advisable to keep track of your visits/visitors so it's easy to recall who you've been in contact with if it emerges that someone has coronavirus. This could be a note in your diary or calendar."

    Read the 22/11 Victorian Premier's statement.
    Read full details, road maps and regional information


    2. VIC | PROVIDING | Disability counselling and advocacy support

    Free and independent emotional support is available for people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation, and their families and carers. This support is also available for people who are engaging with or considering taking part in the Disability Royal Commission.

    The Department of Social Services have prepared fact sheets about this service in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese. 
    Learn more and access the fact sheets


    3. VIC | PROVIDING | Free Kinder in 2021

    The Victorian Government will deliver free kinder for 2021, and more support for outside school hours care, which will save parents thousands of dollars and help them to get back into work.

    As we recover from the pandemic, and the impacts of learning from home, this initiative will help parents to return to the workforce and cope with the ongoing challenges of juggling work and childcare.

    The funding will also be used to establish new services across our state, including for equipment purchase, setup and administration, facility upgrades and transport.
    Learn more


    4. VIC | ADVISING | Rent Reduction and Rent Relief Grant Guide

    Tenants Victoria have developed a guide to help members of the community who are experiencing rental hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    The guide includes detailed steps on applying for a rent reduction or the Victorian Government rent relief grant of up to $3,000. The guide also includes help with letters to your real estate agent/landlord and tips on negotiating a rent reduction.

    Learn more and access the guide


    5. VIC | ASSISTING | Utility Hardship Support Package

    A range of programs designed to support Victorians who need help with their energy bills. The programs are being delivered by community organisations with support from the Victorian Government.

    There are three programs that make up the package:
    1. The Consumer Policy and Research Centre (CPRC) is delivering a series of online events based on its Energy Simplified Program to help households manage energy costs and reduce bills. The program also includes online events for community workers so they can help their clients save on bills. Visit www.energyinfohub.org.au/webinars
    2. Consumer Affairs Victoria is expanding its existing Financial Counselling Program to include additional financial counsellors to help people in financial difficulty to manage their debts, including assistance with energy matters. Visit www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-debt/financial-counselling or contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007
    3. A consortium between the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL), the Australian Energy Foundation, Uniting Vic. Tas and BehaviourWorks Australia is delivering the Energy Assistance Program. This program provides one-on-one bill support and tailored energy assistance to help eligible households save money on electricity and gas and get advice on energy issues. Visit www.bsl.org.au/energy-assist or contact 1800 830 029
    Who are they for? The programs are available to all Victorians who are having trouble paying their energy bills or would like some help to reduce energy costs and better understand their bills. The level of assistance provided through the targeted programs will depend on a person’s needs and circumstances.

    CPRC is also delivering online events designed for the community sector, to show frontline community workers simple steps that will help clients save on their electricity and gas bills.

    How long will they be available? CPRC will deliver free online events until the end of 2020 and the Energy Assistance Program will be available until 30 June 2021. Financial Counselling Program services are always available.

    Do these programs provide services for people who speak another language? Yes – The Financial Counselling Program and the Energy Assistance Program can be accessed through either translator or interpreter services. There are also translated materials available in a wide range of languages.

    Find out more from Victorian Energy Saver website


    6. VIC | ASSISTING | Small Business Digital Adaption Program

    The $20 million Small Business Digital Adaption Program is now open to help small businesses, sole traders and micro businesses build digital capability in their day-to-day operations. Eligible businesses will be able to trial and then receive access to digital products, tools and training such as website and e-commerce tools. 

    Program guidelines, full details on eligibility and information on how to register are available on the Business Victoria website.
    Learn more and register


    7. VIC | TRANSLATED | COVID-19 support materials for the workplace

    We all need to understand our rights and responsibilities in the workplace, and where to find support and information about coronavirus (COVID-19). The Victorian Government has translated information on issues such as where to get financial help if you can't access sick leave and what to do if you feel unwell.

    Download the translated materials — including social media posts and posters — and share this important information with your networks.

    Download the stakeholder kit


    8. AUST | TRANSLATED | Fact sheets about pandemic leave payments

    Services Australia has produced new translated fact sheets about pandemic leave disaster payments. This is a lump sum payment for people who have to quarantine or self-isolate or who are caring for someone with coronavirus (COVID-19).

    The fact sheets provide information about:
    • the payment
    • who is eligible
    • participating Australian states
    • how to claim.
    The new fact sheets are available in 17 languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Dari, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Maltese, Nepali, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
    Access the fact sheets


    9. AUST | TRAINING | Free culturally responsive training for NDIS service providers​

    Settlement Service International is providing free culturally responsive practice training to NDIS service providers. 

    CultureReady workshops are free workshops aiming to equip disability service providers (NDIS registered or those intending to seek NDIS registration in the next 18 months) to provide culturally responsive services. 

    On-request training is available for your organisation, as well as public sessions which are are updated throughout the year.
    Learn more and register


    10. VIC | ENDORSING | Respect for Women: Call it Out 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence | from 25 November 2020

    ECCVinTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence (inTouch) and Multicultural Centre for Women's Health (MCWH), supported by Municipal Association of Victoria, are collaborating on a multilingual social media campaign to promote respect and call out common assumptions and barriers that arise in preventing violence against women from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

    Key campaign messages in widely-spoken community languages will be shared from 25 November for Respect Victoria's 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence 2020 campaign.


    11. VIC | FCCV | PROMOTING | Faith Communities and Healthy Relationships | Wednesday 25 November 2020 | 2-3.30pm

    Faith communities play an influential role in shaping attitudes and behaviours amongst their communities and therefore are in a unique position to prevent violence against women.
    Join Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV)'s panel of experts as they discuss their challenges and successes in building the prevention and response capacity of faith leaders and their communities.
    • Dr Cathy Vaughan, Melbourne University
    • Robyn AndrĂ©o-Boosey, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
    • Anu Krishnan, Kulturbrille & Faith Communities Council of Victoria
    • Moderator: Monisha Sandhu, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
    Where: Online through Zoom. Once you register, you will be emailed the Zoom location
    Cost: Free
    Bookings: online through Eventbrite


    12. MELB | PROVIDING | Foodbank International Student Pop-Up Store​

    COVID-19 has significantly impacted Australia’s international students – many of whom relied on casual jobs for financial security. Foodbank Victoria have set up a pop-up location in Melbourne's CBD for the remainder of this year. 

    All international students are welcome to head along, say hello and choose from a diverse range of fresh, pantry and staple items. Students need to take their own shopping bag or cart, along with a Student ID. Contactless sign in, social distancing markers and hand sanitiser stations are on site.

    Located at 230 LaTrobe Street, Melbourne, the Pop-Up Store is open 10am – 2pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding public holidays).
    Learn more


    13. MELB | ASRCC | HERALDING | Back in the kitchen

    It's been a really tough year for everyone, none more so than our staff at ASRC Catering. 

    While we had to close during Stage 4 restrictions we are now back in the kitchen and ready to cook for your COVIDSafe event or special occasion and are looking forward to tailoring a catering package to meet your needs. 

    Enquire about your next event today.

    As a social enterprise that employs people seeking asylum, your support of Meals by ASRC Catering keeps our staff in meaningful and stable employment, as well as putting food on the table for others in need of a hand up.

    The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is an independent not for profit whose programs support and empower over 6,000 people seeking asylum each year to maximise their physical, mental and social wellbeing. As a movement we mobilise and unities communities to creating social and policy change for people seeking asylum and refugees in Australia.

    While we were closed our ASRC Catering staff were redeployed where possible to support people seeking asylum in other areas of the ASRC. Thanks to your support, the ASRC committed to paying the wages of all ASRC Catering staff during this difficult time to ensure our people had a stable income and no one was left behind. 

    Launching Do Good Gift Boxes just in time for the festive season. With 3 offerings to choose from, our Do Go Gift Boxes are a thoughtful gift to send some love to your friends and family and are perfect for corporate gifting and remote catering.

    Our Cook at Home Gift Box $65* (pictured) contains everything you need to make Janu’s Bangladeshi Yellow Dahl, including her freshly made Treasured Spice Mix and keepsake recipe card. Enjoy a fun evening in the kitchen discovering a new cuisine and culture. Or try our Canape Gift Box for a little taste of everything or shout them dinner or lunch with a Meal For One Gift Boxes.

    And as with all purchases from ASRC Catering your gift will not only brighten the day of those close to you but also provides meaningful employment for people seeking asylum.

    Find out more about our Do Good Gift Boxes

    Take a well-earned break, have your dinner sorted. If you're craving the flavours of ASRC catering but don't have an upcoming event to plan, why not treat yourself to a treat with a sumptuous South Indian Curry or rich Ethiopian Kidney Bean Soup to enjoy at home. 

    Our delicious range of vegetarian meals are healthy, wholesome and convenient for you to order ahead and eat later. Simply keep your meals in the fridge or freezer and reheat when you are ready to dine!

    Order meals now

    Just as before, each meal you purchase will still provide a care meal to a person seeking asylum who is supported by the ASRC in Footscray.

    Whatever you're after we’re looking forward to whipping up something special for you once again in our kitchen, treat yourself this week and place your meals or catering order today. *minimum orders apply


    14. CoPP | CELEBRATING | International Day of People with Disability | Thursday 3 December 2020

    Join Council on International Day of People with Disability, 3 December 2020, to celebrate inclusion within the community. Showcase your talent and help celebrate inclusion within the local community by taking part in a short virtual community performance for International Day of People with Disability.

    The performance will premiere online on International Day of People with Disability, Thursday 3 December 2020.

    Bookings: Register your interest to participate by completing the registration form before 5 pm Monday 9 November. Submissions are due by 5 pm Thursday 12 November.

    If you have any questions or require an adjustment to participate, please contact Cathy Horsley or Julia Wanhill, or email IDPWD@portphillip.vic.gov.au


    15. CoPP | TRAINING | Securing your community group's future with a fundraising plan | Thursday 3 December 2020 | 10am-12pm

    City of Port Phillip is offering local community groups a free training session to support the recovery from COVID-19. There is little doubt that the pandemic has made it hard for groups to fundraise. This timely session will help your group to review your current fundraising practices and look to secure your future with alternative solutions. At the end of this session, participants will have constructed a three-year funding plan.

    Where: Online – link to be provided upon registration.
    Cost: Free
    Bookingsonline through Trybooking


    16. CoPP | GRANTING | Youth Access Grants Program | applications now open

    The City of Port Phillip Youth Access Grant Program is designed to increase access to recreational activities for young people 12 to 18 years of age in City of Port Phillip.

    The program has two streams:
    Stream 1: Get Involved Grant
    ‘Get Involved’ funding provides up to $500 for a young person aged 12 to 18 years without the financial means to participate in recreational activities. An organisation can apply on behalf of the young person, parent or guardian. The organisation will manage the funds.

    Stream 2: Recreation Programs Grant
    The Recreation Programs Grant is available for organisations to apply for up to $20,000 with a total pool of $110,000. They must provide a free or low-cost recreation program for young people aged 12 to 18 years of age.

    Read the Youth Access Grants Program Guidelines for more information and visit SmartyGrants to apply. For general queries about the guidelines or application form, please contact youthaccessgrants@portphillip.vic.gov.au.


    17. CoPP | RENEWING | Fitzroy Street | expressions of Interest now opened

    Renew Fitzroy Street is a retail pilot program aimed at revitalising St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street by filling commercial vacancies on Fitzroy Street. Renew Fitzroy Street is being delivered in partnership by Port Phillip Council, Renew Australia and the Fitzroy Street Business Association. Council is contributing $75,000, which has been matched by the Fitzroy Street Business Association. 

    The initiative encourages makers, creators, artists and social enterprises to apply for vacant retail space where they can bring their creative ideas to life. Successful applicants are offered a rent-free 30-day rolling licence, negotiated by Renew Australia with property owners and agents.

    Additional information:
    • Expressions of Interest are open. Applications can be made via the Renew Australia website
    • Renew Fitzroy Street defines creative enterprises as ‘anyone who makes or creates their own wares or intellectual property’
    • Renew Fitzroy Street has a ‘complement not compete’ policy, please ensure your application idea does not directly compete with an already established business on the street
    For more information, please contact Dan Dealy Hewitt, Renew Fitzroy Street project manager
    Email: fitzroystreet@renewaustralia.org


    18. AUST | Coronavirus hotline

    • Coronavirus hotline: If you are concerned, call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 (24 Hours).
    • If you are an NDIS participant you can also call the national hotline on 1800 020 080.
    • Information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters about Coronavirus: Contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 634 787. 
    • If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677.
    • Interpreting service: If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450.
    • Testing locations: Find a testing location near you.
    • Call-to-Test-at-Home service, providing in-home coronavirus testing to Victorians who would otherwise be unable to get tested, call the DHHS Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
    • Triple Zero: Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
     

    19. AUST | Helpers and Reliable Sources Along the Way

     

    20. Acknowledgment to Sources

    This is a consolidated account of information current at time of issuance, sourced, collated and provided by Victorian Jewish Community COVID-19 Taskforce, Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria, Buddhist Council of Victoria, various Government Authorities, community organisations and public domain, received with gratitude.

    Best wishes for skilful collaborations, less Suffering, causes for less Suffering, Good Health and Time to Enjoy it.

    21. Bye bye to Essentialists

    Thankyou for responding to the crisis as best you can to keep us ticking along and keeping us safe, received with gratitude. Us non-essentialists will endeavour to manage our expection of miracles and  do our best to follow rules and stay out of the way. Contact your closest friendly non-essentialist if you need anything that can be done remotely. Bye bye to Essentialists for now, please leave to attend to the essential work. That is all from the Caretaker at this time.


    22. Self-Isolators, Non-Essentials And The Homebound

    Let us cheer on the global scientists, medical fraternity, authorities and essentialists racing across the clock separately and together in new found ways, to find a cure, manage the situation, and if not, create mass-producable innoculation.

    Meanwhile, if with a surplus of time, this and the following is offered. Discuss with sincerity. Deny untruth. Dismiss unuseful. Accept useful. Adapt to change. Adopt least effort most benefit. Adept with sharing. Enjoy throughout. As each case may be. Round. And again. Or not.


    GOVV | ASSISTING | Utility Hardship Support Package

    [Edited extract from public address]

    A range of programs designed to support Victorians who need help with their energy bills. The programs are being delivered by community organisations with support from the Victorian Government.

    There are three programs that make up the package:
    1. The Consumer Policy and Research Centre (CPRC) is delivering a series of online events based on its Energy Simplified Program to help households manage energy costs and reduce bills. The program also includes online events for community workers so they can help their clients save on bills. Visit www.energyinfohub.org.au/webinars
    2. Consumer Affairs Victoria is expanding its existing Financial Counselling Program to include additional financial counsellors to help people in financial difficulty to manage their debts, including assistance with energy matters. Visit www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-debt/financial-counselling or contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007
    3. A consortium between the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL), the Australian Energy Foundation, Uniting Vic. Tas and BehaviourWorks Australia is delivering the Energy Assistance Program. This program provides one-on-one bill support and tailored energy assistance to help eligible households save money on electricity and gas and get advice on energy issues. Visit www.bsl.org.au/energy-assist or contact 1800 830 029

    Who are they for?

    The programs are available to all Victorians who are having trouble paying their energy bills or would like some help to reduce energy costs and better understand their bills. The level of assistance provided through the targeted programs will depend on a person’s needs and circumstances.

    CPRC is also delivering online events designed for the community sector, to show frontline community workers simple steps that will help clients save on their electricity and gas bills.

    How long will they be available?

    CPRC will deliver free online events until the end of 2020 and the Energy Assistance Program will be available until 30 June 2021. Financial Counselling Program services are always available.

    Do these programs provide services for people who speak another language?

    Yes – The Financial Counselling Program and the Energy Assistance Program can be accessed through either translator or interpreter services. There are also translated materials available in a wide range of languages.

    MORE:

    State Government of Victoria (GOVV)
    Address: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, PO box 5000, Melbourne VIC 8002
    Tel: 136 186 or National Relay Service on 133 677 or visit www.relayservice.gov.au

    VMC | UPDATING | Community on translated materials on coronavirus safety in the workplace, support for small businesses, counselling support, rent reduction guide | Thursday 19 November 2020

    [Edited extract from public address]

    Thankfully celebrating 20 days of zero coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria. It has been incredible to see our communities continue to enjoy the easing of restrictions safely and responsibly. 

    Message from the Chairperson

    I look forward to welcoming further easing of restrictions next week.

    Please continue to get tested, even if you only have the mildest symptoms, and ensure you stay home while awaiting your result.

    In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in South Australia, the Victorian Government is closing the state's border with South Australia. From 11:59pm Thursday 19 November, a ‘hard border’ will be in place for 48 hours before a permit system comes into effect from 11:59pm Saturday 21 November. Read the Premier's statement for more detail on the restrictions.

    I encourage small and medium sized businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions to apply for the third round of the Business Support Fund that closes Monday 23 November.

    The Small Business Digital Adaption Program is also open and can also support small businesses, sole traders and micro businesses to embed the use of practical digital tools in their business operations.

    The Commission also welcomes the announcement by the Victorian Government on the historic $5.3 billion Big Housing Build and congratulates the Minister for Housing and departments and agencies involved. The Commission looks forward to supporting residents, many of whom are of different cultural backgrounds, to be involved in the co-design aspects as the projects gets underway.

    Lastly, we're sharing in-language materials to help workers and employers understand their rights and responsibilities in the workplace in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Stay well and look out for each other,

    Viv Nguyen, Chairperson

    Translated materials - COVID-19 support for the workplace

    We all need to understand our rights and responsibilities in the workplace, and where to find support and information about coronavirus (COVID-19). The Victorian Government has translated information on issues such as where to get financial help if you can't access sick leave and what to do if you feel unwell.

    Download the translated materials — including social media posts and posters — and share this important information with your networks.

    Download the stakeholder kit

    Third round of the Business Support Fund closes Monday

    One-off grants up to $20,000 are still available to support eligible small and medium sized businesses in specific sectors impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. Applications for the Victorian Government’s third round of the Business Support Fund program close at 11.59pm on Monday 23 November 2020.

    Information about the program is also available in Arabic, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Hindi, Punjabi, Somali and Vietnamese.

    Learn more and apply now

    Small Business Digital Adaption Program

    The $20 million Small Business Digital Adaption Program is now open to help small businesses, sole traders and micro businesses build digital capability in their day-to-day operations. Eligible businesses will be able to trial and then receive access to digital products, tools and training such as website and e-commerce tools.

    Program guidelines, full details on eligibility and information on how to register are available on the Business Victoria website.
    Learn more and register

    Disability counselling and advocacy support

    Free and independent emotional support is available for people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation, and their families and carers. This support is also available for people who are engaging with or considering taking part in the Disability Royal Commission.

    The Department of Social Services have prepared fact sheets about this service in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

    Learn more and access the fact sheets

    Rent Reduction and Rent Relief Grant Guide

    Tenants Victoria have developed a guide to help members of the community who are experiencing rental hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    The guide includes detailed steps on applying for a rent reduction or the Victorian Government rent relief grant of up to $3,000. The guide also includes help with letters to your real estate agent/landlord and tips on negotiating a rent reduction.

    Learn more and access the guide

    Coronavirus hotline

    • Coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398 (24 Hours).
    • Interpreting service: If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450.
    • Testing locations: Find a testing location near you.
    • Triple Zero: Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

    MORE:

    Victorian Multicultural Commission
    Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
    Tel: (03) 9651 5901
    Email: contact@vmc.vic.gov.au
    Website: multiculturalcommission.vic.gov.au