Making sure no-one is left behind

We understand your concern regarding the spread of Coronavirus. It is vital that we all work together as a community to keep each other safe and slow the spread of the virus – by following the advice of health officials.

The following information will be kept up to date as much as possible as developments arise.

For up to date health information about the Coronavirus:

VICTORIA: Up to date information for Victorians can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

AUSTRALIA: Up to date health information from the Federal Government can be found on the Department of Health website here: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

If you are concerned that you may have contracted Coronavirus:

Symptoms of Coronavirus include: fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath. You can access the government’s online Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker here: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker/tool/basic-details

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated Victorian hotline – open 24 hours, 7 day:

1800 675 398 or to talk with a translator call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.

They will advise you on whether you should go to an assessment centre. If you are directed to visit your GP for any advice or testing, call ahead to let them know you are coming and if you have any risk factors. If you are advised to go out, wear a mask.

Assessment centres have been established at 12 Melbourne hospitals.  

  • The Alfred Hospital
  • Albury Wodonga 
  • Austin Hospital
  • Barwon Health – Geelong
  • Box Hill Hospital
  • Monash Clayton
  • Northern Hospital
  • Peninsula Health – Frankston
  • The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne
  • Sunshine Hospital
  • Wonthaggi Hospital
  • Ballarat Base Hospital

If you are returning from international travel:

Australia’s borders are currently closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.  From 11:59pm on Saturday 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving in Australia via air or seaports must undergo 14 days of isolation in the city of their arrival. Details can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-travellers

If you have returned from international travel and have begun to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness, you should call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice. 

Mental health

If you are feeling anxiety related to the Coronavirus, there are many things you can do. You are not alone in this. 

Beyond Blue: have set up a website for details on how to manage anxiety around the virus 

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

You can call them on: 1300 22 4636

Lifeline is a national charity open to all Australians in personal crisis. They have 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

You can call them on: 13 11 14
You can access their online crisis support chat here: https://www.lifeline.org.au/

Australian Psychological Society tips: https://www.psychology.org.au/About-Us/news-and-media/Media-releases/2020/Coronavirus-psychologists-offer-advice-for-mainta

Housing support 

The Federal Government has announced that evictions will be put on hold for 6 months by the states and territories. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements. The Greens are currently pushing the government for more information, as at 30 March 2020, they have said that more information will come this week.

The State government will be responsible for upcoming announcements about housing in Victoria. Watch out for their announcement here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Consumer Affairs Victoria have compiled information about your rights and responsibilities during this time:

https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/resources-and-tools/advice-in-a-disaster/coronavirus-covid19-and-your-rights

Tenants can access support through the Tenants Union here: https://www.tenantsvic.org.au/

You may also be eligible to access legal aid: https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness:

You can get help by calling 1800 825 955 (free call, 24 hours).

A housing and support worker will take your call. They will refer you to help in your local area. If you call out of business hours, they will connect you to Salvation Army Crisis Services.

If you are escaping family violence, you can get help from the Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre:

Ph: 1800 015 188 (free call, 24 hours).

The service will assess your safety needs. They will then arrange emergency or crisis accommodation if needed or link you with a local family violence support service.

Lazarus Centre Breakfast Program - A free breakfast is provided as emergency relief every day for homeless people and people sleeping rough. Material aid is also provided in the form of small food parcels.- 0427 054 758 at 15 Gisborne St, East Melbourne


Church of All Nations - providing emergency food, and assistance with pharmacy expenses, counselling and referrals to residents of Carlton, North Carlton, North Melbourne, West Melbourne, CBD and Parkville to people who are homeless - 9347 7077 or text only 0484 062 862

Accessing essential services 

People living with a disability 

The National Disability Insurance Agency understands that the coronavirus will have a significant impact on the delivery of services and support to people living with a disability. 

Please see this website for the most up to date information from the NDIS: https://www.ndis.gov.au/coronavirus

Accessing supermarkets 

Most supermarkets have introduced a ‘Community Hour’ for older people and people living with a disability to ensure safe access to groceries. Woolworths and Coles are open only to eldery and disabled shoppers between 7am - 8am each morning.

Ways you can reduce your risk of contracting Coronavirus 

A major part of our response to COVID-19 is to slow the spread of the virus, so that our hospitals are not overwhelmed by cases. We think it is mainly transmitted by respiratory droplets, spread by close face to face contact, by touching each other, or by touching things like taps and door handles, and then touching our faces. This passes on droplets from coughs, sneezes and noses. Coughing into your elbow or shoulder, means you don't put these drops on your hand. More here.

This is why frequent hand washing, or using hand sanitiser is so important.

We need to be extra careful around the elderly and those with significant illnesses. A good approach to reduce the risk of catching/spreading the virus, is to assume you have it and try not to share it.

You can view the State Government’s advice in full here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-transmission-reduction-measures

See below to access information about COVID-19 info in 60 languages:

https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/coronavirus-explained-in-your-language

Accessing income support 

If your income has been impacted because of the coronavirus epidemic, you might be eligible for income support: 

General enquiries

If you require assistance, you can contact our office on (03) 9417 0759 and we’ll do our best to help you or point you in the right direction. 

Stay safe everyone. Look after yourselves and each other