VMC | UPDATING | FAQs about RATs, Info session on COVID-19 vaccination for 5-11 year-olds | Tuesday 18 January 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Victoria has recorded another day with a high number of deaths from COVID-19.

Message from the Chairperson

Our thoughts and prayers go to their families during these difficult times. Please take care, reach out and support each other.

We also extend our thoughts to the Tongan and Pasifika communities, following the tsunami that reached Tongatapu.

There’s a lot going on in the community at the moment. If you can, please join the regular online COVID-19 briefings to stay informed and better support each other. There will be another one soon, stay tuned for details.

Very importantly, please get your third dose of the vaccine, particularly people aged over 60. It is one of the best protection mechanisms for us against the Omicron variant.

On a more positive note, thank you to many of you who have put in nominations for the Multicultural Honour Roll. Nominations closed this past Sunday, and we were pleased to see so many come through.

Take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

Register your interest in tickets for the Victorian Multicultural Gala Dinner | register interest in tickets from now until to Tuesday 25 January 2022 

Proudly presented by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, the Victorian Multicultural Gala Dinner will launch Cultural Diversity Week for 2022, with the theme ‘Connecting Through Culture’.

On Saturday 19 March 2022, join us for an unforgettable celebration of Victoria's vibrant multicultural community. This greatly anticipated, COVID-19 safe event celebrates Victoria’s diversity with an evening of fine dining, cultural entertainment and networking at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Register your interest now!
We’re doing things a little differently this year. Ticket sales will be a two-step process:
  1. Register you or your organisation’s interest in tickets via the link below. Ticket registrations are open now and will close on Tuesday 25 January 2022 at 11.59 pm.
  2. From Tuesday 1 February 2022, check your email. If tickets are available, we will send you an email with a link to purchase tickets. Please check your email inbox on:
  • 1 February 2022
  • 15 February 2022
  • 1 March 2022
If you have a question or query, we ask you to please consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

Closing soon: Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program 2022 | applications close Thursday 20 January!

The Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program builds the capability of multicultural and multifaith leaders to engage effectively with the government and mobilise their own communities.

Developed and delivered using a genuine co-design approach with community, the program runs dedicated streams for women and young people, as well as a generalist stream. Participants complete two half-day sessions and are invited to a graduation celebration.

While we have received several hundred applications already, we would particularly like to see more from young people and regional Victorians.

WEBINAR | Department of Health hosts information session on COVID-19 child vaccination |  Tuesday 18 January 2022 | from 6.30-7.30pm

If you’re a parent or guardian and would like to find out more about COVID-19 vaccination for 5-11 year olds, join the Department of Health for a free webinar with Dr Anita Munoz and Associate Professor Margie Danchin to discuss the importance of vaccination for this age group.

Topics will include:
  • vaccine safety and side effects for children aged 5-11 years
  • building vaccine confidence with children aged 5-11 years
  • vaccination for children with special needs.
After the presentation, the experts will be able to answer your questions.

Frequently asked questions about Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)

What are rapid antigen tests (RATs)?
  • RATs are tests you can do yourself at home to check if you have COVID-19.
  • Most tests take 15 to 30 minutes.
  • There are two types of tests:
    • Saliva tests which test saliva (spit); and nasal tests where you need to take a sample from both your nostrils.
    • Both tests are good at finding COVID-19, and tell you if you are likely to have COVID-19. RATs are faster but less accurate than a standard PCR test that you get at a COVID-19 testing site.
When to use a RAT?
  • If you have COVID symptoms.
  • If you are a household, social, work or education contact of a positive case and develop symptoms. (If you are a household contact you must do a test on the first and sixth day from when you started your self-quarantine.)
  • If you want to quickly check if you may have COVID for example before a social gathering or visiting someone sick or elderly.
  • If your school or work requires you to use them as part of regular screening for COVID.
  • If you have been told to get a RAT by the Department of Health or another medical professional.
When should I get a standard PCR test?
You should get a standard PCR test from a testing site:
  • If you CANNOT access a RAT.
  • If you have no symptoms, are not a contact but tested positive on a RAT.
  • If you have been told to get a PCR test by the Department of Health or another medical professional.
What should do I do if I test positive on an RAT?
  • If you test positive on a RAT you are a probable case, this means you are very likely to have COVID-19. People who are probable cases must follow the same rules as people who have received a positive PCR test.
  • You must isolate immediately for 7 days and tell people you have been in contact with recently.
  • Anyone who lives with a probable case will also have to isolate for 7 days.
If you test positive on a RAT you must tell the Department of Health:
  • You can report over the phone on 1800 675 398. Press zero (0) if you need an interpreter.
  • Online
  • Or through your Services Victoria app
You will need to answer some short questions so the Department can make sure you get the right help and support while you are isolating.
This includes help with medical care, food and financial relief if you need it.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 can get the same support, no matter what kind of test they used.
What should I do if I test negative on an RAT?
  • If you get a negative result on an RAT it is less likely you have COVID-19. Monitor your symptoms and go about your day in a COVID-safe way.
  • If you do not have symptoms but are still concerned, then you can use rapid antigen tests again over a few days.
What should I do if I get an unclear result on a RAT?
  • If your test does not show a clear negative or positive result, it is invalid. You may not have used it correctly, or there may have been a defect with the test you used.
  • You will need to do another RAT.
  • If you have two invalid results on a RAT you should get a PCR test and isolate until you receive a negative result.
How do I use RATs?
  • Before you use the test wash your hands and have a phone or clock nearby for timing
  • If you are using a saliva test do not eat or drink 30 minutes before doing the test.
  • Follow the instructions that come with the test – your test should have a QR code you can use to watch a video showing how to use it.
  • It takes around 15-30 minutes to get your result. Check your results as soon as the time is up according to your test instructions.
Can children use RATs? 
  • It is safe to use RATs for children.
  • Children under 12 years old will need a parent or guardian to perform the test on them.
  • Children over 12 years old can do the test themselves if they want, with a parent or guardian supervising them.
Where can I get an RAT and how much do they cost? 
  • RATs are available from some supermarkets, pharmacies, or online. Most cost between $10-$15, depending on where you buy them.
  • People with concession and low-income cards will be able to get some free RATs from pharmacies.
  • This depends on supply, so it is best to call your local pharmacy to see if they have enough in stock.
  • Household contacts may also be able to get RATs from some testing centres. 
  • If RATs are not accessible and you are a contact, go to to see if you should get a PCR test or monitor for symptoms.

This information was produced by the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council.

To listen to this information in languages other than English, please click the button below.

Boosting vaccinations in multicultural communities

The Victorian Government is making it easier for Victorians from multicultural and multifaith backgrounds to get vaccinated, with targeted support to help them access vaccinations, get to appointments and combat misinformation.

Community organisations will deliver tailored, in-language support, engage Victorians online and at shopping centres, and coordinate pop-up vaccination hubs. Recipients include:
  • Brimbank/Melton Community Support Group
  • Dandenong/Casey/Cardinia Community Support Group
  • Junubi Wyndham Community Support Group
  • Himilo Community Connect Community Support Group
  • The Huddle (North Melbourne Football Club)
  • Le Mana Pasifika Project
  • Northern Community Support Group
  • Komak Community Support Group

Coronavirus hotline 


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