COVID-19: Information, resources and services

Reviewed October 9, 2020

This page is updated regularly with key messages and resources to support you and the people you work with during the COVID-19 epidemic. If there is something missing, please contact us.


Jump to:

Multilingual and accessible information

Health advice and services

Financial support and emergency relief

Mental Health

Family Violence

Legal

NDIS & Disability

Education: supporting children and families with home-based learning


Multilingual and accessible information

Government provided information

Latest translated Victorian Government coronavirus (COVID-19) information.

Steps toward reopening in Victoria – translated information now available on the DHHS website here.

The stakeholder packs below contain resources and important translated materials regarding restrictions in Melbourne and Mitchell shire, mandatory face masks, getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) and changing the way we all use public transport.

The links below provide shortcuts to some of the valuable information contained in each stakeholder pack.

Getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19):

Changing the way we all use public transport:

Coronavirus testing factsheet (Victorian Government). This has been translated into 47 languages is available here, organised by language. You can download the English version here.

Translated mental health fact sheet: The Victorian Government has translated the factsheet “Looking after your mental health during coroanvirus (COVID-19)”. Currently available in Vietnamese, Turkish, Thai, Tamil, Spanish, Punjabi, Persian (Farsi), Macedonian, Korean, Khmer, Italian, Indonesian, Hindi, Greek, Tagalog (filipino), Dinka, Dari, Mandarin-Simplified Chinese,  Cantonese-traditional Chinese, and Arabic.  You can read the English version here.        

The Australian Government Department of Health has translated a range of Department of Health Fact Sheets in 21 languages including Arabic, Farsi (Persian) Farsi (Afghan) / Dari, Assyrian, Hazaragi, Kurdish Kurmanji, Swahili, Nepali, Burmese, Karen, Tigrinya and Chin Hakka. (Select language in top left drop down menu).

Other multilingual information sources

Health Translations has the most up-to-date translated materials collection on COVID-19.  The COVID-19 collection of resources includes facts sheets, videos & posters in over 50 languages. It is monitored and updated daily. You can access the collection at this link.

Access Easy English has a range of pictorial and Easy English factsheets about COVID-19.

AMES Australia has released videos ‘Hygiene and social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ in several languages, including Urdu, Farsi, Kareni, English, Dinka, Amharic, Nepali, Tigrinya, Oromo, Arabic, Karen and Dari. The videos are available on YouTube.

Australian Red Cross COVID-19 resource page includes a poster ‘simple steps to reduce the risk of coronavirus for yourself and others’, available in 19 languages.

Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS) has uploaded conversation with a lead clinician on COVID-19 matters, in languages other than English onto their YouTube channel here. BSCHS has also developed a written resource ‘coronavirus – ways to reduce your risk’ in Karen, Dari and Dinka, all available on their website.

The Cancer Council of Victoria has developed an information sheet on COVID-19 and cancer, translated into several languages including Arabic and Farsi.

Enliven has multilingual and Easy English pictorial resources translated on Covid-19.

Harmony Alliance has put together fact sheets with information on the impact of COVID-19 and pregnancy on women and their babies. The fact sheets were developed from information provided by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). Currently available in English, Arabic, Dari, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese and Nepalese.

The Migrant Workers Centre has key factsheets on workers’ rights through COVID-19 crisis available here.

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health have information about upcoming radio health sessions on their wesbite.

SBS multilingual coronavirus online portal includes the latest news and resources across more than 60 languages. You can access the SBS multilingual coronavirus portal at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Shifra is an online platform, co-designed with refugee and migrant communities and organisations to help users access culturally-sensitive sexual and reproductive health information in local languages. Information is currently available Arabic and English with more languages coming soon. Shifra has some information about COVID-19 in Arabic and English


Health advice and services

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victoria’s COVID-19 page has the latest information, updates and advice from State Government on COVID-19.

  • If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days. Coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398.
  • If you would like to contact the Victorian government coronavirus hotline and need an interpreter, call 131 450 (TIS National), then request the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398
  • Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has also compiled information regarding the novel coronavirus for the public, the media, health professionals, and people working in the education sector.

Specialist Refugee Health and Wellbeing Services

For more information you can also see the Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide.

The Refugee Health Program operates in 17 local government areas of Victoria. All refugee health programs continue to provide services via a remote model. Staff are delivering consultations via telephone and telehealth services where possible, and screening all clients before any onsite appointments.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre continues to deliver a range of services. For more information on current service offerings, please phone (03) 9326 6066.

Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub provides quality primary and specialist health care for people seeking asylum and newly arrived refugees. The Health Hub is operating with a mix of face-to-face and telehealth. Contact the service directly for more information regarding service availability on (03) 8388 7874.

Monash Refugee Health and Wellbeing is operational and using telehealth and telephone consults where possible. For referrals or information, contact Refugee Health Nurse on Triage: phone (03) 97928100.

Royal Children’s Hospital – Immigrant Health Service is conducting outpatient appointments via telehealth wherever possible. Visitors to the hospital are limited to parent/guardian or temporary carer. For more information, visit their website.

The Royal Children’s Hospital – Immigrant Health Service website is hosting an extensive directory with helpful information and resources during the COVID-19 emergency.

The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House) remains operational and committed to delivering services and support for clients and communities during this difficult time. Mental health services are being offered by phone and video-conferencing technologies. Foundation House encourages agencies and individuals to continue to refer clients to the service by phoning (03) 9389 8900 and can now refer by email on .

Utopia Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health continues to operate in Melbourne’s West, Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm with some adaptations. Utopia Health is also offering healthcare facilitated telehealth linkage with specialists/hospitals if clients are unable to do so. The service can provide support to clients with downloading telehealth technology on phones/laptops/PC/tablets, if the client is non-English speaking or lacking IT skill.

Maternal and Child Health

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) is working with bilingual health educators to develop a series of multilingual health education videos on a range of health issues for refugee and migrant women. To keep updated on the progress, join their mailing list here. They are also advertising upcoming radio health sessions here.

PANDA (perinatal mental health)  has a National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline, operating Monday to Friday, 9am – 7.30pm AEST/AEDT). Call 1300 726 306. Free telephone interpreting services available. PANDA’s website also includes a number of helpful resources on perinatal mental health.  

Shifra is an online platform with culturally-sensitive sexual and reproductive health information in local languages. Information is currently available Arabic and English with more languages coming soon. The website also aims to help users find respectful health services that specialise in migrant and refugee health. Shifra has some information about COVID-19 in Arabic and English.


Financial support and emergency relief

Victoria – General

Anglicare Victoria can be contacted for information about locally available supports across the state. To find out more, complete the Contact Us’ form, then query for Emergency Relief. You will then be directed to the appropriate office.

Australian Red Cross is delivering the Extreme Hardship Program for people ineligible for income support.  Applications can be made via web based portal here: The web portal is now available four languages other than English. In addition to the online application available through the Red Cross website, a dedicated phone line (1800 855 240) is available to respond to people needing support to apply for financial assistance at the Red Cross.  The phone line is open from 9.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday. NB: The single person payment has recently been increased to $800.

The Centre for Multicultural Youth has developed a brief information sheet summarising the financial support and assistance available to young people and their families during COVID-19. This includes clear information about Services Australia (Centrelink) financial supports.

Ask Izzy is a free anonymous search engine, where you can search over 360,000 services to find housing, meals, healthcare, counselling, legal advice and addiction treatment.

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) hosts a thorough directory of services available for refugees and people seeking asylum in Victoria, including details on emergency relief.  Provider contact details are available on the website. Contact providers directly for the most up to date service availability.

The Victorian Government is providing emergency relief for Victorians self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19). People with no access to food and essential supplies will receive emergency relief packages under the program. Each eligible household will receive a two-week supply of essential goods. Please note, this program is for people in mandatory self-isolation, who have little or no food, and no network of family and friends to support them. Access these packages by calling the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

Victoria – Metropolitan Melbourne

Hume Whittlesea Primary Care Partnership (HWPCP) have a COVID-19 resources page, which includes details on emergency relief in the area.

The Outer Northern Refugee Health Network’s 2018 Service Directory  presents comprehensive and consolidated information regarding services for refugees/asylum seekers in the Northern region. Mental health and financial support services are covered.

Finding food in Casey, Cardinia and Greater Dandenong: Enliven has put together an excellent resource for those living and working in the South East of Melbourne. Details on locations for emergency food relief include*:

Western Region Emergency Relief

Sikh Volunteers Australia
Project Hope
South East Community Links
Cardinia food relief directory
Casey North Community Information and Support Service
The Andrews Centre
Cranbourne Community Information and Support Service
Doveton Neighbourhood Learning Centre
Emerald Community House
– Food is Free cupboard available
24×7 on the ECH front deck.

*Please note some emergency food relief services may not be operating as normal during this time, so best to contact your local emergency food relief first for more information.

Monash Health have developed an overview of financial support available to people of refugee backgrounds during COVID-19, focusing on supports for people in the South East of Melbourne. Access the resource here.

Up to date information on community, food and material relief for people in the Outer Eastern Melbourne Area now available:

Victoria – Rural and Regional

Baw Baw Shire Council have shared information about locally available material aid via their website.

Central West Gippsland PCP, the Baw Baw Food Movement and Food For All Latrobe Valley have developed a local food security resource.

The Emergency Relief Network of Latrobe City (ERNLaC) has information about short term help to Latrobe City residents who are experiencing financial crisis. 

Emergency Food Relief – Wangaratta and surrounding areas

Loaves & Fishes (based at Anglicare Wangaratta)

Phone (03) 5723 7900 between 10 am – 12 noon (Monday to Friday) to book a phone appointment. A worker will phone you at the appointment time for an assessment. You will be allocated a time to collect food that day from the rear car park of Anglicare (39 Ovens Street, Wangaratta).

Open Door Neighbourhood House

Phone (03) 5721 9175 between 10am – 2pm (Monday to Friday) to organise a time to collect food, from the rear of the house (61 Bourke Street, Wangaratta).

Vinnies Wangaratta

Call (03) 5722 4959 between 1pm – 3pm to book a phone appointment. A worker will phone you at the appointment time for an assessment. You will be allocated a time to collect supermarket vouchers from the rear of Vinnies Wangaratta (36-38 Rowan Street, Wangaratta).

Let us know if you know if something here isn’t right, or you are aware of more resources we can promote through our e-Bulletin and this website.

Government provided social security information (‘job seeker’ and ‘job keeper’)

Services Australia (formerly Centrelink) website with COVID-19 services in language.

Social security information for refugees and people seeking asylum: The Refugee Council of Australia has produced a factsheet about access to social security for refugees and people seeking asylum during COVID-19.

Fact sheets on Services Australia (Centrelink): Economic Justice Australia has published a factsheet (English) with information on what Centrelink can do for people affected by COVID-19 including:

  • Economic Support Payment for Centrelink recipients
  • Mutual Obligations
  • Payments if you don’t currently get Centrelink
  • Asset Hardship Provisions
  • Step-by-Step guide to claiming Centrelink during COVID-19

Mental Health

Crisis Support – Helplines

Lifeline provides private and confidential phone-based crisis support and suicide prevention. Telephone: 131 114 Lifeline has access to a free interpreting service through TIS National.

Suicide Call Back Service is a nationwide service that provides professional 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide. Support is available via online chat, video chat and phone chat. Please call 1300 659 467. This service provides free telephone interpreting. The website also has some great (English language) resources on supporting someone you are worried about.

Mental Health Services

NEW! HeadtoHelp. The Primary Health Networks have been funded to deliver additional mental health support services across Victoria. There will be nine HeadtoHelp hubs located in Greater Melbourne and six in regional Victoria. The locations are:

  • Greater Melbourne: Berwick, Frankston, Officer, Hawthorn, Yarra Junction, West Heidelberg, Broadmeadows, Wyndham Vale, Brunswick East
  • Regional Victoria: Warragul, Sale, Bendigo, Wodonga, Sebastopol and Norlane

The hubs, announced on 17 August as part of a $31.9 million federal government mental health package to support Victorians during the COVID-19 pandemic, have been rapidly rolled out across the state at a cost of $26.9 million. Interpreting services are available. People of seeking asylum who do not hold a Medicare ARE eligible for this service.

Visit headtohelp.org.au for more information.

NEW! Switchboard Rainbow Door: A free specialist LGBTIQA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Gender Diverse, Intersex, Queer, Asexual, BrotherBoys, SisterGirls) helpline providing information, support, and referral to all LGBTIQA+ Victorians, their friends and family during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Interpreters available.

Beyond Blue has been funded by the Department of Health to deliver the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. This service includes an online forum and informational resources, as well as helpline 1800 512 348. Free telephone interpreting service available. Beyond Blue has also released translated versions of its factsheet on managing mental health through the coronavirus pandemic. Available here.

Carers Victoria provide support for carers. A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to family members and friends with a disability, mental illness, chronic health issue or age-related condition. Face-to-face services have been suspended, however Carers Victoria is still offering a range of services including emotional support and service advice, in-home respite,  delivered goods and equipment, equipment that may help through social isolation, online supports and education and telephone, or online counselling sessions. Visit their website or  phone 1800 514 845 for assistance. Free telephone interpreting services available.

Care in Mind Wellbeing Support Services (WSS) is a free phone and online counselling support service. This service is for anyone of any age who is feeling the pressures and stresses of everyday life. Available to those who live, work or study in northern, western and central Melbourne. The service is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1300 096 269 to speak to a counsellor.

Centre for Multicultural Youth – MY CONNECT: INFO LINE DURING COVID-19. For young people looking for info or assistance to navigate services during this difficult time. CMY’s experienced staff are available to connect young people to the services and supports needed. Factsheet here.

Call MY Connect: (03) 9340 3770

8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday
Free & confidential

Centre for Multicultural Youth – Reconnect offers support for multicultural young people aged 12-21 who have been in Australia for less than five years who may be at risk of homelessness. Available in:

Headspace offers free online support and counselling to young people 12 – 25 and their families and friends.

Kids Helpline is an Australian free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25. Free telephone interpreting services available.

PANDA (perinatal mental health)  has a National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline, operating Monday to Friday, 9am – 7.30pm AEST/AEDT). Call 1300 726 306. Free telephone interpreting services available. PANDA’s website also includes a number of helpful resources on perinatal mental health.  

NEW: Partners in Wellbeing program provides specialist psychosocial and wellbeing supports across Victoria via telephone and video technology to people with experiencing poor psychosocial health and mental-ill health in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information please see Neami’s website here or the fact sheet here. Please note, this service is delivered in partnership between ACSO, EACH and Neami. Please refer to information flyer for best referral pathway.

The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House) remains operational and committed to delivering services and support for clients and communities during this difficult time. Mental health services are now being offered by phone and video-conferencing technologies. Foundation House encourages agencies and individuals to continue to refer clients to the service by phoning (03) 9389 8900.

VMIAC  is the peak Victorian organisation for people with a lived experience of mental health problems or emotional distress. VMIAC is providing regular information and updates, including links to mental health and wellbeing resources. Currently all written materials are in English. VMIAC is not a crisis service, but can provide advice, advocacy, information and referral. Please call (03) 9380 3900. Free telephone interpreting services available.

Other Mental Health Information and Resources

Black Dog Institute have released several tools and resources to support people in looking after their mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. They are also conducting a survey right now about how COVID-19 is impacting the mental health of Australian adults, and what people are doing to stay mentally healthy. All resources available in English only.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released a range of mental health resources. These include a video series with titles such as ‘dealing with loss of control’ and ‘support and kindness’.  These resources are currently available in English only, however multilingual versions may become available.

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health offers many helpful resources for communities and service providers, including multilingual information about mental health and wellbeing.

Headtohealth is an online gateway funded by the Australian Government that can help you find free and low-cost, trusted phone and online mental health resources. Available in English only.


Family violence

Note: If you are in danger, call 000 or contact the police in your state or territory.

Information and resources

The COVID-19 pandemic increases several known risk factors for family violence, including employment and housing insecurity, financial insecurity.

The Commonwealth government has responded to these increased risks with a 150 million dollar funding boost to the national family violence initiative. Read more here.

Specialist family violence services are open and available for support and advice for anyone experiencing family violence, and those worried about how potential self-isolation or quarantine will impact on their safety and wellbeing.

The Orange Door website orangedoor.vic.gov.au has helpful information if you’re feeling unsafe, need more support with the care of children or are worried about how someone close to you is treating you

Technology Safety Australia offers the Women’s Technology Safety & Privacy Toolkit: a great resource to engage with as services are shifting to remote service delivery in response to COVID-19.

inTouch has developed an ‘online hub’ designed to:

  • empower victim-survivors to be informed about resources and services they can access, and to continue to be able to self-refer to inTouch
  • support the sector and other service providers to continue to facilitate referrals and request secondary consultations.

For more information, visit their website which includes a COVID-19 pandemic update.

No to Violence has helpful guidelines for adapting practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Domestic Violence Resource Centre (DVRC) has many helpful information and resources for victim-survivors, health professionals and community members.

Family Violence Support Services

Safe Steps Victoria continues to operate their 24/7 crisis response phone line. The phone line offers confidential crisis support, information and accommodation on 1800 015 188. If it is unsafe to call, email .

The Orange Door service continues to operate during the coronavirus outbreak from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday in:

  • Barwon (1800 312 820)
  • Bayside Peninsula (1800 319 353)
  • Inner Gippsland (1800 319 354)
  • the Mallee (1800 290 943) and
  • North Eastern Melbourne (1800 319 355).
  • Please note these services are closed on public holidays

InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence provides information and advice for professionals and women experiencing family violence. They can provide support to clients via phone and teleconferencing. inTouch also supports the sector with secondary consultations and co-case management.

With Respect offer specialist LGBTIQ family violence services. You can contact w/respect on 1800 LGBTIQ (1800 542 847) or visit www.withrespect.org.au.

Other helpful contacts:

  • 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732, the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line offers confidential phone help and referral in Australia.
  • For support for men, call Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.


NDIS & Disability

Disability Information Helpline is now available for people with disability, their families and carers who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Helpline is free, private and fact-checked.
       •    Phone (free call): 1800 643 787
       •    If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677.The Helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm (AEST). It’s not available on national public holidays.

Victorian State Government – COVID-19 Plan for the Disability Services Sector: This plan gives guidance on how the disability sector can operate and prioritise their efforts in this current stage of the COVID-19 response.

Federal Health Department – Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability during COVID-19. The plan provides guidance on a range of factors for consideration in managing and preventing the transmission of COVID-19 for people with disability.

National Disability Ethnic Alliance (NEDA) Radio Campaign. NEDApartnered with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to launch a radio campaign, targeted at new and emerging refugees and humanitarian entrants. The campaign aims to increase awareness on disability, break down disability stigmas and introduce services provided by the NDIS to humanitarian entrants, refugees and emerging communities. The campaign contains 40-seconds announcements, 2 two-minute podcasts and radio interviews with our Ambassadors in five languages (Arabic – Assyrian – Chaldean – Farsi – Burmese) and English. For audio files and transcripts visit their website.

National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) has joined with several organisations representing the interests of people with disability, their families, carers
and support persons to write an open letter to the National Cabinet. The letter has 10 points for immediate action. You can read the full open letter, an Easy Read version, and a Plain English version.

People with Disability Australia Covid-19 Hub is regularly updating their website with information and resources and update on advocacy for the needs and rights of people with disability at all levels throughout the crisis.

COVID-19 Disability Plan, released by People With Disability Australia (PWDA) and eight other disability peak bodies, includes recommendations about what people with disability need during this crisis. It also contains the following recommendations for culturally and linguistically diverse people with a disability:

  • Provide urgent access to translated materials about the COVID-19 public health emergency to people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Target information to address group events such as church and mosque attendance, and to engage with new and emerging community groups.

NDIS has produced COVID-19 information packs with practical advice to assist during the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Information packs explain the NDIS approach to plan flexibility, assistive technology and the access process. Packs include advice for participants and advice for providers and early childhood.

Home delivery priority access for NDIS participants: From Monday 6 April NDIS participants purchase grocery items online to be delivered to their home. All NDIS participants have now been assigned a unique home delivery access code to get priority access to supermarket home delivery services. These have been provided directly to participants by SMS and email.

NDIS updates on COVID-19 response: This page includes updates on changes the NDIS has made to support people with disability through the COVID-19 crisis.

Collaborating for Inclusion: This planning guide helps people with disability to get the facts about Coronavirus (COVID019) and make a plan for how they will manage the impact of this situation. 

Translated information for NDIS particiapnts about COVID-19: available in 12 languages.


Education: Supporting children and families with home-based learning

For the most recent updates on the Early Childhood Education and Childcare please see here

New resource! Foundation House has produced a new resource: Supporting students from refugee backgrounds living in Melbourne’s public housing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Learning from home: information for parents and carers: The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) developed several resources to support children and families during learning from home in Stage 3 and Stage 4. This resources includes advice, tips and resources to support children as they learn from home.

Also see the Learning from Home webpage on Fuse, which includes resources for  teachers to develop activities for English as an Additional Language (EAL).

Fuse also includes information about e-Safety and privacy for schools and links to other resources including: