COVID-19 response advocacy and information from ACOSS members
Our members across the community sector are working tirelessly to support people through this crisis. Please see below a summary of members’ advocacy and resources in response to the crisis. Many more community sector organisations are supporting people through this crisis. If you would like to add information about the support your organisation is providing, please email [email protected]
The Councils of Social Service Network is advocating for support at the state and territory level. Find out more about advocacy in the ACT, NSW, QLD, WA, NT, SA, VIC and TAS.
If you or someone you know needs support, visit Ask Izzy for information on services, including housing, food, health, counselling, domestic violence and legal services, in your area.
ACOSS has prepared an Employer Resource Kit for Working Arrangements during the Covid-19 pandemic.
ACCAN is providing information and solutions to help communications consumers understand the latest updates from the telco sector and how consumers may be affected.
Adult Learning Australia
Adult Learning Australia is advocating for adult and community education centres to be funded so they can continue to provide education and support to people vulnerable and at risk.
Anglicare Australia member agencies are providing emergency relief to people in need, with some services moving to phone and online appointments. Anglicare Australia is advocating for greater government support for people on low incomes, including for action on rental affordability.
Anti-Poverty Week is developing briefings to inform the policy and advocacy work of community service organisations and the not-for-profit sector. These include a briefing on how to talk about poverty and COVID-19, a briefing on the impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable populations, as well as a briefing on poverty, unemployment and COVID-19.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
ASRC is continuing to provide people seeking asylum with emergency food, shelter and access to medicine and medical care. ASRC are also running a campaign to extend COVID-19 support to protect refugees and people seeking asylum.
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network Ltd (ACCAN)
ACCAN is advocating to provide affordable broadband to all, so that everyone can study, work and access telehealth services from home.
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations
AFAO is working with its member organisations to ensure the needs of people with HIV are met, as well as the needs of LGBTIQ+ people who access member organisations’ services.
Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)
AFDO has created an information hub for people with disability.
Australian Red Cross
The Australian Red Cross is supporting people in isolation; is providing food and essentials to people on low incomes, and has created an information hub with practical tips on how to look after yourself and your community.
Australian Unemployed Workers Union
The AUWU is providing updates on income support via social media and offers a volunteer-run hotline to discuss Centrelink issues.
Better Renting is campaigning to stop evictions nationwide for all renters, including lodgers and boarders.
Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is providing tools and resources that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere to help deal with this stress and anxiety in the uncertainty of COVID-19.
Brotherhood of St. Laurence
The Brotherhood of St. Laurence is adapting and continuing its essential services and offering extra help, such as ensuring people with disability are able to access the supports they need. BSL is also advocating for government support and is responding to government announcements.
Carers Australia has created an information hub for carers, and are advocating for income support for carers.
Centre for Social Impact (CSI)
CSI created a series of fact sheets to address specific social issue areas in the context of COVID-19 and offered free daily webinars with educators, researchers and thought leaders who shared their research, expert insights, innovative thinking, case studies, tools and resources for their network and the broader for-purpose community in Australia.
Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA)
WWDA, PWDA, NEDA, DANA, AFDO and CYDA are advocating to support people with disability.
CHOICE have a range of articles providing money and financial advice in light of COVID-19.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP)
CAP is adapting and continuing its delivery of essential service which is free debt help and financial wellbeing education.
Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC)
Consumer Action Law Centre are calling on banks, telcos, utilities and other essential providers to urgently offer additional support to people in financial stress.
Consumers Health Forum of Australia
Consumers Health Forum of Australia has created an information hub to give people guidance on how to access health care.
COTA Australia, National Seniors Australia, Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and Dementia Australia have banded together, supported by the Commonwealth Government, to create the National COVID Older Persons Information Line. Older people and carers are encouraged to call 1800 171 866 to speak to friendly, specially trained staff from a senior’s advocacy organisation
Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA)
DANA has created an information hub for people with disability.
Early Childhood Australia
Early Childhood Australia has been advocating for funding and regulatory changes that ensure early learning and care will continue during and beyond the crisis.
Economic Justice Australia
Economic Justice Australia provides legal help on Centrelink payments.
Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA)
FRSA have created a searchable directory of family and community services available, including Family and Relationship Services, Family Law services, Children and Parenting services, Adult Specialist Support services and more. FRSA have also created an information hub for families and children.
Financial Counselling Australia (FCA)
FCA coordinate the National Debt Helpline, which links people to qualified financial counsellors that offer free, confidential and independent advice to those in financial hardship. Some examples of what the helpline helps people manage include advice on covering mortgage and rent payments, prioritising payments, early access to superannuation and applying for hardship payment arrangements.
Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA)
FECCA has compiled resources for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Food Bank Australia is providing groceries to charities working in the community.
Good Shepherd provides no interest loans for people on low incomes and is putting in place new measures in its delivery of essential services.
Good Things Foundation
Good Things Foundation has launched a grant to support organisations in their Network to purchase devices to loan to older people in their communities who are not online. Funding and digital inclusion support programs for organisations in the Be Connected Network, including links to digital skills resources, have been collated onto the Be Connected Network page.
Council to Homeless Persons is advocating for support for people without a safe, secure home.
Human Rights Law Centre
Human Rights Law Centre is working to make sure government responses uphold the human rights and democratic freedoms of all people.
Infoxchange run the Ask Izzy mobile website that connects people in need with housing, a meal, money help, family violence support, counselling and much more. It is free and anonymous.
Justice Connect have responded to the crisis with a number of new legal resources.
Mackillop Family Services
Mackillop Family Services have adapted their services in light of COVID-19 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and their families, as well as staff. Mackillop have also compiled resources, activities and tips for self-isolation to support foster carers, families and people with disability during the pandemic.
Mission Australia is continuing and adapting its services and housing to support people experiencing disadvantage and homelessness including children and families, help those escaping domestic and family violence, empower young people facing extra challenges, assist people with mental illness and disability, strengthen community connections and more.
Multiple Sclerosis Australia (MS Australia)
MS Australia has created an information hub for people with MS.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
NACCHO has created an information hub for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC)
NACLC have a directory to help find free legal help.
National Association of People With HIV Australia (NAPWHA)
NAPWHA and AFAO have produced a factsheet for people with HIV.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (NATSILS)
NATSILS are calling for early release from prison and other urgent measures to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from COVID-19 in the justice system.
National Council of Single Mothers and their Children (NCSMC)
The National Council of Single Mothers and their Children is providing an update on government measures to support single mothers during the crisis and a hub for where to get facts and provide support.
National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)
NEDA has created an information hub for multilingual resources.
National LGBTI Health Alliance
The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations and the National LGBTI Health Alliance are working to ensure the health needs of LGBTI people are considered across all responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.
National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA)
The Alliance comprises 44 national organisations committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the 7 million people in rural and remote Australia. Our diverse membership includes representation from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, health professional organisations, health service providers, health educators and students, as well as consumer groups. Well-rounded representation of the rural health sector gives us a united voice to government as we work to achieve ‘healthy and sustainable rural, regional and remote communities’.
People with Disability Australia
People with Disability Australia has created an information hub for people with disability and are advocating for better support for people with disablity.
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
PIAC is continuing to provide legal services, including to people experiencing homelessness and is advocating against disconnections and evictions.
Settlement Services International (SSI)
Settlement Services International has created an information hub for recent migrants.
SNAICC has compiled a number of resources to better understand COVID-19 and help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, carers and families get through this difficult time. SNAICC is developing further targeted resources to add.
Social Ventures Australia
SVA has provided a guide to the key Government opportunities available to not-for-profits and charities during Covid-19.
The Salvation Army Australia
The Salvation Army is supporting people in isolation and providing essential supplies.
The Smith Family
The Smith Family provides educational support for children in families on low incomes including: financial support for school essentials; a team member matched to the family who provides tailored personal support to suit the child’s needs, and extra educational programs provided online in the home to help ensure children don’t fall behind in their learning during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The St Vincent de Paul Society has continued and expanded emergency relief to meet the needs of people in need of support, and have made changes where necessary to services to ensure the safety of the community and their members, volunteers and staff.
The Uniting Church is continuing to provide services in each State and Territory during this pandemic. We have adopted extra measures to keep our residents safe, and to support older people and people with disability living in the community. Our services are providing on the ground relief, particularly for those most in need. UnitingCare Australia is advocating strongly for the best support for people all over Australia.
Volunteering Australia has developed an information hub for people who volunteer or are interested in volunteering.
The Women’s Services Network (WESNET)
WESNET has created a resources page for DFV agencies wanting to use technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)
WWDA have created a webpage to provide women with disability information resources.