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Student Coronavirus Financial Assistance

Assistance for learners in financial difficulty

Whether you have lost your job, are struggling to access or remain in safe housing, or require assistance to purchase food, the Holmesglen Foundation offers financial assistance grants to current learners who are experiencing financial difficulty.

Available through the generosity of donors, this assistance is an important addition to other forms of support Holmesglen provides to help learners continue their studies in the face of challenges.

Grants of up to $500 are available to assist with:

  • living costs such as food, rent and utilities
  • placement costs such as accommodation, food and transport
  • equipment necessary for your course, such as uniforms, tools or safety gear

Grants are open to local and international students currently enrolled in Holmesglen courses. Find out more about whether you could be eligibile for this financial assistance.


Victorian Government Support

 While closed to the public, the Study Melbourne Student Centre continues to provide referrals and complex casework for international students in need. The best way to get in touch with them is via email at or by phone 1800 056 449

Core services delivered by the centre:

1International Student Employment and Accommodation Service (ISEALS) provides free and independent legal advice for international students around work rights and tenancy law. Many international students have lost work through the current lockdown, and with the end of the eviction moratorium on March 28th, are now at increased risk of being evicted. The ISEALS lawyers are currently advocating with landlords in this space, and have been successful in preventing a number of students from being evicted.

Any student wanting to make an appointment to speak to one of the service’s lawyers can do so by contracting the Study Melbourne Student Centre on the details above.

2.  For students in financial hardship, applications are open for the Red Cross Extreme Hardship Support Program, which has now been extended to the end of 2021. The program is for temporary visa holders, including international students, who are unable to access Commonwealth income support, and have zero or little income. Eligible students can apply for an $800 payment to meet basic needs like rent, food and bills. Visit the Red Cross website to apply.

3. For students requiring assistance with food relief, Study Melbourne has funded Foodbank’s International Student Pop-Up Grocery Store on LaTrobe Street in the CBD, which is open every on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 2pm until the end of 2021. Students must bring their student ID (or CoE), along with a shopping bag to access fresh produce and pantry items like rice and noodles. Study Melbourne is also working in partnership with OzHarvest to distribute food aid across Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong.

4. There is also additional support available for international students in Victoria to help pay overdue bills through utility relief grants,  and a dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) support hub.

Commonwealth Government Support 

Some students may be eligible for the Commonwealth "temporary COVID disaster” payment, This is for Australian residents or visa holders who are permitted to work in Australia, who have lost work in greater Melbourne over the past week.

Payments will be $500 p/w for anyone working over 20 hours p/w, and $325 for those who work less than 20 hours p/w.

Applications must go through Services Australia

According to the How to Apply page, eligible visa holders need to call 180 22 66 where they will process claims.

Eligibility criteria on the website:

  • you're an Australian resident or hold an eligible working visa
  • you're 17 years or older
  • you don’t get an income support payment, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period
  • you live or work in a COVID-19 hotspot
  • you had paid employment and because of the lockdown you can’t attend work on or after day 8 of lockdown
  • you’ve lost income on or after day 8 of lockdown and don’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements
  • you have liquid assets of less than $10,000.

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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