Pete Budd, Ambassador of Australia to Nepal said Nepali students are our friends, classmates, colleagues and members of our community. “I have posted advice on the Australian Embassy's Facebook page. It outlines a range of support services available to international students at this difficult time,” tweeted ambassador Budd.
Ambassador’s Full Statement
There are close to 570,000 international students in Australia, mainly studying in the higher education or vocational education sector. This includes more than 50,000 Nepalis.
International students are our friends, our classmates, our colleagues and members of our community. The Australian Government appreciates that COVID-19 is affecting international students in Australia and a range of additional support is available at this difficult time.
The Government will take a flexible approach in relation to student visa conditions where Coronavirus has prevented the condition being met (such as the attendance requirement or supporting online learning).
The Government has already temporarily relaxed the enforcement of the 40 hour work limitation for the following critical sectors:
International students working in aged care and as nurses are able to work more than the 40 hours a fortnight usually allowed.
Ambassador’s message to Australians remaining in #Nepal. Stay safe & we will reach out to you soon to check on your welfare. You can help by contacting us via social media or the embassy directly. We are a very small team, but your welfare is our priority. Thanks 4 your patience.Posted by Australian Embassy, Nepal on Monday, April 6, 2020
International students working in the major supermarkets to help get stock on shelves due to high demand.
Further information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website at www.covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/ or by calling their Global Service Centre on 131 881.
All international students are encouraged to stay in touch with their education providers about the range of support which is available to them at this time.
Additionally, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s COVID-19 website provides further information on mental health and other support services available to international students www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19.
Study In Australia’s website www.studyinaustralia.gov.au provides more information on support services available to international students.
International students on a temporary student visa are also encouraged to contact their Overseas Student Health Cover insurance provider for advice on health cover and services available to support them while in Australia.
The Prime Minister has also announced that States and Territories will put a six-month ban on evictions for both residential and commercial tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students seeking more advice on their rights as a tenant at this difficult time should contact the relevant state/territory authority.
WA: Western Australia Consumer Protection - www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/
Victoria: Consumer Affairs Victoria - www.consumer.vic.gov.au/
NSW: Fair Trading - www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/
Queensland: Residential tenancies Authority - www.rta.qld.gov.au/
SA: South Australia Consumer and Business Services – www.cbs.sa.gov.au
Tasmania: Consumer, Building and Occupation Services - www.cbos.tas.gov.au
ACT: Tenants Union ACT - www.tenantsact.org.au/
NT: Northern Territory Consumer Affairs – www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au
The Australian Government continues to work with the international education sector to minimize the impact of COVID-19, and that includes finding innovative ways to support our international students.
There has always been an understanding that temporary visa holders are able to support themselves while in Australia. As part of their visa application, international students have had to demonstrate that they can support themselves completely in their first year.
Many students will continue to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia.
For the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from Australian Government agencies, students should visit the Australian Government website at www.australia.gov.au.
Photo: Embassy of Australia Facebook