The Experience of International Students Before and During COVID-19: Housing, work, study, and wellbeing

 University of Technology Sydney, Australian Research Council study (DP190101073),

International students’ experience of renting accommodation in Australia is a crucial but overlooked determinant of their wellbeing, which has been brought into stark relief by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report is based on two surveys of international students in the private rental sector (PRS). The first survey was conducted in the second half of 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second survey in June and the first week of July 2020, during the pandemic.

The findings of the first survey show that a substantial proportion of international students were already in a precarious situation before the pandemic.

The second survey reveals the various impacts of the pandemic on international students in the private rental sector and the extent to which their circumstances have deteriorated.

The report also draws on data from the initial stage of the qualitative component of the study – semi-structured in-depth interviews with international students conducted between April and July 2020. Quotes from some of the 26 semi-structured interviews conducted thus far, are presented alongside the survey data evidence that follows.

Although the focus is on the experiences of private renting, the report has taken a broader sociological approach to student housing problems and, as such, it offers wider insights into the wellbeing, employment, and income situations of international students at a crucial turning point for the Australian higher education sector

Free workshop series on Sexuality and Intellectual Disability

South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability, July 2020

Sexuality and Relationships is an essential area of learning for people with an intellectual disability. Adults with intellectual disability say they want to learn together in their own right. Parents and carers can make a big difference in small ways by improving their own knowledge and using supportive approaches.

These interactive workshops will be presented in both the northern and southern suburbs of Adelaide. All workshops are free of charge.

Handouts and resources will be provided during the workshops.

Workshops for parents of people with intellectual disability: Each region will have a set of four 1-day education workshops for parents. The introductory workshop Sexuality and Disability is offered three times. It is recommended that you try to attend one of these sessions before attending others. You can enrol in one or more of the workshops. The Puberty and Adolescence Workshop will be held at the Special Education Resource Unit of the Department of Education in Henley Beach (SERU). This is so that parents of school-age children can become familiar with the range of resources available to them and their children for use at home and at school.
Other sessions will be held in a variety of venues. Parents will have first priority and support workers may also attend if numbers allow.

There will also be a series of four workshops for adults with intellectual disability.

Please see flyer for more information.

Breaking the Binary Code: Celebrating gender and sexuality diversity

The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre (Victoria), 2020

Breaking the Binary Code: Celebrating gender and sexuality diversity, challenging stereotypes and relationship expectations is a 18-month primary prevention of family violence project. 

The project has a strengths-based approach working with LGBTIQA+ young people, community and stakeholders.

It was led in partnership with The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre, Barwon Adolescent Taskforce (BATForce), City of Greater Geelong, and Creative Geelong Inc, funded by the Victorian State Government under the Free from Violence Fund.

Project Objectives:

  • support the community in increasing awareness and understanding of what a healthy, safe and respectful relationship looks like in a LGBTIQA+ relationship;
  • challenge images of gender, sexuality and expectations in relationships, that are portrayed through pornography and the online environment, and promote healthy, safe and respectful relationships that are free from violence;
  • develop key terms to include in a narrative that will support parents/carers in having conversations with young LGBTIQA+ people about the subject matter; and
  • challenge the binary constructs of women and men and provide supportive and inclusive language for young people exploring gender and sexuality.

The project will engage in activities including:

  • Consultation and engagement
  • Use of inclusive language about gender, sexuality and family violence.
  • Develop a creative resource to support discussion and conversation about gender and sexuality diversity and relationships that are free from violence.
  • Challenge society binary constructs of gender and sexuality through challenging images within social norms, stereotypes and media, and stereotypes and relationship expectations

Resources

 

 

 

 

New Resource for young LGBTIQA+ people

Victim Support Service, May 2020

The Rainbow Safety Guide is an informational wallet card that links LGBTIQ+ youth experiencing violence and abuse to online and phone resources. The Guide was made by and for LGBTIQ+ youth.


meet the artist/DESIGNER: India Potter (she/they is an Adelaide based young queer artist who does both digital and watercolour designs. Her art often portrays the queer community and aspects of LGBTIQ+ life. Both an artist and graphic designer, India created the art and designed the wallet card, taking special care to create art that was representative, colourful, but discreet enough that without the first page the Rainbow Safety Guide is less obviously a LGBTIQ+ resource.


This wallet sized Guide can be easily carried around by its user. It provides links to support services & information that may help them by:
• phone numbers
• online links
• QR codes

Due to the card’s small size it can be shared discreetly so as to not unintentionally “out” the recipient. If you are not in a position to physically give the card to someone, you can share this online link or our other LGBTIQ+ pages. The quick exit feature allows the reader to hide the page quickly if needed.

This wallet card will be valuable to services who work with youth, as well as individuals who know a young LGBTIQ+ person who they know or suspect is experiencing violence or abuse.

  • Read more at the VSS website here
  • To view or download the Rainbow Safety Guide card (PDF), click here
  • To request a physical copy email the VSS helpdesk at helpdesk@victimsa.org

 

The sex lives of young women marked by frustration, stress, guilt and embarrassment

Monash University, 24 Feb 2020

Professor Susan Davis, a leading Monash University expert on women’s health, admits it was a highly ambitious project: minutely studying the sexual wellbeing of 7000 young Australian women with particular focus on complicated, intimate ideas such as desire, arousal, orgasm, responsiveness and self-esteem.

Now that it’s done (and published this week in the international journal Fertility and Sterility), she’s “very concerned.” The main finding is that half of the women studied experience personal “distress” related to sex. One in five has at least one sexual dysfunction. “Young” means aged 18 to 39. The concern, she says, is because “sexual wellbeing is recognised as a fundamental human right”.

“This is a wake-up call to the community,” she says. “This is what we [society] are doing to people. We expected to find that a meaningful number of young women had sexual issues, but we were not expecting to find half were distressed sexually.”

Call for allies to step up with LGBTQ distress ‘worse than after postal survey’

Sydney Morning Herald, February 23, 2020

Four out of five LGBTQ+ people say they feel worse now than they did after the “yes” vote on same-sex marriage, describing the debate over religious discrimination as “Marriage Equality 2.0” because it is amplifying negative voices.

The findings are from the Make Love Louder report by Macquarie University researcher Shirleene Robinson.

It found three out of four LGBTQ+ Australians have personally experienced negativity or discrimination on the basis of their sexual or gender identity and one in four experience it on a daily basis. For transgender Australians, four out of five have experienced it, two out of five on a daily basis.

The research suggests 63 per cent of Australians support the LGBTQ+ community, but three out of four of these, dubbed allies, are “silent supporters”. Dr Robinson said it was important for allies to be vocal to “make love louder than hate”.

Meanwhile, separate research by mental health charity Headspace found most LGBTQ+ young people experience high or very high psychological distress.