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