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

COVID-19 Impact and Response for Sex Workers

Scarlet Alliance, 2020

STATEMENT OF IMPACT

Sex workers throughout Australia have been devastatingly hit by the impact of coronavirus. As a workforce, sex workers are predominantly a mixture of precarious workers and the self-employed, being independent contractors who work in or for sex industry businesses, or sole traders who work independently for themselves. As such sex workers are particularly marginalised in terms of the impact of the coronavirus and many will still be excluded from the stimulus packages announced by the government.

While we welcome the announcement that from 27 April 2020 sole traders are included in the government’s Economic Response to the coronavirus, many sex workers will still be left without financial support.

Read more here

There are fears coronavirus is stopping Australia’s migrant women from accessing abortions

SBS News, 26th April 2020

Vulnerable pregnant women could lose access to abortion throughout Australia because of increased financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, reproductive health providers have warned. 

A combination of widespread job losses, differing abortion laws around the country, and patchy access to Medicare, could mean more women need financial assistance to terminate unwanted pregnancies or will face carrying their pregnancies to term.

Some providers even fear a return to people attempting unsafe abortions if women cannot afford legal terminations.

Medicare ineligible PLHIV in Australia

NAPWHA, May 2019

This NAPWHA report is an analysis drawing together several years’ worth of data from the main pharmaceutical industry suppliers of compassionate access antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in Australia and combines this with, for the first time, data from the State and Territory jurisdictions to produce the most accurate estimate to-date of the number of Medicare ineligible PLHIV in Australia. It comes with recommendations for systemic improvements.

SHINE SA Scholarships For Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Focused Workers

SHINE SA, October 8, 2019

SHINE SA is offering scholarships for participation in our courses and professional development to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Focused Workers.

Priority for these scholarships will be given to professionals who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or work in an Aboriginal organisation, and have a strong interest in sexual and reproductive health.

SHINE SA will cover the full cost of the applicant’s course of choice (please see link below for eligible courses).

Applicants attending a course that exceeds 1 day in duration can apply for contribution to expenses incurred to attend the course.

Applicants must provide a statement outlining the support required and why, including estimated costs.

HOW TO APPLY:

Scholarship places in 2020 are limited. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible with consideration to their intended course start date.

AFAO publishes Australian PrEP roundup

 Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), 23 August, 2016

Following the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) decision not to recommend funding PrEP through the Pharmaceutical Benifits Scheme (PBS), AFAO has produced an Australian PrEP roundup paper to sustain advocacy efforts and to raise awareness about current options for accessing PrEP around the country.

In releasing their decision, the PBAC has said they accept the importance of PrEP but were unable to recommend it for a number of  reasons, including the cost-effectiveness of the price submitted by Gilead Sciences.

Despite this setback, AFAO will continue with community advocacy to have Gilead Sciences resubmit its application as soon as possible. Interim PrEP access arrangements remain crucial in the meantime.

Download Australian PrEP roundup