This page is designed to inform and support you, boost your mental and physical wellbeing, and keep you safe and supported during this challenging time of coronavirus (COVID-19). While a lot of this information is general in nature, some of this information is directed towards people living on the Border and in North East Victoria.

With more people staying at home to reduce the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be an increased risk for women and children experiencing family violence or abuse—to find out more, please visit our COVID-19 and family violence webpage.

If you need help with accessing food and essential supplies, there are a number of options either via an emergency relief package or in store—please visit our Emergency relief section below.

If you need financial relief, visit our Financial assistance and economic response section below.

If you need someone to talk to, call:

  • HeadtoHelp on 1800 595 212, 8.30 am and 5 pm (Mon–Fri), for free mental health and wellbeing support (no referral required) from mental health clinicians. There are 15 HeadtoHelp hubs across Victoria and callers will be directed to their closest hub, or the closest appropriate service. In the Murray PHN region, HeadtoHelp hubs are provided by Bendigo Community Health Services, and Gateway Health in Wodonga.  
  • Partners in Wellbeing telephone hotline on 1300 375 330, 9 am – 10 pm (Mon–Fri) (Vic only). This free phone service offers one-on-one support to help you improve your wellbeing, develop strategies to cope and provide emotional support when and as you need it during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Additional support for business owners is now available through access to business advisors and financial counsellors. Regional Victorians can find out more here
  • Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service on 1800 512 348, where you can access trained counsellors 24/7.
  • Lifeline on 131 114—Lifeline provides 24- hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Emergency Assistance and Support—This Australian Government webpage lists over-the-phone support and information during the coronavirus pandemic including the National Coronavirus Line, mental health, safety & support, support for people living with a disability, support for individuals and households, financial support, business support, and help for parents and carers.

Get the facts

Key messages for the community
Local information
Latest information and advice
Prevention
PPE
COVID-19 vaccines
COVID-19 Mythbusting
Workforce support
Telehealth
Webinars and training related to COVID-19
Webinars and training related to COVID-19 vaccinations
Podcasts
Community resilience and recovery
Evidence and Research

Information and support

People with existing health conditions
Mothers, pregnancy and babies
Children
Young people
Parents and carers
Professionals working with children or young people
Women
Older people
People who identify as LGBTIQ+
People with disabilities
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Mental and physical wellbeing

Social connection
Global community-support activities
Keeping healthy and coronavirus FAQs
Keeping active
Fun and education
Remote learning
Protecting yourself online
Creative expression
Mental health and emotional wellbeing
Alcohol and other drugs
Loss and grief

Keeping safe and supported

Managing COVID-19 at home
Emergency relief
Financial assistance and economic response
Housing issues
Finding or returning to work
Legal and consumer rights
Family violence

Get the facts

Key messages for the community

The following key messages are provided by the Victorian Government (as of 16 August 2020):

  • Stay home and get tested if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) no matter how mild. Go home straight after your test and self-isolate while you wait for the results. Go to the DHHS testing map for locations.
  • Wear a face mask or covering when you leave home, unless a lawful exception applies.
  • This is a difficult and uncertain time for all, so support is vital and available. For more information on managing stress and support options, call the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Services on 1800 512 348.
  • Financial support is available—visit our Financial assistance and economic response section.
  • For information and advice about Victoria’s current restriction levels, visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website.
  • The ‘Partners in Wellbeing’ hotline has extended their operating hours to 10 pm on weekdays. The hotline number is 1300 375 330. See further details at the top of this page.
  • A translated fact sheet on how to ‘Reduce your risk of coronavirus (COVID-19)’, and a video showing ‘how to safely wear a mask’, are available—see the first dot point in our Culturally and linguistically diverse communities section.

Local information

  • The following information is from Murray PHN as well as health services and councils in the local government areas of Albury, Indigo, Towong and Wodonga.
  • For information from health services and councils in the local government areas of Alpine, Benalla, Mansfield and Wangaratta, please visit the the Central Hume PCP website—COVID-19.
  • Various agencies across Albury-Wodonga remain open and are supplying food parcels and/or prepared meals for community members in need. A list of such agencies, including contact details and hours of operation, is provided in the Food Access guides for Albury Wodonga and Wangaratta on Gateway Health‘s COVID-19 page.

COVID-19 assessment and respiratory clinics

If you suspect you may have coronavirus, you can:

  • call the Victorian Government coronavirus hotline for advice on 1800 675 398
  • visit the Getting tested page on the Department of Health and Human Services website for step-by-step advice, and information on taking the test, where to get tested, getting your results, and how vulnerable Victorians can get tested at home.
  • attend a local testing clinic below.

Symptoms that should prompt people to get tested are fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss or change in sense of smell or taste. Even the most mild of symptoms could be a sign of coronavirus.

Respiratory clinics

The Federal Government has established 100 GP respiratory clinics across Australia to clinically assess people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms. If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can contact a clinic to be assessed and get clinical advice.

Victorian Government funded clinics

  • In the Wodonga area, you can get tested at Albury Wodonga Health, Wodonga, which operates a drive-through clinic at 69 Vermont St. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 8 am – 4.30 pm and Saturday, 8 am – 4 pm. No appointment required.
  • Additional clinics are located in many regional centres and towns across North East Victoria. For details of these clinics, visit the Murray PHN website.

Border regions

  • In the Albury area, you can get tested at Lavington Hall on the corner of Urana Rd and Hague St, Albury. The clinic operates Monday to Thursday, 9 am – 2 pm,  and Sunday, 9 am – 2 pm. For earlier morning appointments, and testing on Friday and Saturday, go to the Albury Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology drive-through clinic at Albury Showground.
  • Additional testing clinics are located across the Riverina—visit the Murrumbidgee Local Health District website.

COVID-19 updates

For the latest COVID-19 updates from health services or councils, please visit the websites or Facebook pages listed below.

Health services

Councils

Latest information and advice

Department of Health and Human Services (Victorian Government)

The Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria) has an updated webpage with facts about coronavirus (COVID-19), symptoms, updates, resources and advice for the public, health professionals, education services and the media. Please click on the below links for information and advice on the coronavirus:

Download: Self Assessment for risk of coronavirus

Department of Health (Australian Government)

The Department of Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. The department is providing daily updates and information, answering questions about the latest news, providing current facts and figures, travel advice, key contact and phone numbers.

For information and advice on the coronavirus, please see the Department of Health section on the Central Hume Primary Care Partnership (Central Hume PCP) website—COVID-19.

World Health Organisation (WHO)

The World Health Organisation is continuously monitoring and responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

For information and advice on the coronavirus, please see the Central Hume PCP website—World Health Organisation.

Murray Primary Health Network (Murray PHN)

To help primary health care providers in our region, Murray Primary Health Network has collated a range of resources, which can be viewed on their website—COVID-19 links. While this information is regularly updated, the most timely advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the official government websites.

Prevention

Prevention is so important to slowing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). There have been a number of video resources launched to inform all Australians about COVID-19. The aim of the video resources is to reduce the risk to individuals and families by enabling them to make informed decisions and to take up health recommendations. To access the videos, please visit the Central Hume PCP website—COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Department of Health and Human Services (Victorian Government)

Health workers

Community service workers

Visit the Community services – all sector – coronavirus (COVID-19) page to receive the latest advice and information including:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) for community service providers

  • eLearning modules for Community Services WorkersThe department has developed three free eLearning modules in collaboration with Anglicare Victoria and Eve Learning for the community services sector. The topics are:
    • COVID-safe for Residential Carers
    • PPE for Community Workers
    • Use of P2/N95 masks

    The three modules take about 20 minutes each to complete. They give practical guidance on how to use PPE (including face masks) correctly and reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

COVID-19 vaccines

Information

Department of Health (Victorian Government)

The Victorian Department of Health has a COVID-19 vaccines webpage with information about vaccines for COVID-19. The rollout of Australia’s vaccine program began in Victoria on 22 February 2021. Work is underway to ensure the COVID-19 vaccines are made available to everyone who wants to get vaccinated, when it becomes available.

  • What you need to know
  • Information for COVID-19 vaccine providers
  • Development of the COVID-19 vaccines and approval process
  • Pregnancy and breastfeedingCOVID-19 vaccine
  • Information hubcoronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

Department of Health (Australian Government)

The Australian Department of Health has a COVID-19 vaccines webpage with news and information for Australians about the development, approval process and plans for COVID-19 vaccines:

Podcasts

  • Should you try to convince your (unsure) friends to get vaccinated? (Coronacast episode, 10 February 2021). Join Professor Julie Leask, who’s a social scientist at the University of Sydney who specialises in vaccination, to find out how we can make sense of the rollercoaster that is waiting for a vaccine rollout, what sources to trust and should you try to convince your vaccine hesitant friend to get vaccinated?

COVID-19 Mythbusting

  • COVID-19 Mythbusting—You might have seen information on social media about cures and treatments for coronavirus. A lot of it is not true. Get the right information on this Australian Government webpage.
  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Mythbusters—We are all being exposed to a huge amount of COVID-19 information on a daily basis, and not all of it is reliable. Here are some tips from the World Health Organization (WHO) for telling the difference and stopping the spread of misinformation.
  • How to report misinformation online—As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we face the challenge of an overabundance of information related to the virus. Some of this information may be false and potentially harmful. Inaccurate information spreads widely and at speed, making it more difficult for the public to identify verified facts and advice from trusted sources, such as their local health authority or WHO. However, everyone can help to stop the spread. If you see content online that you believe to be false or misleading, you can report it to the hosting social media platform—see this WHO page for instructions on how to do it.

Podcasts

  • Can we vaccinate people against falling for vaccine lies? (Coronacast episode, 8 February 2021). Fact-based debunking is often a tougher sell than a wild conspiracy theory. Now experts are trying a different approach: they’ve come up with a game where you play the role of a fake-news generator in an attempt to get people to recognise misinformation when they see it. Can we use games and similar techniques to vaccinate people against falling for vaccine lies?

Games

  • Challenge yourself and others you know to the five-minute online game called GO VIRAL! that helps protect you against COVID-19 misinformation. You’ll learn about some of the most common strategies used to spread false and misleading information about the virus. 

Workforce support

  • Download Department of Health and Human Services promotional material for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This includes digital and printable resources. Posters are perfect for displaying in workplaces and community centres.
  • View the Victorian Government’s Health Services Pandemic Plan.
  • Let FairWork give you the facts on Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws.
  • To access a comprehensive list of workforce supports, please visit the Hume Whittlesea Primary Care Partnership (HWPCP) website—COVID-19 Resources.

Working from home

  • For tips and ideas for working from home, please check out these tip sheets on the Outer East Primary Care Partnership (OEPCP) websiteWorking from home, and Working From Home with Kids.
  • Working without wincingWorking from home on a daily basis has become a new normal for many of us during the pandemic. Jean Hailes physiotherapist Amy Steventon offers her advice on making sure you’re perfectly positioned to do it in comfort (8 April 2020).
  • Ergonomics for working from home—one-page fact sheet (Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, updated April 2020).
  • Workplace workouts—A two-page fact sheet with a series of nine easy stretches and exercises to keep stiffness and soreness at bay during your working day. Choose a few to do a few times each day (Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, updated April 2020).
  • Eating well when working from home—one-page fact sheet from Central West Gippsland Primary Care Partnership and partners

Media content

Workplace safety

Online security and web conferencing

  • Cyber security is essential when preparing for COVID-19, (Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online, 13 March 2020). Remote work arrangements can have security implications and cybercriminals may attempt to take advantage of this. The cyber risks of flexible work arrangements could include malware infection, unauthorised access, data security, and insecure devices used by staff. It’s important that businesses and their staff ensure that remote access to business networks is secure so they aren’t vulnerable and business information isn’t exposed.
  • Web Conferencing Security (Australian Cyber Security Centre, 2 April 2020). Web conferencing solutions (also commonly referred to as online collaboration tools) often provide audio/video conferencing, real-time chat, desktop sharing and file transfer capabilities. As we increasingly use web conferencing to keep in touch while working from home, it is important to ensure that this is done securely without introducing unnecessary privacy, security and legal risks. This document provides guidance on both how to select a web conferencing solution and how to use it securely.

  • The reason Zoom calls drain your energyVideo chat is helping us stay employed and connected. But what makes it so tiringand how can we reduce ‘Zoom fatigue’? (BBC Remote Control, 23 April 2020)

Telehealth

Media articles

For healthcare providers

  • Telehealth guidance for practitioners—Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards have developed information that outlines their expectations of how registered health practitioners will use telehealth in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (page reviewed 16 April 2020).
  • Healthdirect Video Call—Video Call has been developed by Healthdirect Australia to make it easy for healthcare providers to offer their services via video consultation.

Webinars and training related to COVID-19

Upcoming webinars and training

  • Register for COVID-19 infection control training for health care workers across care settings from the Australian Government Department of Health. This 30-minute online training module is for health care workers in all settings. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care also has e-learning modules on the principles of infection prevention and control in Australian healthcare settings. More information is available on the commission’s website.
  • Primary Care Diabetes Webinar Series—Healthcare professionals are invited to a series of lunchtime webinars organised by the National Association of Diabetes Centres in partnership with the Primary Care Diabetes Society of Australia. Tune in live every Thursday from 12.30 to 1.15 pm. These are free to join and cover a variety of topics and a range of speakers. Certificates will be available as evidence of Continuing Professional Development. Register for upcoming webinars here.

Recorded webinars

For webinars relevant to professionals supporting children or young people, please visit our Professionals working with children or young people section.

  • Economics and Beyond—a webinar presented as part of the Women at the Edge series. How has the pandemic affected the gender gap in our economy? And what are the flow-on effects in terms of women’s housing security and health? The panel discussion features Leanne Miller, Angela Jackson, Rowan O’Hagan and host Gabrielle Chan—see event details and speaker bios. This online event was held in partnership between the Wheeler Centre and Women’s Health Goulburn North East on 25 November 2020.
  • The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has recorded more than ten COVID-19 Special Edition Webinars—we have provided a list in the Older people section (look under the heading ‘Recorded webinars’). You can access these webinars on OPAN’s website.
  • A Conversation HourUpper Hume Primary Care Partnership has now completed its inaugural season of these weekly online discussions, which brought together people from across the Ovens Murray and beyond to explore ideas that matter. Hosted by Dr Kathleen Brasher, each discussion featured two or more guest speakers with input invited from participants via chat or video/audio. This series began in late April and continued until the end of August 2020, spanning 18 sessions. Visit our ‘A Conversation Hour’ webpage to access the audio recordings of most of the sessions, along with details of resources mentioned in each session. 
  • Vic Health online series: ‘Life and Health Re-imagined’—Held during June and July 2020, this five-part series explored how we can all create a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable community—for everyone. Illustrative summaries, papers and recordings of these online events are available online.
  • Primary Care Diabetes Webinar Series—Webinars on a variety of topics, and featuring a range of speakers, have been held for healthcare professionals since August. This series has been organised by the National Association of Diabetes Centres in partnership with the Primary Care Diabetes Society of Australia. Watch the replay of past webinars here.
  • Free Drought and Wellbeing Webinars: Tune In and Tune Up—Held between June and August 2020, this five-part series of free webinars from Australian Red Cross explored drought and wellbeing. Expert speakers shared their insights to enable participants to better support their communities, themselves and their loved ones in these tough times.
    • Maintaining wellbeing through drought & prolonged stress—Gain a greater understanding of the effects and signs of prolonged stress, the science behind stress and practical ways to maintain wellbeing, and support your community and loved ones. Speaker: Dr David Younger
    • The drought cycle; adaptation and strengthening resilience—Hear about the drought cycle, the cumulative challenges communities often face and key considerations at different stages of the drought cycle. Learn a bit about the psychology around adaptation in the face of this long-term stress and how to strengthen resilience and manage wellbeing through tough times. Speakers: Dr Jacki Schirmer and Dr David Younger
    • Wellbeing after the rains—Hear from the Bureau of Meteorology on winter weather predictions and what rain means for the drought. Hear what the research says about wellbeing when communities are seen to be in drought recovery, strategies to help with things beyond your control and how to make the most of every day. Speakers: Dr Lynette Bettio, Dr Jacki Schirmer and Dr Kate Gunn
    • Family wellbeing in the face of ongoing stress—Hear what the research tells us about adult relationships, family roles and children’s experience through droughts, alongside practical tips on how to support children as well as adult relationships. Speakers: Dr Margaret Alston, Stephanie Schmidt and Dr Margaret Nixon
    • Preparing for tough times—Listen to an introduction on preparedness in the drought space and the importance of preparing the mind for challenging times. The webinar includes tools and tips to support drought resilience and preparedness. Speakers: Dr Jacki Schirmer, Dr Mel Taylor and Shannon McCormack.
  • Resilience webinar series (Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority)—Five free 45-minute webinars on resilience thinking held during May and June 2020. Learn how communities and organisations can prepare and manage change (including shocks and disasters), while creating opportunities for a positive future. Webinar presenter Paul Ryan shares the latest in resilience thinking from across the globe and practical examples from our own backyard. Each webinar session builds on the previous one although you can just watch the sessions that interest you most.

  • Australian Red Cross webinar: Bushfire recovery during COVID-19: Looking after yourself, family, friends and community—Hear disaster expert Dr Rob Gordon talk about how we recover from bushfire while responding to COVID-19. Hear him discuss what to expect in the longer term and answer questions (7 April 2020).
  • COVID-19 update including Albury Wodonga Health—An update from AWH to general practice staff on COVID-19, including the Albury Wodonga Health response (1 April 2020 recording). Presented by Dr Chi Li, Palliative Care Physician; Dr Justin Jackson, Infectious Disease Specialist; and Janet Chapman, Executive Director Regional Partnerships & Planning, Albury Wodonga Health
  • COVID-19 response update for Mental Health Care Practitioners – 1 April—This webinar is part of a series, hosted by Professor Michael Kidd AM, to update primary care workers on the COVID-19 response. Professor Kidd was joined by CEO of the National Mental Health Commission Christine Morgan, and First Assistant Secretary in the Mental Health Division Mr Mark Roddam.

Webinars and training related to COVID-19 vaccinations

Upcoming webinars and training

COVID-19 vaccines and children 5-11 years of age: What you need to know
Tue 18 Jan 2022, 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm AEDT
Parents or guardians who would like to find out more about COVID-19 vaccination for 5–11 year olds can register for a free webinar with Dr Anita Munoz and Associate Professor Margie Danchin, who will discuss the importance of vaccination for this age group.

Topics will include:

  • vaccine safety and side effects for children aged 5–11 years
  • building vaccine confidence with children aged 5–11 years
  • vaccination for children with special needs
  • strategies to manage challenging immunisation encounters.
Hosted by Victoria’s Department of Health, this webinar is for parents, family members and care givers; healthcare workers; and childcare workers and educators. After the presentation, the experts will be able to answer your questions. Register now!

Recorded webinars

  • Vaccinating Victoria—Vax facts. What we’re learning from diverse Victorian communities. As the vaccination rollout ramps up, the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) is running regular freely available sessions to share significant program updates and showcase best practice responses in community engagement and vaccine communications from across the community sector. Held on 7 September 2021, the session was hosted by VCOSS CEO Emma King and included feature presentations from:
    • Dr Nadia Chaves and Jayne Nelson (C-19 Network). The C-19 Network is a partnership between five community health organisations—cohealth, DPV health, IPC health, EACH and Star Health. These organisations have combined their capacity and capabilities to scale COVID-19 testing and vaccination services to communities across Melbourne including people living in public housing, people who are homeless and people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.
    • Jill Gillagher OA (Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc). Jill will discuss the great success of the COVID vaccine rollout for Aboriginal people across Victoria, including what different forms of outreach and engagement have been used. This session will reflect on lessons for other at-risk populations/communities.You can access this webinar and a summary report of the session on VCOSS’ website (scroll to top of page).

Podcasts

  • Coronacast is a podcast that helps to answer your questions about coronavirus or COVID19. Dr Norman Swan, presenter of the Health Report on ABC Radio National, and science journalistCoronacast Tegan Taylor break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through an epidemic. Podcasts are about 10 minutes in length. Listen for free via the ABC website or subscribe to Coronacast in your favourite podcast app.
  • Western Health, which provides services to the western region of Melbourne, has been producing two podcast series:
    • The Unifying Call—Inspiring courage and kindness in the face of COVID. Courage, leadership and clinical expertise are needed more than ever in the fight against COVID-19. This podcast shares the stories and voices of Western Health hospital clinicians and leaders as they strive to combat the pandemic in our major hospitals.
    • Kindness Matters—Reflections on connection, compassion and friendship. Connection to our work, colleagues, family and friends is more important than ever. In this podcast, hear personal reflections from the people at Western Health as they navigate working in the demanding hospital environment. You’ll also hear the voices of the important people in their lives outside work.

In Good Health—Hosted by medical doctor, public health expert, VicHealth CEO and foodie Dr Sandro Demaio, this podcast takes a look at the science and research behind today’s buzzwords, current trends and common myths around health and wellbeing. Follow Dr Sandro as he speaks to community heroes, health specialists, and everyday humans about what it means to eat well, be active and stay socially connected.

  • Season 1: All about food
  • Season 2: Life during COVID-19
  • Season 3: A new health beginning

Community resilience and recovery

Media articles

Evidence and research

  • COVID-19 Research—Find COVID-19 studies in Australia or around the world via the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. This taskforce brings together the peak health professional bodies across Australia whose members are providing clinical care to people with COVID-19. They are undertaking continuous evidence surveillance to identify and rapidly synthesise emerging research in order to provide national, evidence-based guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19. The guidelines address questions that are specific to managing COVID-19 and cover the full disease course across mild, moderate, severe and critical illness. These are ‘living’ guidelines, updated with new research in near real-time in order to give reliable, up-to-the minute advice to clinicians providing frontline care.
  • Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Evidence Briefs provide the best available evidence on a range of topics related to COVID-19 including Personal Protective Equipment, and Protecting Healthcare Workers from Infection.
  • To access early research and an Editorial from the Health Promotion Journal of Australia, please visit the HWPCP website—COVID-19 Resources.

Information and support

People with existing health conditions

  • Experts worried people delaying medical tests due to coronavirus will create ‘tidal wave’ of diagnoses (ABC News, 14 May 2020)
  • Media release from Deakin University, 12 May 2020: Reluctant Australians should seek health care now as COVID-19 restrictions ease
  • Media release from Greg Hunt MP, 8 April 2020: ‘Looking after people with existing health conditions during COVID-19‘. Key messages:
    • If you have a chronic health condition, continue to see your GP or specialist about the management of your condition.
    • If you have a regular follow-up appointment booked with your doctor, please contact your medical practice to see if this can be carried out using a telehealth consultation or if you need to see your doctor for a face-to-face consultation.
    • If you are taking regular medication for management of a chronic condition, continue to take your medication.
    • PBS medicines can now be delivered to your home from your community pharmacy of your choice through the Australian Government “COVID-19 Home Medicines Service” at no additional cost.
    • Consider getting your flu vaccine over the coming weeks to protect you against the flu. April and May is the best time to get a flu vaccine—contact your doctor or community pharmacy to book an appointment.
    • If you have regular blood tests as part of the management of your chronic health condition, please continue to have your blood tests done.

Specific health conditions

  • For COVID-19 information regarding diabetes, heart disease, dementia, asthma, arthritis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and cancer, please visit the HWPCP website—COVID-19 Resources.
  • For information and support in relation to dementia, please see our section on Older people.

Mothers, pregnancy and babies

For messages from peak bodies, articles and audio information, please visit the HWPCP website—COVID-19 Resources.

Children

Information

With all the communications about COVID-19, it’s important to consider the impact on children who have already had a confusing and traumatic start to 2020. These are some great resources to use to explain and discuss with children and to share with parents.

Numerous children’s books have been published to teach children about coronavirus and encourage them to protect themselves and others. Many have been written and illustrated in collaboration between public health organisations, doctors and storytellers. These books explore practical ways young children can avoid infection and transmission, and provide strategies parents can use to help children cope with anxiety. The best of these books address children not just as people who might fall ill, but as active agents in the fight against COVID-19. Check out the top picks in this article in the Conversation (26 May 2020): P is for Pandemic: kids’ books about coronavirus.

For a frequently updated list of children’s books on the pandemic, visit the New York School Library System’s COVID-19 page.

  • Play School: Hello Friends!—In this COVID-19 special episode of Play School (18 minutes), Emma and Matt help explain some of the COVIBOOK for young childrenbig questions around coronavirus, from staying at home to washing your hands. You can also play ‘Wash Your Hands’ as a separate video (3 minutes). Access more resources to help support children through the COVID-19 crisis via ABC Kids Early Education articles.
  • Play School: Mindfully Me—In this special episode of Play School, the presenters make a Mindfulness Cubby, blow bubbles, do some painting and focus on the small things. You’ll find information about everything featured in the Mindfully Me special in the Notes for Educators and Families.

  • Coronavirus info for young children—#COVIBOOK is a short book, saved as a PDF, to support and reassure children under the age of seven regarding COVID-19. According to the author, Manuela Molina, this book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. Available in 25 languages including English.
  • Coronavirus: A book for children—A free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. This digital book is about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. It answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds. The book has had expert input and is free for anyone to read on screen or print out.
  • A comic exploring the new coronavirus—National Public Radio (US)
  • Your Coronavirus Questions Answered!—Kids Helpline counsellors answer kids’ questions (2-minute video)
  • Coronacast—two podcast episodes answer kids’ questions: ‘Are we all going to die?’ We answer kids’ questions! (27 March 2020) and ‘How does coronavirus go into my body?’ We answer more kids’ questions! (4 April 2020)
  • Squiz Kids: Coronavirus Explained‘—In this special 10-minute episode of the Squiz Kids podcast, Dr Ginni Mansberg answers kids’ questions about COVID-19, or the Coronavirus—suitable for 8–12 year olds.Coronavirus: A book for children
  • If someone touches my toy, can I get coronavirus?‘—In this 55-minute episode of ABC Radio’s The Conversation Hour, Dr Norman Swan and ABC ME’s Pip Rasmussen answer kids’ questions about coronavirus.
  • ABC’s Behind the News (BTN) episodes are a great source of age-appropriate information aimed at upper primary and lower secondary students with the hope of helping them understand issues and events outside their own lives. For some positive coronavirus stories from around the world, check out Coronavirus Good News. One particular BTN episode addresses coronavirus mental health (4 minutes).
  • Are you worried about novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?—Kids Helpline
  • The ultimate kids’ guide to the new coronavirus‘—This illustrated online article from Live Science includes embedded links to more articles, infographics and videos—suitable for upper primary or secondary school aged children.

Support services

  • Kids Helpline is open to answer calls, emails or WebChat from kids, teens and young adults as well as parents and schools. Phone 1800 55 1800. Online resources include:

Fun and education, and creative expression

Check out some great options:

  • For some of the best music, entertainment, nature and art Victoria has to offer—online, visit Victoria Together. Categories include Children, Music, Sport and exercise, Older Victorians, Regional communities, Wellbeing, Food and drink, Film and cinema, Arts, exhibitions and design, Games, Comedy, Theatre and dance, and Science and nature.
  • For performances, podcasts, books and stories via apps and online hubs, online book readings by authors of children’s books, and online educational fun, see our Fun and Education section
  • Interested in visual art and music? See our Creative expression section.

For tips and ideas for at home, please check out these tip sheets on the OEPCP websiteSchool Holiday Checklist, and School Holidays with the kids.

Young people

Information

With COVID-19 creating feelings of uncertainty within the community, supporting young people in challenging times such as these is crucial. Online resources include:

Digital tools for young people

  • eheadspace—free online support and counselling to young people aged 12–25 and their families and friends. Connect with a clinician one-on-one. (Note: Due to COVID-19 their services are via chat and email rather than phone.) Use their messenger app to chat live with a clinician, or email a clinician.

  • Bite Back—online space to help young people build resilience in an interactive environment. Encourage your young person to take the six-week Mental Fitness Challenge to reduce stress, improve focus and expand potential (Black Dog Institute)

  • iBobbly—free app to build good mental health and wellbeing in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Headspace—self-guided meditation app
  • MOST (moderated online social therapy)—digital therapy mixed with face-to-face care that creates a mental health program for a young person. It’s designed to support a young person while on a waitlist for face-to-face care, and while getting that care at a participating youth mental health service.

Support services

Young people who feel stressed, worried or anxious can make contact with the following services:

  • headspace Albury Wodonga will now be delivering individual services to young people (aged 12 to 25) via phone and online options, such as video conferencing, rather than in person—phone (02) 6055 9555.
  • Kids Helpline is open to answer calls, emails or WebChat from kids, teens and young adults as well as parents and schools. Phone 1800 55 1800.
  • Reachout—mental health service for young people and parents with apps and links to other sites

Fun and education, and creative expression

Bored? Need some light relief? Check out some great options:

Parents and carers

The focus of this section is on how to talk to kids about coronavirus and guide your family through it. For guidance and support on remote learning, please visit our section on Remote learning. Parenting in the time of COVID-19

  • Kids, Coping and COVID19!—This article by Laura Stone, ABC Kids Early Childhood Education Producer (ABC Kids Listen, 1 April 2020) explores some of the changes and challenges faced by young families during the COVID-19 crisis. It also shares practical tips from early education and awesome audio suggestions from ABC Kids Listen—ideas to make home life a little easier for one and all!
  • Information sheet: Mental health and coronavirus (COVID-19) information for parents and families (Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, 25 March 2020)
  • Parenting in the time of COVID-19 (World Health Organization)—To help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of confinement, these six one-page tips for parents cover planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19.
  • ‘Stupid coronavirus!’ In uncertain times, we can help children through mindfulness and play—The Conversation, 3 April 2020. Read the article for three mindfulness activities for kids: Belly breathing with a ‘buddy’, ‘Robot’ child, and a mindful walk or ‘sensory countdown’.

Podcasts

Webinars and videos

  • Talking to kids about coronavirusMany parents are anxious, scared and stressed out about the future and what’s going to happen. Parenting author and educator Maggie Dent steers you through how you can talk to your children about it (6-minute video).
  • Tips to help families cope during lockdown—Hosted by the University of Melbourne, this webinar (40 minutes + questions) provides insights and tips for families and allied health professionals who provide services to families (30 August 2021). COVID-19 has forced many families to adapt to a new reality of remote learning, working from home, cancellation of social activities and more time spent with family members which can raise the emotional temperature for everyone. There is no doubt lockdowns are a stressful time for families; however, there are also many things we can do to support our wellbeing during these times. Hosted by Professor Jane Gunn, the panel of health and wellbeing experts along with community members, provided insights and tips on how families can work together to manage through lockdowns including the role parents can play, maintaining hope, and tips to improve motivation for young people. Watch the webinar to pick up tips to cope during lockdowns.

Support services

  • Reachout—mental health service for young people and parents with apps and links to other sites
  • Butterfly and Eating Disorders Victoria—eating disorder support
  • 1800Respect—family violence support
  • The Brave Program—online program for the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent anxiety
  • Moodgym—program designed to help identify emotions like anxiety and depression and learn skills to cope with them
  • MOST (moderated online social therapy)—digital therapy mixed with face-to-face care that creates a mental health program for a young person. It’s designed to support a young person while on a waitlist for face-to-face care, and while getting that care at a participating youth mental health service.

Programs

Parenting After Bushfires flyer

  • The following programs are offered by Gateway Health in north-east Victoria:
    • Parent and Relationship Education programs are underway in 2021—see Term 3 schedule. Referral is through intake at both the Wodonga and Wangaratta sites. They are offering a Tuning into Kids group in Wangaratta in Term 3 at the Library, and a Mother Goose program in Tallangatta for the first time.
    • Positive Parenting Telephone Service—download brochure.
    • Parenting After Bushfires—free program for families that have experienced the trauma of bushfires. Offered by Gateway Health, it is designed to help parents to support children through the aftermath of such a devastating event. Delivered by telephone, the program consists of four one-hour sessions and can be tailored to meet the needs of individual families with additional sessions as required. Download flyer. For more information or to enrol, contact the Positive Parenting Telephone Service at Gateway Health on 1800 880 660.

Professionals working with children or young people

  • For guidance and support on remote learning, please visit our section on Remote learning
  • For webinars relevant to professionals working with children or young people, please visit our Webinars section.
  • Coronavirus resources for schools & young people (Black Dog Institute)

  • Training and resources for clinicians responding to the COVID-19 outbreak—Learn more about topics such as anxiety and e-health from Orygen, the world’s leading youth mental health research and knowledge translation organisation

  • The What’s Okay at Home website is a resource for children and young people, and their adult allies, to help understand what family violence is, why it happens, how to recognise it and stay safe, and how to help others who are experiencing it. The website includes a tool that young people can use to develop their own safety plan.

Recorded webinars

  • Tips to help families cope during lockdown—Hosted by the University of Melbourne, this webinar (40 minutes + questions) provides insights and tips for families and allied health professionals who provide services to families (30 August 2021). COVID-19 has forced many families to adapt to a new reality of remote learning, working from home, cancellation of social activities and more time spent with family members which can raise the emotional temperature for everyone. There is no doubt lockdowns are a stressful time for families; however, there are also many things we can do to support our wellbeing during these times. Hosted by Professor Jane Gunn, the panel of health and wellbeing experts along with community members, provided insights and tips on how families can work together to manage through lockdowns including the role parents can play, maintaining hope, and tips to improve motivation for young people. Watch the webinar to pick up tips to cope during lockdowns.
  • Orygen: Harnessing digital technology to improve youth mental health care—Presented by Orygen and co-hosted with the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, the webinar provides insights into the evidence behind digital mental health technologies, ways consumers and youth mental health workers can navigate and use existing technologies, and an overview of the recently announced Orygen Digital platforms (17 July 2020).
  • Mental Health Professionals’ Network: Working with children and families during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak—Free practitioner webinar featuring an interdisciplinary panel of experts. Facilitated by Professor Stephen Trumble, the panel discussion explores and identifies challenges and treatment opportunities for children and families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (30 April 2020).
  • Australian Red Cross webinar: Supporting children and young people to recover from disasters—Children and young people experience disasters differently and many parents and carers worry about how to support them as they recover. Psychologist Lyn Page talks about how people can support children and young people as they recover from the bushfires while also responding to COVID-19 (20-22 April 2020).

Women

Recent articles on the gendered impact of the COVID-19 outbreak:

Gender & Disaster Pod (GAD Pod) was established to promote an understanding of the role played by gender in survivor responses to natural disaster, and to embed these insights into emergency management practice. It is an initiative of Women’s Health Goulburn North East and Women’s Health In the North—in partnership with the Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative.

Older people

Information and support

  • Create a plan for COVID-19 for you or someone you are caring for

    Create a plan for COVID-19 – For you or someone you are caring for—We know COVID-19 is here to stay. As restrictions ease, the virus will make its way across the region. There are things you can do to be COVID-safe. However, some of us will still get COVID-19. Created by Age-friendly North East Victoria, this information sheet offers some guidance to help you create a plan if you or someone you live with gets COVID-19. To view or download the four-page information sheet, click here.

  • Older people and seniors—Resources on coronavirus (COVID-19) for older people, their family, friends and carers. Topics on this Victorian government webpage include staying safe, keeping well, staying connected, getting support at home, support for carers, FAQs, contact phone numbers, and more information.

  • New hotline for older Australians during COVID-19 pandemic launched—A new COVID-19 hotline will help older Australians get the critical information they need to stay healthy and safe during the pandemic, providing an accessible one-stop source for personal support, questions and up-to-date guidelines. Older people and carers are encouraged to call 1800 171 866 to speak to specially trained staff from a senior’s advocacy organisation.

Information and support: CALD communities

  • New Multilingual Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line—This support line provides information about COVID-19 and can support older people to connect with aged care services, dementia care and other support services. It is available in Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, Mandarin and Vietnamese. All calls are free. Download brochures in English and in the six languages from here. Older people, their families and carers who would like information and support are encouraged to contact the support line Monday to Friday between 2 pm and 5 pm Melbourne time (except public holidays) on:
    • 1800 549 844Italian
    • 1800 549 845Greek
    • 1800 549 846Vietnamese
    • 1800 549 847Mandarin
    • 1800 549 848Cantonese
    • 1800 549 849Arabic
  • Looking for COVID-19 resources and information in languages other than English to keep older people from CALD communities informed? Head to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources page of the PICAC Alliance for official sources.

Information and support: Dementia

Digital tools for older people

  • eSafety’s Be Connected website has great resources designed to help older Australians develop digital and online skills

Recorded webinars

  • The Older Persons Advocacy Network has recorded more than ten COVID-19 Special Edition Webinars. See their website for free webinars on the following topics:
    • Keeping Well at Home During COVID-19 (16 September 2020)
    • COVID-19: Things to consider if you’re thinking about moving out of an aged care home (19 August 2020)

    • Home Care support for older people & their carers during COVID-19 (5 August 2020)

    • Caring for people with dementia during COVID-19 restrictions (22 July 2020)
    • COVID-19: Getting back into your community safely (13 July 2020)
    • Homelessness and Aged Care during COVID-19 (8 July 2020)
    • Culturally Safe & Informed Aged Care Support During COVID-19 (24 June 2020)

    • Community Visitors Scheme & Social Connection during COVID-19 (10 June 2020)
    • Navigating Aged Care Services During COVID-19 (13 May 2020)

    • Reducing the risk of abuse for older people during COVID-19 (7 May 2020)
    • Family, carers, visitations and wellbeing during COVID-19 (29 April 2020)
    • Living with dementia during COVID-19 and how we all can help (21 April 2020)
    • Safely receiving aged care services at home during COVID-19 (8 April 2020)
    • COVID-19 and what it means for people in Aged Care (Session 2: 1 April 2020; Session 1: 25 March 2020)

Media coverage

Radio programs

  • Bartholomew, G. 2021, ‘Calls for consent before aged care residents receive COVID vaccine’Life Matters, radio program, ABC NewsRadio, 18 February. In this 7-minute story, Glen Bartholomew talks to Craig Gear, CEO of the Older Person’s Advocacy Network (OPAN), about OPAN’s call for consent for aged care residents before they can be administered the COVID-19 vaccines.

Emotional and physical wellbeing

  • The Wellbeing Plus Course helps adults aged 60 years and over learn to manage mild, moderate and severe symptoms of depression and anxiety. Offered online by MindSpot, the course was funded by a grant from beyondblue.
  • Check out the free exercise classes being uploaded by Active Seniors Health Centre during this period of isolation. These classes go for 15-30 minutes and focus on balance, mobility, strength or aerobic fitness. Options include:
    • joining them daily on Facebook for their Facebook Live class
    • checking out their previous live-streamed class videos on their Facebook Videos page or visit their website

Fun and education

  • For some of the best music, entertainment, nature and art Victoria has to offer—online, visit Victoria Together. Categories include Children, Music, Sport and exercise, Older Victorians, Regional communities, Wellbeing, Food and drink, Film and cinema, Arts, exhibitions and design, Games, Comedy, Theatre and dance, and Science and nature.
  • See the section below on Fun and Education with suggestions including the performing arts, books and stories via apps and online hubs, and online educational fun.

People who identify as LGBTIQ+

  • Rainbow Door is 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. Newly launched, this service is run by Switchboard Victoria.
    • The service is free and available to ALL Victorians regardless of visa status. Phone 1800 729 367 or text 0480 017 246 via free call and text (10 am – 6 pm every day). Email: support@rainbowdoor.org.au
    • All staff in the Rainbow Door are experienced specialist workers with case management, suicide intervention and risk assessment skills. They can provide Family Violence risk assessment and safety planning, assist with access to LGBTIQA+ friendly services and connection to advocacy or advice in relation to mental health, disability, relationship or support for older people.
    • Rainbow Door is offering support in languages other than English, including Auslan, through their interpreter service. To access in-language support, callers can ring 1800 729 367, tell Rainbow Door the language they speak and they will be connected to the interpreter service.
  • QLife is an Australia-wide telephone and webchat peer support and referral service for LGBTIQ+ people and their loved ones. QLife is a free and anonymous service run by LGBTIQ+ peers for those wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
    • QLife provides peer support via telephone, 1800 184 527, or webchat from 3 pm to midnight every day.
    • QLife is a peer support service—their peer supporters cannot provide counselling; however, they can provide referrals to LGBTIQ+ inclusive counselling service if needed.
    • While QLife provides support to LGBTIQ+ people during difficult times, QLife is not a crisis support and suicide intervention service. Please contact mental health services in your local area for crisis mental health support.
    • Professionals seeking support or referrals can contact QLife via phone or webchat. They have also created a range of QGuides for health professional working with LGBTIQ+ people.
  • For information and services for professionals and community, please visit the HWPCP website—COVID-19 Resources.

People with disabilities

  • COVID-19 Resources: Easy English—Resources for people who do not have functional literacy. Topic areas: General information, Be safe, New rules for Australia, and Other services now. Download as accessible Word documents or PDF documents (Access Easy English)
  • Individuals with autism, their parents/carers and families can access autism-specific resources, tools and credible information, including social stories, videos and articles, in one place—Autism and Coronavirus (COVID-19)… The Essentials (Autism Awareness Australia).
  • For disability-focused information, updates and resources, please visit the HWPCP website—COVID-19 Resources.

Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

COVID-19 translated information has been developed for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, health professionals and industry. Information includes factsheets and promotional materials.

Older people from CALD communities

  • New Multilingual Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line—This support line provides information about COVID-19 and can support older people to connect with aged care services, dementia care and other support services. It is available in Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, Mandarin and Vietnamese. All calls are free. Download brochures in English and in the six languages.Older people, their families and carers who would like information and support are encouraged to contact the support line Monday to Friday between 2 pm and 5 pm Melbourne time (except public holidays) on:
    • 1800 549 844Italian
    • 1800 549 845Greek
    • 1800 549 846Vietnamese
    • 1800 549 847Mandarin
    • 1800 549 848Cantonese
    • 1800 549 849Arabic
  • Looking for COVID-19 resources and information in languages other than English to keep older people from CALD communities informed? Head to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources page of the PICAC Alliance for official sources.

Emergency relief

Emergency relief is to help people meet their basic needs, like food, medicine or shelter.

  • Emergency relief support for people on temporary visas (Australian Red Cross)—Financial relief to meet urgent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Australian Red Cross has received Government funding specifically to support people who are on temporary visas with a small one-off emergency relief payment. The support is offered to people in Australia with urgent needs who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents and have a need, such as a utility bill or medical expenses, and are unable to meet that need.
  • Emergency relief support – Victoria (Australian Red Cross)—Financial relief, including Extreme Hardship Support Program, to meet urgent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The support is targeted to the most vulnerable temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants. Depending on individual need, up to three small emergency relief payments can be made per person or family over the next six months.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Support services

  • Yarning SafeNStrong—Free 24/7 phone counselling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) families launched by the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service. ATSI people and families who need to have a yarn with someone about their wellbeing can call this free confidential phone crisis line now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1800 959 563 to safely talk to a counsellor who ‘gets it’, and can refer callers to supports.
  • Dardi Munwurro Aboriginal Men’s Crisis Support Line—In this time of unrest and uncertainty, Dardi Munwurro is offering 24/7 support via telephone for Aboriginal men in Victoria—download flyer

Media articles

Mental and physical wellbeing

Social connection

This section contains ideas and information to support your community—and particularly vulnerable and isolated people—during the COVID-19 crisis.

Help your neighbour cards

  • ‘Help your neighbour’ cards—City of Wodonga and AlburyCity have developed free assets for you to use to share the message that kindness is catching. One of the most-utilised assets is the ‘help your neighbour’ cards to assist the vulnerable and isolated or those having difficulties coping in our community. These cards can also be picked up at some chemists and coffee shops across the Border.
  • Connection Cards to help you #StayConnected—If you’re feeling well and able to support someone, practically or emotionally, you can use R U OK?’s ‘Connection Cards’ to let them know you’re there to help now and for as long as they need. You can download editable versions. Inspired by the ‘Creative Commons’ #ViralKindness card by Becky Wass.

Telephone chat programs

  • Indigo Calling telephone chat program—Beechworth Health Service (BHS) has trained volunteers who can provide a regular friendly phone chat at an agreed time to help people stay connected. Volunteer callers are matched with community members based on their interests and hobbies. Volunteers have completed training, a criminal record check and are registered volunteers of BHS. To sign up, talk to the Volunteer Coordinator Marianne Thompson; phone (03) 57 280 200 or email marianne.thompson@beechworthhealth.org.au

    Connection cards

  • My Community And Home Care—Tallangatta Health Service requires Community Buddy volunteers. Do you have time to make phone contact with an older person living in the community and provide reassurance to them and help them access information about services? Some older people may be feeling isolated and forgotten and by providing a welfare check you may be able to address any of their uncertainties and fears. If you have an hour or less to spare per week, please contact Maralee, Community Services Manager on (02) 6071 5254.
  • The Hello Project—Launched by the Rural City of Wangaratta and Gateway Health, the Hello Project is designed to bring people together through a friendly phone call from a Council or Gateway Health staff member/volunteer. Register here if you’d like to talk to someone.

Establishing online and learning digital literacy skills

With elderly people vulnerable to becoming isolated during this time, getting established online is a good way to stay connected and access services while minimising exposure and spread of COVID-19. If you know an older Australian who might need assistance in getting established online and learning digital literacy skills, check out:

Global community-support activities

  • 7 Beautiful Moments of Solidarity Against Coronavirus—Global Citizen, 18 March 2020. Read about various community-support activities such as singing from apartment windows, messages of support shared around communities, and therapists stepping up online suppport.
  • One World: Together At Home—a global broadcast and digital special to support frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization (WHO). Curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga, it featured a lineup of some of the world’s best artists including Paul McCartney, Elton John, Eddie Vedder, Keith Urban, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Lady Gaga. The special ran in two parts: a global six-hour digital livestream event, and a two-hour broadcast (main show). Visit Global Citizen’s YouTube channel to watch videos of individual performances, or cast it to your TV for non-stop viewing. To stream the music through a device, check out the Spotify playlist (4 hours+).
  • Together At Home is a virtual event series launched in March by Global Citizen, the World Health Organization and a collection of artists. The series aims to ease people’s minds, and bring them joy and a sense of shared humanity as public shutdowns and social distancing take effect globally, leaving some people feeling lonely, anxious and depressed. It also offers Global Citizens a chance to take action to help stop the spread of COVID-19 around the world. Watch videos of virtual performances by artists including Chris Martin, Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, Guy Sebastian and Meghan Trainor on Global Citizen’s YouTube channel.

Keeping healthy and coronavirus FAQs

Eating well

A series of one-page fact sheets supporting eating well and food security during COVID-19 have been developed by Central West Gippsland Primary Care Partnership and partners including:

Boosting our immune system

  • 5 ways nutrition could help your immune system fight off the coronavirusNone of us can completely eliminate our risk of getting COVID-19 but one thing we can do is eat as healthily as possible. If we do catch COVID-19, our immune system is responsible for fighting it. Research shows improving nutrition helps support optimal immune function. Micronutrients essential to fight infection include vitamins A, B, C, D and E, and the minerals iron, selenium, and zinc. Find out about how these nutrients support our immune system and the foods we can eat to get them in this article by Professor Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle (The Conversation, 17 March 2020).
  • Seven evidence-based ways you can help your body (and your family) protect itself from coronavirus—In this 21-minute episode of ABC Life Matters, broadcast on 9 April 2020, Hilary Harper talks to Professor Peter Brukner, medical doctor and Professor of sports medicine at Latrobe University in Melbourne, and Professor Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle. There is lots of evidence that the stronger your immune system, the better your body will be at fighting off coronavirus. So what should we focus on to boost ours and our family’s immune systems as soon as possible? Peter’s top two things to tackle for best immune health are diet and exercise. The five others on his list are stress, sleep, smoking, alcohol and sun.

More information on keeping healthy and coronavirus FAQs, including podcasts, articles, videos and tip sheets, are found on the HWPCP website—COVID-19 Resources.

Keeping active

  • Victoria Together—Check out these online offerings to help you stay active—see the ‘Sport and exercise’ category.
  • Find your 30—Especially for parents, carers and kids—find your 30 minutes of physical activity with daily challenges to do at home (SportAus, AIS).
  • Adult ballet classes at home—Learn ballet for free with the Australian Ballet. Three levels are available: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Each class is 30-40 minutes long. Classes are available for a limited time only.
  • PE with Joe—daily home workouts on YouTube aimed at kids featuring online nutrition coach Joe Wicks.
  • The Fitness Marshall—high-intensity, fun cardio dance workouts on YouTube designed for everyone with a focus on inclusion, featuring Caleb Marshall, also known as ‘The Fitness Marshall’
  • Zumba with Charli—Live classes with local zumba extraordinaire Charli every Wednesday at 6.30 pm on the Zumba with Charli members’ only Facebook group. New classes loaded every week for unlimited access along with dance tips and 30-minute sessions for those busy days! All for only $13 ($11 for class cards) per week!
  • Keeping active at home—tip sheet on OEPCP website

Fun and education

  • For some of the best music, entertainment, nature and art Victoria has to offer—online, visit Victoria Together. Categories include Children, Music, Sport and exercise, Older Victorians, Regional communities, Wellbeing, Food and drink, Film and cinema, Arts, exhibitions and design, Games, Comedy, Theatre and dance, and Science and nature.
  • For tips and ideas for at home during the school holidays, please check out these tip sheets on the OEPCP websiteSchool Holiday Checklist, and School Holidays with the kids.

Performing Arts

  • Music From The Home Front: An Anzac Day concert for the fight against COVID-19 (25 April 2020). The concert featured Australian and New Zealand musicians such as Crowded House, Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian, Jon Stevens, Kate Ceberano, Missy Higgins and Paul Kelly—watch individual performances or the live stream (3 hours+) on YouTube.
  • One World: Together At Home—a global broadcast and digital special featuring a lineup of some of the world’s best artists to support frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization (WHO). Visit Global Citizen’s YouTube channel to watch videos of individual performances, or cast it to your TV for non-stop viewing. To stream the music through a device, check out the Spotify playlist (4 hours+).
  • Together At Home is a virtual event series launched in March by Global Citizen, the World Health Organization and a collection of artists. Watch virtual performances by artists including Chris Martin, Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, Guy Sebastian and Meghan Trainor on Global Citizen’s YouTube channel.
  • Arts Centre Melbourne has curated a list of their top 5 family experiences created by their friends and collaborators: JUNK by our local Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Teeny Tiny Stevies, Polyglot Theatre, The Listies, and Audioplay: The Turners
  • Arts Centre Melbourne’s Big Night In with John Foreman—A new virtual musical entertainment show featuring Aussie artists and musicians. Tune in to YouTube for the debut show on Wednesday 29 April at 7 pm to see John Foreman catch up with guests including Casey Donovan, the sister duo Vika and Linda Bull, and the Aussie Pops Orchestra
  • LOL Squad sketches—A series of new sketches created by the latest LOL Squad, a team of young comedians aged 14-18, handpicked from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Class Clowns program.

Podcasts

Books and stories via apps and online hubs

  • Audible—kids can stream a collection of stories, including titles across six different languages. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Explore the collection, select a title and start listening.
  • Epic—digital library of books, learning videos and quizzes for kids 12 and under (see current offers for parents and teachers)
  • BorrowBox—Borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks free from your library using the BorrowBox app. You will need to join your local public library and intall the BorrowBox app on your device.

Online book readings and activities from authors of children’s books

  • David Walliams is releasing a free daily audio story on Elevenses with The World of David Walliams
  • Julia Donaldson is making a weekly broadcast of  ‘Julia Donaldson and Friends’ via Facebook
  • Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler Home Learning Packs—If your child is a fan of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture books, you can download a range of home learning activity packs to complete as your read the books. To gain free access, go online and make an account.
  • Harry Potter at Home hub—launched by J.K. Rowling for parents, teachers and carers working to keep children amused and interested while at home. Includes contributions from Bloomsbury and Scholastic, magical craft videos, fun articles, quizzes and puzzles
  • Dav Pilkey At Home—get creative and have fun with characters from Dog Man and Captain Underpants. Check back every Friday to discover new activities, videos and more.

  • Our own local Captain Pete will be posting tidbits of his Captain Pete songs and stories from his Mudpoo books on his Facebook page

Online educational fun

  • Virtual entertainment and resources while you stay in—With venues closed and while we’re all staying in and isolating, ABC Radio has put together a list of free resources and activities that our various arts and cultural organisations in Victoria are doing to continue to engage and connect with their audiences and communities.
  • Taronga TV—tune in daily to see your favourite animals at Taronga Zoo (Sydney and Dubbo zoos) via 24/7 live-streaming cameras, hear from the keepers, see the latest shows and animal feeds, and learn what goes on behind the scenes at Taronga.
  • Zoos Victoria—live stream cameras from Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo
  • All the times and places you can find zoos live streaming to keep your kids educated (Canberra Times)
  • Museum at Home is a new project from Museums Victoria enabling the community to connect, explore and learn more from their favourite museums every day.
  • Street View: Tour famous sites and landmarks (Google Arts & Culture)—Step inside must-see museums around the world; go behind-the-scenes in key sporting locations; explore iconic monuments from every angle (e.g. Taj Mahal); follow in the footsteps of culture; see where art takes to the streets; step into history; go behind-the-scenes of science

  • Virtual holidays: How to travel the world while you’re stuck at home (Escape.com.au)—Virtual tours: Museums launch online tours during coronavirus pandemic
  • Check out this range of online options for young and old alike, ranging from museums to galleries to zoos, on the HWPCP website—COVID-19 Resources.

Remote learning

Children and teenagers

  • ABC TV Education—ABC ME (channel 23) is showing educational programming from 10 am to 3 pm every weekday for Term 2. Each weekday will start with content for Lower Primary students from about 10 to 11 am (suitable for Prep to Year 2 although depending on your child’s age and abilities they may benefit from some of the Upper Primary programs too). Primary and Lower Secondary level content will continue from about 11 am to 1 pm. Programming then progresses up to Secondary level content in the afternoons. You can catch up on iview, or stay in the loop by signing up to the ABC Education weekly newsletter or following ABC Education on Facebook.
  • Science at Home with Steve Spangler—easy science experiments you can do at home. Search for safe, easy experiments and cool science videos to share with friends and family—an introduction to over 1500 videos from their educational YouTube channels.

Parents, carers and educators

  • How to home school—Coronavirus has meant parents across Australia have had to slip into a roleParental as Anything they never signed up for—being a teacher. So how do you make that work if you haven’t the first clue about teaching? In this 21-minute ABC podcast of Parental as Anything (14 April 2020), parenting author and educator Maggie Dent talks to educator Dr Prue Salter about how to support high-schoolers as they learn from home. Maggie also shares her top tips for keeping primary school kids engaged while learning from home, and how to stop parents from pulling their hair out.
  • Maggie Dent’s tips for supporting learning at home—Parents across Australia have had to slip into a role they never signed up for—supervising their children’s schooling from home. How do you make that work if you haven’t the first clue about teaching? In this four-minute Facebook video (16 April 2020), Maggie Dent has some tips that might help.
  • Students won’t get through all school content while learning at home: here are 3 things to prioritise—In this article, Alison Willis, who researches children’s learning in conflict-affected contexts, advises ‘…the best thing you can do is believe in your children, and help them maintain their love of learning, as well as their basic literacy, numeracy and social skills.’ Tips include getting your kids to read, building their maths stamina, and building social skills into their daily routine (The Conversation, 19 April 2020).
  • Content for educators working through the COVID-19 crisis—As many early education settings around the country remain operating—for now—through the COVID-19 crisis, ABC Kids Early Education has compiled an ABC resource catalogue. This collection will help early educators talk about the virus with children and families, assist with programming ideas, and provide early education ideas for families seeking guidance while staying at home.

Protecting yourself online

  • Widespread reports of COVID-19 malicious scams being sent to Australians (Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online, 27 March 2020). The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is aware of a significant increase in Australians being targeted with COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails. These scams are likely to increase over the coming weeks and months and the ACSC strongly encourages organisations and individuals to remain alert. Visit this page to see some examples of what to look out for now.

Creative expression

Visual art

  • For a little inspiration for art activities and learning resources that children can do from home, join the new MAMA Kids group on Facebook to receive their top picks from across the Internet, as well as MAMA original videos and resources. Be a part of this creative community, where they’ll be sharing resources suitable for preschool to primary school aged children.
  • Together In Art Kids—The Art Gallery of NSW invited budding artists between the ages of 5 and 12 to submit an artwork for Together In Art Kids 2020 online art exhibition. While the date of submission has passed, a curated selection of artworks from this project will be exhibited online from 18 May 2020. A collaboration between the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the ABC, the project was the brainchild of ABC health expert and Coronacast podcast host Dr Norman Swan.
  • Dav Pilkey At Home—get creative and have fun with characters from Dog Man and Captain Underpants. Check back every Friday to discover new activities, videos and more.

Music

  • Chrome Music Lab is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments. Check out the Song Maker experiment, which lets you make and share your own songs.
  • Triple j Unearthed’s DIY Supergroup competition—Want to make music with Tame Impala, Flume, Tash Sultana, The Jungle Giants, Middle Kids, Amy Shark, Tkay Maidza and/or G Flip? Meet triple j Unearthed’s DIY Supergroup—each of these talented musicians have generously offered up samples and loops for you to use in your own song. Competition closes 17 May 2020.

Mental health and emotional wellbeing

It’s important to look after your mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—take a look at the coronavirus mental health webpage on the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website. This page contains some important and helpful advice from Beyond Blue, clinical psychologist Dr Michelle Lim and Lifeline Australia.

Ways to look after your mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic—The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on all facets of society. It’s crucial that people take a practical approach to dealing with COVID-19. Beyond Blue suggests a number of different ways that people can manage their wellbeing:

  • Try to maintain perspective.
  • Find a healthy balance in relation to media coverage.
  • Try to maintain a practical and calm approach.
  • Try not to make assumptions.
  • Seek support.

In relation to media coverage, being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. While it’s important to stay informed, you may find it useful to limit your media intake if it is upsetting you or your family. Another option is to read good news only—check out ABC’s Good News articles.

A number of mental health supports are accessible via the following helplines or websites:

  • HeadtoHelpfree mental health and wellbeing support (no referral required) from mental health clinicians—call 1800 595 212, 8.30 am and 5 pm (Mon–Fri). There are 15 HeadtoHelp hubs across Victoria and callers will be directed to their closest hub, or the closest appropriate service. In the Murray PHN region, HeadtoHelp hubs are provided by Bendigo Community Health Services, and Gateway Health in Wodonga.  
  • Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service—Beyond Blue’s 24/7 helpline is now available if you need to speak to a mental health professional briefed on the pandemic response—call 1800 512 348. Connect with others, share your experiences and exchange messages of support on Beyond Blue’s dedicated online community forum: Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak. Visit the support service online to access information, advice and strategies to help you manage your mental wellbeing and support those around you during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Mental health and COVID-19—Head to Health is providing trusted information and digital supports to help support mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic. This page covers where to get the facts about the COVID-19 outbreak, tips for maintaining good mental health, information on how to access mental health services (including digital mental health services), information for parents, and how to keep older Australians safe and connected by helping them get established online.

  • Managing Your Mental Health Online During COVID-19—e-mental health fact sheet from eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice). There are many services that can help without leaving home. During this crisis, Australians can use Medicare to talk to health practitioners about mental health. There are also other ways to get help on a phone, computer or tablet. These include crisis and counselling services, and mental health treatments that have been converted into web programs or apps. Some services link users to a practitioner who acts as a coach or guide and tracks their progress as they use a web program. Others—’self-guided’ ones—are for people who prefer to work on their own. Most of these programs and services are free, and are listed in this fact sheet.
  • Health & Wellbeing—Tip sheet on OEPCP website
  • HWPCP website—See Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing
  • Central Hume PCP website—see Mental Wellbeing

Digital tools for creating a positive change in your wellbeing

  • Online community forum: Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak (Beyond Blue)—Connect with others, share your experiences and exchange messages of support on this dedicated online forum: Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • myCompass—An evidence-based self-help tool for people experiencing mild to moderate stress, depression and anxiety. Clinically proven to reduce symptoms and improve wellbeing (Black Dog Institute).
  • This Way Up online courses on stress, anxiety and depression are being made free during the COVID-19 crisis by Sydney’s Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), a joint project of St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of NSW.

Health professional resources

Health professionals can visit the Black Dog Institute online for evidence-based resources to assist with diagnosis, treatment and capacity building:

  • e-Mental Health in Practice is a suite of online training modules, webinars and e-resources designed to introduce health professionals to online programs and tools, and to demonstrate how e-mental health technologies can be integrated into primary care.

  • Fact sheets cover a range of topics from depression to e-mental health and are freely available to download as PDFs.
  • The Being Well podcast series share a personal lived experience of mental health. The podcasts each tackle an important mental health topic and provide insight and expert knowledge from and for health professionals.

Alcohol and other drugs

The article, Coronavirus: it’s tempting to drink your worries away but there are healthier ways to manage stress and keep your drinking in check, was published in The Conversation on 27 March 2020. Key points:

  • In these difficult times, it’s not surprising some people are looking to alcohol for a little stress reduction. But there are healthier ways of coping with the challenges we currently face.
  • When we drink more, alcohol affects our ability to fight disease, our mood, our sleep, and our thoughts and feelings.
  • An increase in drinking also risks unnecessarily tying up emergency services and hospitals, which are needed to respond to the coronavirus.

Check out this article for tips on how to manage your alcohol consumption, and how to manage stress without alcohol.

Support

Loss and grief

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief—Interview with David Kessler, co-author of On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Kessler shares his thoughts on why it’s important to acknowledge the grief you may be feeling, how to manage it, and how he believes we will find meaning in it (Harvard Business Review, 23 March 2020)

Information, resources and articles about dealing with loss and grief can be found on the HWPCP website—COVID-19 Resources.

Create a plan for COVID-19 for you or someone you are caring for

Keeping safe and supported

Managing COVID-19 at home

  • Create a plan for COVID-19 – For you or someone you are caring for—We know COVID-19 is here to stay. As restrictions ease, the virus will make its way across the region. There are things you can do to be COVID-safe. However, some of us will still get COVID-19. Created by Age-friendly North East Victoria, this information sheet offers some guidance to help you create a plan if you or someone you live with gets COVID-19. To view or download the four-page information sheet, click here.
  • Managing COVID-19 at home with assistance from your general practice—Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (updated December 2021). Most people who test positive for COVID-19 will likely only experience mild symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment or hospitalisation, especially if fully vaccinated. This guide, action plan and symptom diary for patients assists COVID-19 positive patients to self-manage their symptoms at home, and is the patient complement to the GP resource Home-care guidelines for patients with COVID-19. Patients who want to talk to their GP about their results or any symptoms should make a telehealth appointment. Patients who have a higher risk of adverse outcomes or more severe disease should speak with their GP about their positive result. Managing COVID-19 at home with assistance from your general practice - A guide, action plan and symptom diary for patients You can find a list of factors that can increase risk of severe disease on the Department of Health’s website.
  • Managing COVID-19 at home information hub—With vaccinations reducing the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, more people with mild COVID-19 are able to self-manage their illness at home. Healthdirect has developed a new ‘Managing COVID-19 at home’ information hub, which has extensive FAQs to answer common questions, including when to seek medical help if people’s condition worsens.

Emergency relief

  • Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare has now opened the FoodShare Shop, which provides local families in need with the opportunity to select their own items in store. Items may include fresh, non-perishable and frozen foods; personal hygiene and household cleaning products; and pet food. This new service is accessible to any residents in our region who are experiencing financial hardship and have been provided with a FoodShare voucher from their support agency or community centre. The FoodShare Shop is open between 9.30 am and 2 pm on weekdays and is located at 81 Wigg St, Wodonga.
    How to access a a FoodShare voucher:
    • Residents already connected to a support agency can ask them if they have FoodShare vouchers or if they are willing to get in contact with FoodShare to arrange access.
    • Residents who aren’t accessing any support services from an agency are invited to call FoodShare to be put in touch with an agency to access the food vouchers. Their number is (02) 6059 5555.

  • Various agencies across Albury-Wodonga remain open and are supplying food parcels and/or prepared meals for community members in need. A list of such agencies, including contact details and hours of operation, is provided in the Food Access guides for Albury Wodonga and Wangaratta on Gateway Health‘s COVID-19 page.
  • Ask Izzy—This website can connect you to the help you need, now and nearby, such as housing, a meal, money help, family violence support, counselling or legal advice. It is free and anonymous, with over 370,000 support services listed across Australia including the border and North East Victoria. Ask Izzy is also free to use on the Telstra mobile network. This means people don’t need to rely on having credit or access to free wifi in order to use the site.
  • For targeted emergency relief for temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants, or international students, please visit the Culturally and linguistically diverse communities section.

Isolation and quarantine—extra help and support (Victorian Government)

  • Victorians self-isolating due to COVID-19 with no access to food and essential supplies can request a free emergency relief package containing basic essential food and personal care items. Each relief package is designed to provide basic food and essential items for a family of four for about two weeks. This relief is available to people in Victoria who need to isolate due to COVID-19, who need food or material aid and are unable to get help from family or friends.
    • To request a free emergency relief package, call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398—select option 4. If you need to speak to someone in another language, press zero (0) when connected.
    • For more information on the support that is available while you isolate or quarantine, including food relief and financial support, see this Victorian Government website.

Financial assistance and economic response

Financial support

Financial and other support for COVID-19—Find out about the financial support available to Victorian people and businesses affected by COVID-19. To be eligible for any of these payments, you must meet various conditions.

  • If you are worried you will lose income while you wait for your test result, you may be eligible for a $450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment. This payment provides financial support for Victorian workers while they or someone they are caring for self-isolate to wait for the results of a COVID-19 test.
    • For support to apply for the payment, call the 24/7 Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398and select option 4, then 4 again.
    • If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on131 450.
  • The $1,500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a payment to help workers who have been directed to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days, or care for someone who has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine. You must make a new claim for each 14-day period.
    • The easiest way to claim is over the phone by calling Services Australia on 180 22 66. Phone lines are open 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.
    • To talk to Services Australia in a language other than English, call 131 202.

Other support for Victorians

  • The Victorian Government has established an economic survival package to support Victorian businesses and workers through the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic—download the fact sheet.

No Interest Loans

  • Household Relief Loans Without Interest are available for anyone financially impacted by COVID-19. In collaboration with the Australian Government, Good Shepherd is providing No Interest Loans of up to $3000 towards rent and utilities, repayable over 24 months. Fill in their short 2-minute eligibility check online and, if you’re eligible, call 1300 121 130.

Commonwealth Government

Housing issues

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) rent relief grant—If you are experiencing rental hardship due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for assistance from the Victorian Government’s rental assistance fund. This fund provides Rent Relief Grants of up to $1,500 to Victorians experiencing rental hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • Problems paying your mortgage—If you’re struggling with your home loan repayments, there is help available. The earlier you get help, the more options you’ll have. Visit the Moneysmart website for tips on how to get help to avoid mortgage default.

Finding or returning to work

  • Find work or employees fast – Jobs Victoria online hub—The Jobs Victoria online hub matches jobseekers who are ready to work with employers who are looking for skilled and talented employees. Jobs Victoria also provides jobseekers with advice and support to navigate their pathway back to work.
  • Skills and Jobs Centres are a one-stop-shop for anyone looking for career-planning advice. These centres are Government-funded, and you don’t have to be a TAFE student to get advice and support.
    • Wodonga TAFE operates eight Skills and Jobs Centre outlets across north-east Victoria. Services provided include free and independent advice on career pathways, job seeking and training opportunities. The service is suitable for people who are looking for a career change, transitioning to new employment opportunities, or looking for work. Staff can provide support in preparing for recruitment or returning to study.
    • GOTAFE provides Skills and Jobs Centres in Wangaratta, Shepparton, Seymour and Benalla.
  • The Reconnect program is designed to help people turn their life around for the better and to assist them into training and employment. People who have not completed Year 12 or equivalent are eligible for this free program, which is funded by the Victorian Government. This service can help anyone lacking the confidence to make a new start.
    • Wodonga TAFE provides assistance in Wodonga, Towong, Indigo and Alpine Shires and visits these rural towns on a regular basis. Teaming up with a mentor, participants in the Reconnect program are assisted with developing a plan to help them reach their goals, gain motivation and possibly enrol into study to find employment.
    • GOTAFE delivers the Reconnect Program to Wangaratta, Benalla, Shepparton, Yea and Strathbogie.
  • Women who have a job interview and do not have appropriate work attire can book an appointment to attend Our Sister’s Closet at the Women’s Centre for Health & Wellbeing in Albury.

Legal and consumer rights

Legal answers

  • Ask Izzy—This website can connect you to the help you need, now and nearby, such as housing, a meal, money help, family violence support, counselling or legal advice. It is free and anonymous, with over 370,000 support services listed across Australia including the border and North East Victoria.
  • Victoria Legal Aid can provide help in a number of ways:
  • In most states there are community legal services including women’s legal services.
    • To find a community legal service in Victoria, search your postcode here.
    • If you would like to contact a women’s legal service, the Women’s Legal Service Victoria in Melbourne provides free legal services to women via their statewide service. They can provide legal help at court (e.g. intervention orders, child protection cases, and family law).
  • The Hume Riverina Community Legal Service (HRCLS) provides free legal advice to people living in North East Victoria and the Southern Riverina of NSW. Call 1800 918 377 or contact them through their website.
    • They provide free legal advice on a range of legal issues including family violence, credit and debt, fines, consumer matters, tenancy/housing, Centrelink, family matters, and a wide range of other everyday legal problems.
    • Advice can be provided over the phone or in person at various locations including Wodonga, Wangaratta, Albury, Finley, Deniliquin, Corowa, Lavington, and Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service.
    • Clients who are experiencing bushfire-related legal issues can access the HRCLS bushfire lawyer, who is visiting Corryong and Bright regularly.
  • The LGBTIQ Legal Service—while this service is based in St Kilda, the service is available statewide.
    • If you are seeking legal help, please call their intake team on (03) 7037 3208 (2–5 pm, Mon, Wed and Fri). Please tell them if an interpreter is needed.
    • Email: lgbtiqlegalservice@skls.org.au
    • If you need immediate legal help, contact Victoria Legal Aid on 1300 792 387.
  • Justice Connect—Resources for people affected by COVID-19. These resources are designed to help people with common legal problems related to COVID-19. You can also find out if you’re eligible and apply for legal help online.

Consumer matters

  • CHOICE—Articles and resources to help answer your consumer-related questions during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Family violence

With more people staying at home to reduce the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be an increased risk for women and children experiencing family violence or abuse.

Local media campaign: ‘Domestic Violence—there is no excuse’

There is a range of local support services to assist with domestic violence, so speak up when you are safe, step in if you’re aware, get help if you’re responsible.

Protecting our community remains a top priority during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. Family violence frontline services, including crisis accommodation, police and courts, continue to operate to support women, children, men and families during the coronavirus emergency.

All Family Violence support services are available by phone and the police response remains unchanged.

Call 000 for Police and Ambulance help if you are in immediate danger.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence and need help or support, please contact one of the support hotline numbers on the AlburyCity website.

Local services and programs

If you’re experiencing domestic violence in NSW or Victoria, there are services available to help you:

Family violence support services

For family violence crisis response and support during coronavirus, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website. Here you can access the latest updates, the current family violence service status for Victoria, and family violence support services. There is also information for those feeling unsafe or needing advice, on staying connected and having a safety plan, and elder abuse.

The UHPCP has a dedicated COVID-19 and family violence page. Here you can find statements from peak organisations on COVID-19 and family violence, links to services, and help and advice for survivors; family, friends and neighbours; and family violence professionals.