It's National Mental Health Month in October, and it's important to remember that you're not alone if lockdowns or the ongoing threat of coronavirus has been affecting you. We should also acknowledge that this week may be the toughest yet for some of us.
Message from the Chairperson
I know the impact on mental health and wellbeing is severe, so please take care and reach out. We continue to advocate for further supports. If you are struggling to cope, please seek help.
Learning today's case numbers may have been hard for many of us, as well. For the people who have contracted the virus, the next few weeks will be even harder. Our thoughts are with you.
Getting vaccinated is now much easier. From this week, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination is available at pharmacies across the country. This is another safe and effective vaccine that will be a key part of our state reaching the vaccination targets.
If you haven't booked your first dose of a vaccine yet, please click here to see if there is a pharmacy near you with Moderna supply. Many locations have appointments available soon, so book as soon as you can!
Thank you to everyone who joined our last COVID-19 fortnightly forum. It was wonderful to see some new faces. This Zoom call is always a great opportunity to check in and bring any of your community's concerns to the attention of the VMC and the Department of Health. I hope to see some more of you there at this Thursday's edition, you can register your attendance here.
We are so thankful to all of you who have contributed to making sure your communities get accurate information that can save lives. If you would like to prepare a vaccination video, learn how to here. There are also Victorian Government grants between $5,000 and $10,000 available for public health content creation (closing in two days), while another round of funding has opened for the priority response to multicultural communities during coronavirus program.
Elsewhere in this week's Update, you might be interested to learn about expansions to skilled migration under the Australian Agricultural visa and the new guidance on negotiating rent relief as a business. It's also World Sight Day next week, and a good time to book in an eye health check-up to stop vision loss in its tracks.
Take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson
You can now get vaccinated at pharmacies
Getting your COVID-19 vaccination just got easier. The Australian Government is rolling out 440,000 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine through pharmacies across the country this week, with additional orders for next week to be finalised soon.
Like the Pfizer vaccination, Moderna is currently recommended for people between 12 and 59 years old.
New guidance on rent relief in your language
Victoria’s small business tenants and landlords can now access the Victorian Small Business Commission’s latest guidance on rent relief in Simplified Chinese, Arabic and Vietnamese.
Learn more about the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, how to negotiate rent relief and how to access free help where a fair agreement can’t be reached.
Make your own COVID-19 vaccination video
The Australian Government Department of Health is committed to making information on COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia. The Department of Health is asking community leaders for their support in sharing this critical information via video.
The COVID-19 Vaccination – How to make your own video guide is designed to help community leaders develop their own videos to share vaccine information with their communities.
Australian Agricultural visa giving opportunities to overseas workers
In August this year, the Australian Government announced the Australian Agriculture visa to address workforce shortages in the agriculture sector. The Australian Agriculture visa is being designed for primary industry sectors including horticulture, meat processing, dairy, wool, grains, fisheries (including aquaculture) and forestry.
The program will be operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, leveraging their experience managing the successful Pacific Labour Scheme.
The Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme will remain the priority source of temporary migrant workers for Australia’s agriculture sector. The Australian Agriculture visa will address any labour gaps that cannot be filled by Australian and Pacific labour.
It's World Sight Day next week
With World Sight Day coming up on Thursday 14 October, it is the perfect time for Victorians to take the pledge to love their eyes.
According to Vision Initiative Program Manager Ché Stockley, even as restrictions are currently limiting accessibility of eye care in much of the state, there’s still a number of actions people can take to safeguard their vision.
“We are calling on Victorians to show their eyes some love by pledging to get an eye test just as soon as they’re able to." she said. "Even if people can’t get their regular eye test at the moment, it’s important they make it a priority when restrictions ease.
“But if you notice a change in your vision, such as sudden blurriness, optometrists are able to offer treatment for urgent care state-wide – so don’t delay seeking treatment.”
The Vision Initiative is an integrated eye health promotion program funded by the Victorian Government. It aims to prevent avoidable blindness and address the impact of vision loss in the Victorian community.
October is Mental Health Month
National Mental Health Month is an initiative of the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) to advocate for and raise awareness of Australian mental health.
Throughout this month, many events have been organised in each state of Australia aiming to attract and unite Australians of all ages and backgrounds to promote better mental health for all.
You can find some valuable mental health resources below.
Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)
Address: Level 3, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9651 5901