Australian government has payments and services to help you if you have recently arrived in Australia to live. Waiting periods and other conditions may apply.
They can help you if you speak a language other than English. For example:
- A range of translated information available (written, audio and video) on the Information in your language page
- Provide free interpreters and a free translation service to help you conduct your business with us
- Call our multilingual phone service to speak to someone in your language about Centrelink payments and services
As a new arrival, you could be entitled to payments and services from the Australian Government. What you can get depends on your residence status. Waiting periods and other conditions may apply. The Australian government also provides payments to support new arrivals who are experiencing hardship. Crisis Payment is a one-off payment that helps those who have experienced difficult or extreme circumstances. Special Benefit is a payment that helps people who are in severe financial need because of reasons outside their control and who cannot receive any other Centrelink pension or benefit.
The Assessment Subsidy for Overseas Trained Professionals program (ASDOT) can help skilled overseas-trained professionals with the cost of assessments and exams you may need to pass so you can practice in Australia. Only certain approved professions are covered by ASDOT. More information can be found here: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/support-for-new-arrivals-to-australia
Australian has a strong consumer protection framework to protect the rights of Australian consumers, including international students in Australia. The Australian Consumer Law includes a national law guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services.
Overseas students ombudsman
The Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) investigates complaints about problems that overseas students have with private education and training institutions in Australia. The Ombudsman’s services are free, independent and impartial. You can find out more about this service on their website: www.oso.gov.au The OSO also produces an email newsletter for international students. You can subscribe to the newsletter on the OSO website
Tuition Protection Service
The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) is an initiative of the Australian Government to assist you if your institution (referred to as ‘Education Provider’ under the TPS) is unable to fully deliver your course of study. The TPS may also assist you if you have withdrawn from, or not started, your course and are eligible for a refund of tuition fees and the institution has not paid them.
Institution Support Service
Student support forms a large part of Australia’s education system. Institutions provide specialist services to help international students adjust to life and study in Australia, and to achieve their goals. This includes student services such as: Language and academic support; designated international student advisers; on-arrival reception and orientation programs.
Australia has a number of student associations representing and assisting students from Australian institutions. National associations include:
- Council of International Students Australia (CISA) – national peak student representative body for international students studying at the postgraduate, undergraduate, private college, TAFE, ELICOS and foundation level.
- Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS)– assisting international students in maximizing the scope and potential of their experience living and studying in Australia.
Australia has laws that protect individuals from discrimination in many areas of public life, including education. A person with a disability has just as much right to study as any other student. This means that institutions cannot: Refuse admission on the basis of disability. Accept a student with a disability on less favourable terms than other students (for example, asking for higher fees). Deny or limit access to a student with a disability (for example, not allowing access to excursions, or having inaccessible student common rooms or lecture facilities).
While many larger institutions have childcare facilities with trained staff, there are also a wide variety of private and not-for-profit childcare centres available around Australia. The Australian government provides financial assistance to help parents with childcare costs. International students who receive direct financial assistance from the government, through a government scholarship, may be eligible to receive the child care benefit.
Other Support Services
Some other support services that may be useful to know while you are studying in Australia are:
- Emergency matters for life threatening situations, such as a car crash or a fire – Call 000
- In Victoria you need to call your local police station – Police attendance for non-urgent matters