8 April 2020 I Education Minister Dan Tehan has issued a press statement to convey his message for international students who are undoubtedly the most affected cohort amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines.
Mr Tehan says international students are “our friends, our class mates, our colleagues and members of our community.”
The minister has offered nothing new other than what the international students who hail from various parts of the world already know.
The “message” Mr Tehan is not openly conveying however appears to be that international students should no longer expect any substantial assistance packages from the government other than what has already been announced and that they are pretty much on their own.
We know the impacts of this virus are affecting our international students here in Australia.
The Government has announced that international students who have been here longer than 12 months and who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.
International students are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight.
International students working in aged care and as nurses have had these hours extended to support these critical sectors.
Our Government continues to work with universities and the international education sector to minimise the impact of COVID-19, and that includes finding innovative ways to support our international students.
I also encourage our international students to use the mental health support offered by their education provider.
My message to our international students is: you are our friends, our classmates, our colleagues and members of our community.