NAVIGATION

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 www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/checklist-contacts 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 


MORE:

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

PWR | UPDATING | Responding to Dharam Sansad, In Memoriam and More | Friday 14 January 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Statement on Dharam Sansad and Hate Speech

PWR is distressed to learn that the name of the Dharam Sansad -- “assembly of religions'' — is being rendered in English as “Parliament of Religions.” The 17-19 December 2021 meeting held in Haridwar by the Dharam Sansad is widely reported to have included hate speech and calls for lethal violence against certain religious groups by Hindu leaders, as recorded on video.

PWR vehemently disavow any association with such speech and the views it expresses. We have no connection with the organization sponsoring this meeting and we further request that the Dharam Sansad not be referred to as “Parliament of Religions.”

5 Ways to Observe UN World Interfaith Harmony Week 2022

The 2022 World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) observance kicks off on January 29th and ends on March 3rd. UN World Interfaith Harmony Week encourages grassroots events that link people together in a global wave of understanding, respect, and action. 

Join thousands of interfaith organizers around the world in supporting the World Interfaith Harmony Week, here are 5 ways you can get involved!

In Memoriam: Rev. Dirk Ficca

The Parliament of the World's Religions is saddened to report that Rev. Dirk Ficca has passed away. Dirk Lewis Ficca, 66, of Oak Park, IL, passed away on Tuesday 21 December 2021. Throughout his career, Dirk had many roles in the global interfaith movement; as a minister, professor, and thought leader.

Rev. Ficca served as the Executive Director of the Parliament, organizing the 1999 Parliament Convening in Cape Town, the 2004 Parliament Convening in Barcelona, and the 2009 Parliament Convening in Melbourne.

In Memoriam: Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The Parliament of the World’s Religions was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on December 26th.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a South African Anglican religious leader renowned around the world for his work and dedication to peace and justice. A Nobel Laureate, he was a major keynote at the 1999 Cape Town Parliament Convening and a dedicated faith leader in the local and global interfaith movement.

#InterfaithNow


The work of the Parliament is only possible with the on-going support from generous individuals like you.


MORE:

Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR)
Address: 70 East Lake St., Ste 230 Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: (312) 629-2990

GOVV | UPDATING | Restrictions Victoria | Wednesday 12 January 2022 | from Midnight

[Edited extract from public address]

From 11.59pm Wednesday 12 January night, new COVID-19 rules come into effect in Victoria

Critical Workers

Changes in requirements for essential workers, including these industries:
  • Supermarket and grocery
  • Abattoirs, food and beverage processing
  • Freight, transport, logistics
  • Food warehousing, storage

Close Contact Rules

  • Workers may be exempted from close contact isolation requirements to work if it is necessary for operation to continue and other options exhausted
  • Those workers to take daily rapid antigen tests for five days and must not enter shared break areas
  • The workers must wear face masks – N95 or P2 if available
  • Worker and employer must consent to return to work

Vaccination

  • Workers in key sectors who are already required to be be fully vaccinated must get third dose before working on site
  • Workers eligible for third dose on or before January 12 have until February 12 to get third dose. Workers not eligible must get it within three months and two weeks of deadline to receive second mandatory dose

Hospitals & Aged Care

  • Visitors to aged care residents must return negative RAT result. If no RATs available at facility, residents allowed up to two visitors (instead of five) a day
  • Hospital visitors must be fully vaccinated or return negative RAT result
  • Adult visitors not fully vaccinated must wear N95 mask

Additionally

  • You can leave home if there is an emergency.
  • You can leave home if there is family violence or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you. Safe accommodation and support for family violence is available. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • If you need to leave home, you must wear a face mask, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.

 

Other ways to stay safe

  • Always wash your hands before you leave, and when you return home.
  • Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • Never, ever go out if you are unwell unless it is to get tested.
  • After you get tested, you must go straight home.
  • Remember that the most important thing you can do is get tested, even if you have the mildest of symptoms.
  • Get vaccinated.

 

To learn more about Victoria's restrictions

  

 Relief and Community Support links:



COVID-19 Resources

Vaccinations
Getting vaccinated is our way out of this pandemic. The best vaccine you can get is the one that you can get today.

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..

Like the Pfizer vaccination, Moderna is currently recommended for people between 12 and 59 years old.
Is it true? With new COVID-19 vaccine developments every day, it’s normal to have questions or concerns, and possibly feel hesitant about getting a vaccine. That's why accurate, evidence-based answers to questions is available about COVID-19 vaccines. 
Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines ⁠–⁠ Is it true?

Have you booked your vaccine? Everyone in Australia can get the vaccination when it's their turn. Currently in Victoria, anyone aged 40 or over is eligible for the free vaccine, along with people with particular underlying conditions 
AUST | GOV | Resources for disability service providers
This Federal Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 vaccine webpage has comprehensive information and resources for people with disability. This includes a readiness toolkit with resources designed to assist disability service providers during the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. 
AUST | NDIS | Immediate Eligibility for NDIS participants and carers aged 16 years and over
All National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants aged 16 years and over and carers aged 16 years and over of NDIS participants of any age became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from 8 June. NDIS participants will be able to find a vaccination site using the Department of Health's eligibility checker. 
AUST | GOV | COVID-19 vaccine booster doses recommended for Australians aged 18+
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have recommended a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people who are aged 18 years and over.

Everyone living in Australia aged 18 and over who has completed their primary two-dose course of vaccination at least six months ago is now eligible to have an additional booster shot.

The booster rollout program will initially target population groups that were prioritised for early vaccination, because the great majority of people within these cohorts are now ready for their booster vaccination, having had their second dose six or more months ago.


AUST | GOV | Arm yourself against COVID-19
The Australian Government has launched a new campaign to encourage eligible Australians to be vaccinated against COVID-19.The Arm Yourself campaign urges Australians to protect themselves, their loved ones, the people they care about, and the wider community by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker in 15 languages to find out when you can book your vaccination and arm yourself.
Check your eligibility for the vaccine in languages other than English


AUST | GOV | CALLING | Community Leaders to 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. 
VIC | GOV | It's a no brainer Vaccination Video
Thursday Island resident Elsie Seriat OAM is a proud mum, runner and graduate from the Indigenous Marathon Foundation. In a new video, she explains how important it is to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19 by getting the vaccine when you can.

The video is part of a raft of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples explaining the importance of the vaccination. You can browse other resources here
AUST | EVME | ENCOURAGING | Be Well Stay Well in-language videos
Evolve Media (EVME) and a team of six bicultural workers came together to produce several in-language videos to promote COVID-safe behaviour and wellbeing.

Over the past two months, the working group have held weekly meetings and worked collaboratively to co-design video messages and content. You can find links to the completed in-language videos below: 
VIC | VCOSS | Getting Back To The Good Things and Performance Of A Lifetime Vaccination Videos 
The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) videos feature ordinary Australians talking about the special moments in life they are looking forward to when life can be 'normal' again.


MELB | NWMPHN |  Goodbye COVID Vaccination Video
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) worked with local community leaders to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated protects yourself and your loved ones. When enough of us are vaccinated, life will be better for everyone.

Goodbye COVID videos are in 20 languages, along with scripts and more information. 
AUST | GOV | CALD and Aged Care vaccination videos
Watch new videos from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community members speaking in Mandarin, Cantonese, Nepali, Vietnamese and Dinka about why they got their COVID-19 vaccine.

Aged care residents have also shared their experience getting the COVID-19 vaccines. Videos come with captions in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean and Vietnamese. 
AUST | GOV | Showing proof of vaccination
After you get vaccinated, your vaccination provider adds your details on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) within 10 days. There are two types of proof available. Both are free.
  1. COVID – 19 Digital certificate, which shows you have received both doses of a COVID vaccine. For more information visit Getting help during coronavirus (COVID-19) - COVID-19 digital certificate as proof - Services Australia
  2. An immunisation history statement which lists COVID -19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations. For more information visit Australian Immunisation Register - How to get an immunisation history statement - Services Australia
It can take up to 10 days for information to be uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) after each dose of a COVID -19 vaccine.

It’s quick to get an immunisation history statement online. Download your statement now so you are ready to show it when you need to gain entry to places you want or need to visit.

Most people can get their proof using their Medicare online account through myGov. You just need to make sure you’ve got a myGov account set up and that you’ve linked it to Medicare.If online is difficult for you or your residents, there are a few alternatives:
  • Call the Australian Immunisation Register and ask them to post your immunisation history statement, noting that it may take up to 14 days to arrive. Call 1800 653 809 from Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Call Medicare on 13 20 11 and ask them to send you a printed copy. They are on the phones 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also ask for interpretation in your language when you call Medicare.
  • Ask someone who has internet access for help with online if you need it quickly who can help you to print it off. You will need a MyGov account (www.my.gov.au)
  • Ask at your GP clinic, pharmacy or community centre for help in printing your COVID certificate. 
 
AUST | GOV | Proof of COVID-19 vaccination resources for community groups
With the easing of restrictions, Australians will need to access proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations to enjoy many freedoms. The Australian Government has produced some resources that can be shared in your workplace and with your community.

The resources include general information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as well as information about how to get proof of your vaccinations. 

MORE:

Office of the Premier
State Government of Victoria (GOVV)
Address: 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Victoria 3002 Australia

VMC | UDPATING | Last call for Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program and Honour Roll and more | 11 January 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

2022 began with high COVID-19 case numbers, due largely to the Omicron strain. This brought a slightly different set of challenges compared to the last outbreak.


Message from the Chairperson

I acknowledge that there is a level of fatigue out there and this is hard for everyone. The VMC is working alongside community organisations, the Department of Health and other agencies to ensure the community continues our efforts to stay on top of this pandemic, and in particular this variant.

Please tune in to the briefing sessions and do share with us any matters of concern, either through the Regional Advisory Council, the Multifaith Advisory Group or through VMC commissioners and staff. We will make sure they are channeled to the relevant areas for attention.

As much as possible, in this COVID environment, we are still continuing our work to strengthen multicultural communities. On that note, we're excited to share that the expressions of interest for tickets to the Victorian Multicultural Gala Dinner (formerly the Premier's Gala Dinner) open tomorrow. Please make sure you look out for that email from us.

Also worth noting: we have nominations for the Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll closing soon. This is an opportunity to highlight the work of people whose work is critical to community organisations, especially those who have been toiling away behind the scenes. These are our unsung heroes who tirelessly support and amplify multicultural or multifaith communities, often without formal recognition.
Nominations close on 16 January 2022, and self-nominations are welcome. Learn more here.

We’ve talked a lot about the VMC's capacity to advocate for diverse communities. We now invite you to join our new Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program to build your own ability to raise your voice for your community too. This program is free and the application is simple, please fill it out here. Applications close on 20 January 2022.

Take care and stay safe.
Viv Nguyen AM, Chairperson

LAST CALL | Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program | applications extended until Thursday 20 January 2022 

While several hundred applications have been received already, more submissions from young people and regional Victorians are sought.

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 where they can build on their new network of hundreds of fellow participants and government stakeholders.   

Participants will learn how to:
  • become influential and informed community advocates 
  • navigate and collaborate with government 
  • be more able to mobilise and educate their communities  
  • strengthen their civic and community engagement capability.

Participants will also:
  • join a network of hundreds of like-minded cultural and faith leaders 
  • develop great potential to create collaborative partnerships and projects 
  • be connected with government representatives  
  • be more likely to hold future roles in senior community service and on government boards and committees.

LAST CALL | Nominations closing for the Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll | Nominations open until Sunday 16 January 2022

The first ever Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll will recognise the efforts of individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to multiculturalism in Victoria.

This program will focus on local champions of diversity, acknowledging the vital role that multicultural individuals have played to keep our communities safe and connected.

The Honour Roll replaces the Meritorious Service to the Community category from the Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence, which was held at Government House last week.

ADVISING | In-language video on surviving extreme heat

Did you know that heat kills more Australians than any natural disaster? Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion, which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke. Heatstroke is fatal in up to 80% of cases.

Those most at risk are older people, young children and people with a medical condition.

Better Health has put together a web page with information to help Victorians better manage hot days. You can watch a video about the effects of heat by choosing a language below:

Coronavirus hotline 


MORE:

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

GOVV | UPDATING | Restrictions Victoria | Thursday 6 January 2022 | from Midnight

[Edited extract from public address]

Changes to Victorian coronavirus rules from 11.59pm on Thursday 6 January 2022.

Victoria recorded six deaths among a record-high daily COVID tally of 21,997 new cases on Thursday 6 January 2022, an increase on the previous record of 17,636, set Wednesday. The rising number of cases prompted the Victorian government to tweak some rules and implement new density limits, similar to the rules in NSW.

Under new pandemic orders that have come into effect, people who test positive on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) will be considered probable cases and be subject to the same requirements as confirmed cases from a PCR test – they must isolate immediately for seven days and notify their contacts.

It will be mandatory to report the result of a positive RAT to the Department of Health through an online form or by phone – ensuring people can access the care and information they need, including monitoring for worsening symptoms and financial support for isolation.

Hospitality

Hospitality venues will be subject to a new density limit of one person per 2 square metres. The rule will apply to venues including:
  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • pubs
  • nightclubs

Entertainment

Venues will be subject to a new density limit of one person per 2 square metres. The rule will apply to venues including:
  • arcades
  • amusement parks
  • casinos
  • gaming venues
Cinemas and theatres will be exempt from the rule where patrons are seated and masked.

Testing

People who return a positive result on a rapid antigen test (RAT) will be considered a probable case and be subject to the same rules as someone who returns a positive PCR test.

It will then be mandatory to report their test result to the government through an online form or by phone.

As well as being covered by the same isolation rules as people whose infection was confirmed with a PCR test, Health Minister Martin Foley said that people who received a positive RAT result would be eligible for the same financial support and opportunity.

Work and study

The strong recommendation to work from home and study from home will remain in place until Australia Day and will be under continued assessment.

Surgery

Non-urgent elective surgery will be temporarily reduced to help hospitals cope with rising coronavirus demand.

Rapid Antigen Test update:

As of Sunday 2 January 2022, the public will be able to access free RAT kits at the Melbourne Showgrounds testing site, after which free RATs will be available at all testing sites across the state as well as a selection of other locations.  
Please keep an eye on the website for further details

Third doses

If it has been four or more months since you had your second COVID-19 vaccination, and you are aged 18 or over, you are now eligible to get your third dose (booster).

A COVID-19 third dose is strongly recommended to help keep you and your loved ones protected from COVID-19.

Eligible people will receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. You can safely get either of these vaccines as your third dose, regardless of which COVID-19 vaccine you received for your initial doses.

 

5-11 year old vaccination

You can now book the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds at your local GP or pharmacy.

Getting kids vaccinated will help:

  • keep schools open, so kids can have more face-to-face learning and playtime with their friends
  • reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • protect them from getting sick from COVID-19.

Appointments are available at Victorian GPs, pharmacies, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations and family-friendly vaccination centres from January 2022.

 

Changes to COVID-19 contact tracing rules

There have been changes to the isolation requirements of people exposed to COVID-19. Contacts have now been sorted into differing groups, which have specific isolation and testing requirements.

Please see the new definitions below:

  • Household contacts: If you live with someone who has COVID-19 or have spent more than four hours with them at a private residence, accommodation or care facility.
  • Social contacts: If you know and spent time with someone who has COVID-19, and you aren't a household contact. They have informed you that you are a social contact.
  • Workplace contacts: If you’re a worker (including subcontractors) who has spent time indoors with another worker who had COVID-19. Your work has informed you that you are a workplace contact.
  • Education contacts: If you or your child went to school or childcare (including early childhood education) and spent time with someone who has COVID-19. Your education facility has informed you or your child is an education contact.

 

Changes to Temporary Graduate visa

The Australian Government announced measures to support the return of international students and graduates by:

  • Allowing Temporary Graduate visa holders, who have been unable to travel to Australia as a result of COVID-19 international border restrictions, to apply for a replacement visa;
  • Increasing the length of stay on Temporary Graduate visas in the Masters by Coursework and Vocation Education and Training (VET) streams;
  • Simplifying the requirements for Temporary Graduate visa applicants for VET sector graduates; and
  • Extending the existing measure for student and temporary graduates to recognise time spent offshore studying online to count towards qualifying for a Temporary Graduate visa application.

 

NSW And Victoria Remove 72-Hour Isolation Requirement For International Arrivals

Affective from the beginning of Tuesday 21 December 2021 all fully vaccinated international travellers and flight crew arriving in NSW and Victoria will be required to get a PCR test within 24 hours after arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result. Under existing arrangements they are also required to produce a negative pre-departure test, within three days of boarding their flight.


Additionally

  • You can leave home if there is an emergency.
  • You can leave home if there is family violence or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you. Safe accommodation and support for family violence is available. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email safesteps@safesteps.org.au for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • If you need to leave home, you must wear a face mask, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.

 

Other ways to stay safe

  • Always wash your hands before you leave, and when you return home.
  • Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • Never, ever go out if you are unwell unless it is to get tested.
  • After you get tested, you must go straight home.
  • Remember that the most important thing you can do is get tested, even if you have the mildest of symptoms.
  • Get vaccinated.

 

To learn more about Victoria's restrictions

  

 Relief and Community Support links:



COVID-19 Resources

Vaccinations
Getting vaccinated is our way out of this pandemic. The best vaccine you can get is the one that you can get today.

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..

Like the Pfizer vaccination, Moderna is currently recommended for people between 12 and 59 years old.
Is it true? With new COVID-19 vaccine developments every day, it’s normal to have questions or concerns, and possibly feel hesitant about getting a vaccine. That's why accurate, evidence-based answers to questions is available about COVID-19 vaccines. 
Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines ⁠–⁠ Is it true?

Have you booked your vaccine? Everyone in Australia can get the vaccination when it's their turn. Currently in Victoria, anyone aged 40 or over is eligible for the free vaccine, along with people with particular underlying conditions 
AUST | GOV | Resources for disability service providers
This Federal Department of Health's dedicated COVID-19 vaccine webpage has comprehensive information and resources for people with disability. This includes a readiness toolkit with resources designed to assist disability service providers during the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. 
AUST | NDIS | Immediate Eligibility for NDIS participants and carers aged 16 years and over
All National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants aged 16 years and over and carers aged 16 years and over of NDIS participants of any age became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from 8 June. NDIS participants will be able to find a vaccination site using the Department of Health's eligibility checker. 
AUST | GOV | COVID-19 vaccine booster doses recommended for Australians aged 18+
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have recommended a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people who are aged 18 years and over.

Everyone living in Australia aged 18 and over who has completed their primary two-dose course of vaccination at least six months ago is now eligible to have an additional booster shot.

The booster rollout program will initially target population groups that were prioritised for early vaccination, because the great majority of people within these cohorts are now ready for their booster vaccination, having had their second dose six or more months ago.


AUST | GOV | Arm yourself against COVID-19
The Australian Government has launched a new campaign to encourage eligible Australians to be vaccinated against COVID-19.The Arm Yourself campaign urges Australians to protect themselves, their loved ones, the people they care about, and the wider community by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker in 15 languages to find out when you can book your vaccination and arm yourself.
Check your eligibility for the vaccine in languages other than English


AUST | GOV | CALLING | Community Leaders to 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. 
VIC | GOV | It's a no brainer Vaccination Video
Thursday Island resident Elsie Seriat OAM is a proud mum, runner and graduate from the Indigenous Marathon Foundation. In a new video, she explains how important it is to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19 by getting the vaccine when you can.

The video is part of a raft of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples explaining the importance of the vaccination. You can browse other resources here
AUST | EVME | ENCOURAGING | Be Well Stay Well in-language videos
Evolve Media (EVME) and a team of six bicultural workers came together to produce several in-language videos to promote COVID-safe behaviour and wellbeing.

Over the past two months, the working group have held weekly meetings and worked collaboratively to co-design video messages and content. You can find links to the completed in-language videos below: 
VIC | VCOSS | Getting Back To The Good Things and Performance Of A Lifetime Vaccination Videos 
The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) videos feature ordinary Australians talking about the special moments in life they are looking forward to when life can be 'normal' again.


MELB | NWMPHN |  Goodbye COVID Vaccination Video
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) worked with local community leaders to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated protects yourself and your loved ones. When enough of us are vaccinated, life will be better for everyone.

Goodbye COVID videos are in 20 languages, along with scripts and more information. 
AUST | GOV | CALD and Aged Care vaccination videos
Watch new videos from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community members speaking in Mandarin, Cantonese, Nepali, Vietnamese and Dinka about why they got their COVID-19 vaccine.

Aged care residents have also shared their experience getting the COVID-19 vaccines. Videos come with captions in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean and Vietnamese. 
AUST | GOV | Showing proof of vaccination
After you get vaccinated, your vaccination provider adds your details on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) within 10 days. There are two types of proof available. Both are free.
  1. COVID – 19 Digital certificate, which shows you have received both doses of a COVID vaccine. For more information visit Getting help during coronavirus (COVID-19) - COVID-19 digital certificate as proof - Services Australia
  2. An immunisation history statement which lists COVID -19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations. For more information visit Australian Immunisation Register - How to get an immunisation history statement - Services Australia
It can take up to 10 days for information to be uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) after each dose of a COVID -19 vaccine.

It’s quick to get an immunisation history statement online. Download your statement now so you are ready to show it when you need to gain entry to places you want or need to visit.

Most people can get their proof using their Medicare online account through myGov. You just need to make sure you’ve got a myGov account set up and that you’ve linked it to Medicare.If online is difficult for you or your residents, there are a few alternatives:
  • Call the Australian Immunisation Register and ask them to post your immunisation history statement, noting that it may take up to 14 days to arrive. Call 1800 653 809 from Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Call Medicare on 13 20 11 and ask them to send you a printed copy. They are on the phones 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also ask for interpretation in your language when you call Medicare.
  • Ask someone who has internet access for help with online if you need it quickly who can help you to print it off. You will need a MyGov account (www.my.gov.au)
  • Ask at your GP clinic, pharmacy or community centre for help in printing your COVID certificate. 
 
AUST | GOV | Proof of COVID-19 vaccination resources for community groups
With the easing of restrictions, Australians will need to access proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations to enjoy many freedoms. The Australian Government has produced some resources that can be shared in your workplace and with your community.

The resources include general information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as well as information about how to get proof of your vaccinations. 

MORE:

Office of the Premier
State Government of Victoria (GOVV)
Address: 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne Victoria 3002 Australia

CoPP | THIS | Cultural Development Fund and more | January 2022

 [Edited extract from public address]

Connecting and strengthening communities through inclusion and partnerships.

GRANTING | Cultural Development Fund | Festivals and Events | applications now open, closing 4 pm Thursday 27 January 2022

The grants aim to encourage and assist not-for-profit organisations and community groups to develop local neighbourhood festivals or events during a period of COVID recovery. Festivals or events should celebrate the City’s community spirit, identity, arts and culture.

Funding provided in the current financial year does not assure that funding will be available in future years. This fund is intended for seed and development funding. Applicants are encouraged to seek out other sources of sponsorship to complement the support of council. Event organisers may apply for support for logistics and infrastructure costs associated with festivals and events.

Considerations
Funding is for festivals and events that will occur between July 2022 and June 2023.
Up to $10,000 available is per project.

Who can apply?
To be eligible to apply, applicants must be:
  • Incorporated not for profit arts cultural or community organisations.
  • Organisations from outside City of Port Phillip may apply if the festival or event is held in the City of Port Phillip and engages with Port Phillip participants and community.
  • Have organisational Public Liability Insurance to the value of $20 Million.
  • Able to provide an ABN (Australian Business Number)

Tel: 03 9209 6217
Mob: 0466 752 942

Community Training Opportunities Coming Up | February and March 2022

Places still available!
Register now to secure your place.

City of Port Phillip invites staff and volunteers from local community groups and organisations to participate in training. The training is free and places are limited. Use the TryBooking links below to secure your place in the training.

If you have any general queries, or access or support requirements that will enable your participation in these events, please contact the Community Building Team:
Phone: 03 9209 6777
Interpreters are available upon request.

WEBINAR | Access and Inclusion Training | Monday 21 February 2022 | 2-4pm

Accessible Action will provide disability awareness training to improve access and inclusion in your community organisation. This training will ensure your learning outcomes provide a new perspective on the social model of disability, and shift mindsets to promote access and inclusion of people with disability in your organisation. Accessible Action facilitators are people with lived experience of disability in order to influence with authenticity and effect meaningful change.

About the provider
Accessible Action creates action for access. Our purpose is to enable our customers to progress their access and inclusion journey by developing strategies, policies and processes to include people with disability from a customer, community and employee perspective.

About the trainer
Amanda Lawrie-Jones is a skilled Access & Inclusion Consultant with decades of organisational capability experience. Amanda has successfully created impact and meaningful change working in both government and non-government sectors.

Where: Online Zoom
Cost: free
Bookings: Places are limited to 15 people. TryBooking: Access and Inclusion Training
You will be sent a Zoom link once you book

E-LEARNING | Standard Mental Health First Aid | 18 and 25 March

Participants are required to complete one E-Learning module and attend two x 2.5 hour Zoom sessions.

Learn how to assist adults who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.

You will learn how to assist an adult who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves, using a practical, evidence-based action plan.

This course is based on guidelines developed through the expert consensus of people with lived experience of mental health problems and professionals.
 
Participants are required to complete one E-Learning module and attend two x 2.5 hour Zoom sessions.

About E-Learning
This is self-paced and takes approximately 3 hours if done in one session.

About  Zoom sessions
These are very interactive and participants go through what they learned during e-learning and also practice skills.

Zoom Sessions Dates and Times:

Session One: Friday 18 March 2022
Time: Choose from either 10am - 12:30 pm OR 2pm - 4:30 pm

Session Two: Friday 25 March 2022
Time: Choose from either 10am - 12:30 pm OR 2pm - 4:30 pm

About the provider
Mental Health First Aid Australia is a national not-for-profit organisation that develops and evaluates training programs and trains and accredits Instructors.
About the trainer
Ronnie Kakaire is a Mental Health First Aid 'Principal Master' Instructor with a very strong passion for training and facilitating workshops. His energetic, engaging and yet entertaining style of delivering training has made him a favourite for most participants that have attended his sessions.

Where: Online
Cost: free
Booking: Places are limited to 15 people. TryBooking: Standard Mental Health First Aid
You will be sent a Zoom link once you book.

Jewish Immersion Day for Community Organisations | Thursday 24 February 2022 | 9am-1pm

The Program is a combination of engaging sessions with a diverse range of speakers and facilitators, as well as a visit to the Jewish Museum of Australia and St Kilda Hebrew Congregation.

Program Overview
The program will provide participants with helpful insights in order to develop a rich working understanding of the nuances of the Jewish community. The session covers a range of topics including; the diverse demographics of the Jewish community in City of Port Phillip, history of the Jewish community in the area, Jewish traditions and practice, Jewish responses to local challenges, and the Jewish experience in 2021/22. Within these topic areas we will address the experience of living with antisemitism and the perception vs reality of the community in Port Phillip and greater Melbourne.

About the provider
For over 80 years The Jewish Community Council of Victoria has been the peak body of Victorian Jewry, Australia’s largest Jewish community. With 52 major communal organisations as its affiliates, the JCCV represents the mosaic of Jewish religious, political, cultural, welfare, educational and social associations serving the Jewish community in Victoria.

Where: Meet at St Kilda Town Hall, 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Cost: free
Booking: Places are limited to 15 people. TryBooking: Jewish Immersion Day

Guided Walks in Port Phillip 2022

Elwood characters - decade by decade | Saturday 29 January 2022 | from 6-8pm

Join Meyer Eidelson to relive Elwood’s milestones through the lives of extraordinary people, decade by decade between 1830 and 2022.

Bookings: essential through Trybooking - Elwood characters

Assistance with Proof of COVID Vaccination

People will be required to show proof of vaccination while out in the community. This can be done using your COVID-19 digital certificate or immunisation history statement. For more information and advice visit How to get your COVID-19 digital certificate | Coronavirus Victoria

Types of Proof of Vaccination
There are two types of proof available. Both are free.
  1. A COVID – 19 Digital certificate, which shows you have received both doses of a COVID vaccine. For more information visit Getting help during coronavirus (COVID-19) - COVID-19 digital certificate as proof - Services Australia
  2. An immunisation history statement which lists COVID -19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations. For more information visit Australian Immunisation Register - How to get an immunisation history statement - Services Australia
It can take up to 10 days for information to be uploaded to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) after each dose of a COVID -19 vaccine.

It’s quick to get an immunisation history statement online. Download your statement now so you are ready to show it when you need to gain entry to places you want or need to visit.

If online is difficult for you or your residents, there are a few alternatives:
  • Call the Australian Immunisation Register and ask them to post your immunisation history statement, noting that it may take up to 14 days to arrive. Call 1800 653 809 from Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Call Medicare on 13 20 11 and ask them to send you a printed copy. They are on the phones 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also ask for interpretation in your language when you call Medicare.
  • Ask someone who has internet access for help with online if you need it quickly who can help you to print it off. You will need a MyGov account (www.my.gov.au)
  • Ask at your GP clinic, pharmacy or community centre for help in printing your COVID certificate. 

Beach Access Program Summer 2021/22

The City of Port Phillip currently has two accessible beach locations, St Kilda Beach and Port Melbourne Beach. The Life Saving Clubs at these locations, St Kilda Life Saving Club (StKLSC) and Port Melbourne Life Saving Club (PMLSC) support the delivery of beach access equipment for hire during the summer lifesaving patrol season. 

The beach access equipment includes a Mobi-chair beach wheelchair (MC) and Accessible Beach Matting (ABM). This equipment is FREE to hire and removes some of the barriers that can restrict people with a disability from enjoying beaches. Beach access equipment has been available at StKLSC and PMLSC since 2017.

The St Kilda Life Saving Club includes a Victorian Government funded Changing Places. Changing Places facilities have a height-adjustable, adult-sized changing bench, a tracking hoist system, and space for two people in a safe and clean environment.

To access the Changing Places facility, an individual or carer must have a Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK). This key enables people with a disability to gain 24-hour access, seven days a week to the facility. Eligibility for the MLAK is restricted to people with disability that have written authority from a doctor, a disability organisation or a community health centre. People with a disability can purchase an MLAK by contacting the Master Locksmiths Association
on 1800 819 775.  

Timing & Booking

 Lifesaving patrol season: November 2021 to April 2022. 
Accessible Beach Matting: Rolled out Tuesday 16 November 2021 at both locations, available everyday (except for each Tuesday 4.30 am – 10.30 am, to accommodate beach cleaning). No booking required.

Mobi-chair beach wheelchair: Available for hire from Saturday 27 November 2021. Bookings accepted from Wednesday 24 November 2021.

St Kilda Life Saving Club 
Location: 34 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda 
Available: Saturday and Sunday during patrol times, 12.00 pm - 5.00 pm, 1.5 hr hire limit 
To book: visit portphillip.vic.gov.au/accessible-beaches or phone 03 9209 6777

Port Melbourne Life Saving Club 
Location: 38 Beaconsfield Parade, Port Melbourne 
Available: Saturday and Sunday during patrol times, 12.00 pm - 5.00 pm, 1.5hr hire limit
To book: visit portphillip.vic.gov.au/accessible-beaches or phone 03 9209 6777

To book on the day: phone 9646 8773.

CHECKING | Hearing Australia Talk | Monday 21 February 2022 | 10am

Hearing Australia are offering 15 minute free hearing checks. A hearing check is a screening that may help people who may have hearing loss. 

Free Hearing Checks available after talk

Where: U3a Port Phillip - Mary Kehoe Centre, Room 1, 224 Danks Street Albert Park

For more information call Maria on 0459 863 145 or 8610 4300.


MORE:
City of Port Phillip (CoPP)
Address: 99a Carlisle Street, St Kilda, VIC 3182
Email: news@portphillip.vic.gov.au

VMC | UDPATING | Happy New Year! Honour Roll and Leadership Program submissions closing soon | Wednesday 5 January 2022

[Edited extract from public address]

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! For those who had the opportunity to take some time off, hopefully you were able to relax with family and friends.

Message from the Acting Chairperson

I appreciate that many cultures observe the new year at different times and we look forward to celebrating with you in the coming months.

I am hopeful, and quietly confident, that 2022 will be a better year than the last couple have been. Although COVID-19 case numbers are at their highest ever, there are many indications that a third dose can provide excellent protection. If you haven't already, I encourage you to book your third dose as soon as you are eligible, which is currently four months from the date of your second dose.

If you would like more information on the latest updates regarding the Omicron strain of COVID-19, please read the Community Update we sent out last week and consider signing up for Thursday's COVID-19 Forum.

In other important news, we have two major VMC initiatives closing for submission soon. There is a final information session for the Multicultural Leadership in Action Program next Monday, before applications close on Thursday 13 January. The Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll also closes for nominations on 16 January, so please submit your nominations for individuals who have made incredible efforts to promote multiculturalism in this state.

Thank you all and have a great week
Bwe Thay, Acting Chairperson

Multicultural COVID-19 Community Briefing with the Department of Health | Thursday 6 January 2022 | 7-8.30pm  

In partnership with the Department of Health, the VMC invites you to an online information session to present the latest information on the Coronavirus pandemic to multicultural communities

Both Prof Ben Cowie, Acting Chief Health Officer, Department of Health and

Dr Thomas Schulz, Senior Medical Officer, COVID-19 Vaccination Program, Department of Health will be present to answer your questions.

Their updates will include information on the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), vaccinations for 5-12 year-olds and more.

Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program 2022 | applications closing Thursday 13 January 2022

The Multicultural Communities Leadership in Action Program builds the capability of multicultural and multifaith leaders to engage effectively with the government and 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 event where they can build on their new network of hundreds of fellow participants and government stakeholders.   

Participants will learn how to:
  • become influential and informed community advocates 
  • navigate and collaborate with government 
  • be more able to mobilise and educate their communities  
  • strengthen their civic and community engagement capability.
Participants will also:
  • join a network of hundreds of like-minded cultural and faith leaders 
  • develop great potential to create collaborative partnerships and projects 
  • be connected with government representatives  
  • be more likely to hold future roles in senior community service and on government boards and committees.

Nominations closing soon for the Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll | nominations closing 16 January 2022 

The first ever Victorian Multicultural Honour Roll will recognise the efforts of individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to multiculturalism in Victoria.

This program will focus on local champions of diversity, acknowledging the vital role that multicultural individuals have played to keep our communities safe and connected.

The Honour Roll replaces the Meritorious Service to the Community category from the Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence, which was held at Government House last week.

Coronavirus hotline 


MORE:

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