Are you an international student in the City of Sydney? Have you been impacted by COVID-19 and are currently in need of legal advice, food relief or emergency accommodation?
To help you find the services and support you need, the City of Sydney Council has developed the COVID-19 Community Hotline. Council staff are trained to provide information on accommodation, access to food, finance, isolation, personal wellbeing and community support.
The Community Hotline is 02 9265 9333 and is open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can also register for their Community Check-in Service and receive a regular call.
Alternatively, you can also reach out to many of the wonderful organisations below, who are all here to support you.
Redfern Legal Centre
The International Student Legal Service NSW provides free, confidential legal advice to international students living in NSW. To access this service, call (02) 9698 7645 or make an enquiry online using their free Check-In app. Free legal advice is by appointment, usually on a Tuesday evening or a Wednesday evening, either in person, by phone or using video-link up.
Face-to-face consultations have been replaced by phone or video-link up services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To call using a free telephone interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450. Please note that the Service can advise students living anywhere in NSW.
Phone: (02) 9698 7645
Addison Road Community Centre Organisation – Addi Road Food Pantry
The Addi Road Food Pantry is open to all, providing low cost, rescued and stocked food and grocery items. Spend a minimum of $5 on groceries to access free bread, fruit & vegetables.
International students and temporary visa holders are able to ask Addi Road Food Pantry staff for a voucher to cover the cost of their shopping. $10 vouchers will buy a shopping bag’s worth of groceries plus fresh fruit, vegetables and bread. International students and temporary visa holders are invited to collect free emergency food hampers from Addi Road Food Pantry on Friday mornings between 10am and 12pm. For more information, please contact Addi Road Food Pantry on:
Phone: 9568 7633
Email: [email protected]
OzHarvest Hamper Hubs
Emergency food relief is also available for international students and temporary visa holders at weekly pop-up Hamper Hubs across Sydney.
The OzHarvest Hamper Hubs provides emergency food relief for members of the community, especially the international student community. This initiative is proudly supported by the City of Sydney, NSW Government, Mirvac and nib Health Funds.
Each week there will be a limited number of food relief hampers and frozen meals available for pick up at Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour, Waterside Shopping Centre, Rhodes, and other locations.
International students and temporary visa holders can access a ticket to one of two weekly Sydney locations by registering here.
Darling Harbour Hamper Hub (Weekly)
Location: Level 1, Shop 241 Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour
Rhodes Hamper Hub (Weekly)
Location: Waterside Shopping Centre in Rhodes, former Lovisa space, Shop 18
For more details please:
Email: [email protected]
Study NSW has also partnered with Foodbank NSW & ACT to provide additional free food hampers to international students in NSW.
The hampers will be distributed at locations in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Armidale, Wagga Wagga, Lismore, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
To access your hamper, follow these steps:
- Call Food Bank on (02) 9756 3099
- State that you are an international student and your suburb, then ask for the distribution point closest to you
- Have your student visa and student card with you when you collect the hamper
Uniting Harris Community Centre Emergency Food Support Service
Uniting Harris Community Centre is an inclusive community hub that works with individuals, families, groups, workers, students and the wider community to help with everything from family to cultural challenges.
Their Emergency Food Support Service is open Monday to Thursday between 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm.
For more details please:
Phone: 9552 1140
Email: [email protected] with your details and reason for accessing this service.
Visit: 97 Quarry Street, Ultimo
The Staples Bag
The Staples Bag is an initiative of Settlement Services International, and supports individuals and communities in Campsie and Parramatta access low cost and high-quality nutritious food.
Phone: (02) 9787 6832
Visit: 449 Canterbury Road, Campsie NSW 2194. They are open Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm, Sat-Sun 9:00am – 2:00pm
Hindu Council of Australia
International students can receive cooked food and dry groceries through the Hindu Council of Australia. Please fill out the Crisis Help Form online on their website.
Metro Assist is a community Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) that provides comprehensive support services for members of the community, including international students. This includes food support, employment skills, tenancy advice and financial counselling.
Phone: 9789 3744
NSW Government temporary crisis accommodation for international students.
The NSW Government is funding temporary free accommodation for vulnerable international students in NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic. Accommodation is available for up to 12 weeks initially, with the potential to extend to 20 weeks.
The scheme will be delivered through approved student accommodation and homestay providers.
Service NSW is administering the application process and will allocate the accommodation to homestay or purpose-built student accommodation providers. Applicants will not be able to self-select their accommodation.
To be eligible you must:
- hold an international student visa
- have lost, or be at risk of losing, access to secure accommodation
- have no other avenues of support.
The crisis accommodation will be limited to international student visa holders in genuine need, who have lost, or be at risk of losing, access to secure accommodation.
To apply, visit Apply for international student COVID-19 crisis accommodation or call the NSW Government COVID-19 hotline on 13 77 88.
Wayside Chapel provides unconditional love, care, support and essential services for people experiencing homelessness and social isolation in Sydney.
Wayside is open from 9.30-1pm 7 days per week for showers, practical support and takeaway breakfast and lunch. 2pm – 4pm phone outreach only 2pm – 8pm – phone outreach, street reach and home outreach (front yard by referral from day staff)
Phone: 9581 9100 (Kings Cross) or 9581 9190 (Bondi Beach)
Ask Izzy is a search tool to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness find shelter, food, health and other critical support services.
Rough Edges is a non-government organisation that aims to bring a greater sense of self to everyone who walks through their doors. Opening hours to be confirmed on a daily basis. Please call in advance for take away dinner (7:30pm-8:30pm), case management and counselling.
Phone: 9360 6844