The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented public health crisis that we are all dealing with at the moment. Yet some members of our communities find themselves in much more difficult and precarious circumstances. People seeking asylum in their majority are not eligible for Centrelink payments and many do not have access to Medicare. Many are in casual employment and are losing their shifts. LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum and refugees in addition to health and financial stress often cannot rely on their ethnic communities or families for support. Pandemics like this exacerbate already existing inequalities and create even more barriers to access financial, legal, social and health support.
The list of resources below collates support and materials available for LGBTIQ+ people from asylum seeking and refugee backgrounds. It is a living document and will be updated regularly. If you wish to add more materials to the list, email us at queersisterhood [at] gmail.com
People seeking to access service, please contact them directly, as many do not provide face to face appointments but can talk to you over the phone.
1. Up to date information on COVID-19 from the Australian Government https://www.australia.gov.au
2. Translated resources on COVID-19
- Ethnolink Language Services have translated COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources into 50 languages.
- The SBS has launched a Multicultural Coronavirus Portal where communities can access the latest news about the pandemic across 63 languages.
- The Australian Government Department of Health have released translated coronavirus (COVID-19) resources.
- The VIC Government has created coronavirus disease (COVID-19) fact sheets available in 48 languages.
- The NSW Government has created translated factsheets on slowing the spread of COVID-19 and social distancing.
- The WA Government has created COVID-19 translated resources and campaign materials.
- The QLD Government has created translated Queensland Health resources.
3. Asylum and refugee specific resources
- Refugee Council of Australia collated list of resources: https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/covid-19-update-for-refugees-and-people-seeking-asylum/
- Settlement Services International list of resources https://covid19.ssi.org.au
- for LGBTI peer support and referral contact QLife Australia 1800 184 527 (6pm to midnight) and qlife.org.au (3pm – midnight, everyday)
- for counseling about sexual assault, domestic and family violence call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), 24/7 phone and online services;
- for crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14;
- for support and information for women with disabilities download Sunny app;
- for family violence support for LGBTIQ people and families contact the w|Respect After Hours Helpline on 1800 LGBTIQ (1800 542 847), (Mon – Friday 9am – 5pm; Wednesday 5-10pm; Saturday and Sunday 3pm – 10pm)
- for support for children, teenagers and young people up to 25, content Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800;
- for support for men, contact Men’s line on 1300 78 99 78.
- 9 Strategies for Quarantining in a Non-LGBTQ+ Affirming Environment https://www.them.us/story/9-strategies-for-quarantining-in-a-non-lgbtq-accepting-environment?fbclid=IwAR39-Jevqy8GMn_PluSrqE-aEAfuC-Ih5dTXHHli4W-oLJH8njXN2Xm52aM
6. Legal advice on work rights
- NSW: Migrant employment legal service https://mels.org.au/
- VIC: Westjustice https://www.westjustice.org.au/legal-help and Migrant Worker Centre https://www.migrantworkers.org.au/about
7. Seeking financial support
- Thriving Community Partnership have put together a list of resources to seek financial support in this time: https://thriving.org.au/what-we-do/projects/covid-19 (Note that links provided may only be relevant to those having permanent residency)
- For assistance with support to pay your utility bills, contact your Water, Electricity and Gas provider directly to discuss payment and concession options.
- Navigating Centrelink from the Welfare Rights Centre: https://welfarerightscentre.org.au/factsheets
8. Family Violence Support
- w|respect – LGBTIQ family violence service (Victoria)
This service can provide you with support, safety planning, risk assessment, information, referral options, if you are or think you might be, experiencing family or intimate partner violence. The w|respect After Hours Helpline is available on 1800 LGBTIQ (1800 542 847) (Mon – Friday 9am – 5pm; Wednesday 5-10pm; Saturday and Sunday 3pm – 10pm)
- Information for survivors of family violence
- Undercurrent have created a Narrm/Melbourne community resource on Support and Safety Planning During COVID-19. They have also created a version enabling you to enter your local family violence services.
9. For Trans and Gender Diverse people
- Trans and Gender Diverse Health Related Questions Contact Equinox Gender Diverse Health Centrehttps://equinox.org.au
- Navigating COVID-19 and Chest binding by Queer Health Collaboration
- ACON have created a thorough support resource for the trans and gender diverse community
- Resources by Asia Pacific Transgender Network
10. Drug use and COVID-19
11. Renting and COVID-19
12. Materials on sexual intimacy during COVID-19
- By Thorne Harbour Health https://thorneharbour.org/news-events/news/info-sheet-sex-intimacy-and-coronavirus/
13. Materials for people living with HIV
- By Thorne Harbour Health https://thorneharbour.org/news-events/news/update-covid-19-plhiv/
14. Policy and advocacy priorities
- Current advocacy priorities for protecting people seeking asylum and refugees (Refugee Council of Australia)
- Asylum Seekers Resource Centre petition for protection of people seeking asylum: https://www.asrc.org.au/2020/03/19/petition-to-protect-people-seeking-asylum-in-covid-19-crisis/
- Migrant Workers Centre petition on wage subsidy for all workers.
- UNHCR Key Legal Considerations on access to territory for persons in need of international protection in the context of the COVID-19 response https://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?page=search&docid=5e7132834&skip=0&query=covid
- On family violence response by the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA)
15. For fun and good time – Podcasts
- Afroqueer A podcast about queer Africans and African diaspora
- Nancy Stories about modern LGBTIQ life
- Queery: with Cameron Esposito Discussions with stand-up comic, Cameron Esposito, and a wide range of guests
- Disability After Dark: with Andrew Gurza A podcast about disability, sexuality, kink and everything in between!
- Getting Curious: with Jonathan van Ness Queer Eye’s Jonathan van Ness speaks to experts on wide-ranging topics affecting our modern world
- Making Gay History Through a decades old audio archive of rare interviews, this podcast creates intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses of our movement.
- Queerstories – an Australian podcast produced by Maeve Marsden
16. For fun and good time – webseries
- Potluck first lesbian webseries from Aotearoa New Zealand
- Boxed In A webseries about the problems that come from being “boxed in” to a specific identity
- This Just Out: with Liz Feldman A talkshow hosted from a kitchen table with a wide range of queer guests
- Coming In A comedy about a man coming to terms with waking up straight on the morning of his wedding
- You Do You A Buzzfeed webseries about the lives of queer women and their friends
- Unfortunatly Ashly A young woman deals with the difficult and humorous parts of being a millenial
- Her Story The story of a trans woman and the people in her life looking for love
- Control (Kontrola) A story about lesbian life in Poland
- Anne+ A webseries about a young Dutch lesbian’s tumultuous love life