Updated 3 April 2020

The Victorian Government has announced additional measures to help reduce people's chances of infection and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community. This includes the shutdown of many non-essential services across Victoria. At present, it does not include the closures of TAFEs, Learn Locals or training organisations.

All TAFEs and training organisations are encouraged to increase their ability to deliver training remotely or online where possible. Learn Locals should adopt these approaches to support continuity of provision of pre-accredited training where there is existing capability and capacity.

We understand that this may be difficult for some courses, such as trades. Where activities continue to occur on campus, it is critical that physical distancing guidelines are strictly followed in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Chisholm continues to actively monitor the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to ensure Chisholm’s response places the wellbeing of our students and community first. As the situation unfolds, we will be updating this page with key information.

About COVID-19

Information for apprentices and employers

How is Chisholm managing COVID-19?

Chisholm Institute continues to work closely with the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to plan for, and respond to, the current and potential impact of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on our students, staff and the wider community.

Following advice and direction from the DHHS, we are undertaking a range of measures to minimise the health risks for our students and staff including:

  • implementing social distancing measures, such as staggering break times
  • postponing student and community gatherings and events
  • encouraging good hygiene practices amongst students and staff, including washing hands regularly and increasing access to hand sanitiser and alcohol wipes
  • increasing routine cleaning activities in high traffic areas and large class / program areas that involve close contact or high-risk groups
  • providing regular information to students, staff and our business and industry partners.

Have any on-campus services been impacted?

At this time, we have amended our on-campus services as follows:

  • Attendance - unless otherwise advised, students are not required to attend classes on-campus from Wednesday 25 March until Tuesday 14 April, We will communicate directly with students to confirm arrangements for term 2.
  • The Apprenticeship Hub continues to operate and can be contacted via phone or email. However, please note that drop-in at the Dandenong building is temporarily not available and staff will continue to work remotely until further notice. For updated operating hours for campus receptions and the Apprenticeship Hub please visit our Contact us page.
  • Libraries - all Chisholm library spaces are closed from 26 March until further notice. Students and staff can access the extensive online resources and the library Chat line via the library website https://library.chisholm.edu.au. Library staff will continue to work and provide support by phone or webchat. In addition, the following spaces will be available for students to access computers, internet and printing with appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices in place:
    Dandenong campus – A324 –12 computers
    Berwick campus – A127 – 12 computers
    Cranbourne campus – A128 – 12 computers
    Frankston campus – A Foyer –12 computers including printing.
  • For students who have Library books on loan, please don’t return them yet. Our Library staff will renew them automatically until your return to on-campus classes when you will have four weeks to return your books. You can contact library staff via the Library Chat on the library website  or via email library@chisholm.edu.au.
  • Support services - weekly on-campus student support at our regional (Mornington Peninsula and Bass Coast) campuses have been reduced. Students can still access support services by phone, videophone or email. Please contact us on Tel: 03 9212 5269 or email: studentservices@chisholm.edu.au . Apprenticeship Support Officers will be available on request.
  • Casey Tech School has ceased program delivery until the commencement of term two 2020, or until further advice is provided from DET. Casey Tech School staff remain available via telephone or email as required.
  • All appointments for Beauty, Hairdressing and Massage clients have been postponed until further notice.
  • Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) will continue as normal, as it is considered a part of students’ regular learning program.
  • Schools have been advised that there is no need to cancel VETiS arrangements at present. This includes where Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) have students attending VETiS classes from a range of schools, or where students travel from their home school to another education setting to undertake VET studies.

Who can I talk to at our regional campuses for assistance?

Our Wonthaggi and Rosebud campuses will not be open or staffed from Monday 6 April until further notice as our service team members have transitioned to remote delivery.

If you need to access a computer, printing or internet, you can visit Building A of our Frankston campus, where social distancing practices have been implemented.

Have any events been postponed?

On 23 March, in response to COVID-19, the Government advised that all non-essential organised gatherings are suspended.

These measures are intended to protect the health of our students, staff and the broader community. Subsequently, the following events have been postponed:

To remain up to date with student life at Chisholm, including changes to events and social clubs, be sure to visit Current Students.

We will continue to review all on-campus activities and will keep you updated with any changes.

I’m a student and lost my job. What help is currently available?

  • Our Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation (CCEF) is accepting applications for scholarships to cover outstanding fees on Debitsuccess loans during this crisis. If you have a current health care card, you’re completing a government-funded course and you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident you may be eligible. If you would like more information, please contact scholarships@chisholm.edu.au.
  • If you do not have a current health care card, Debitsuccess payments can be suspended, and the end date extended. Your certification for your qualification will be issued once you have finalised payments for your Debitsuccess loan. For more information, contact our Student Enrolment Hub on 1300 244 746
  • International students should contact the International Support team on 03 9212 5040 or email international@chisholm.edu.au.
  • Apprentices can refer to their Apprenticeship Support Officer. Please phone 0423 826 745 or email aso@chisholm.edu.au. Apprentices should also note that employers can access assistance to retain their employees over this time. For more information, please refer to the Australian Government's Supporting apprentices and trainees page.

The Federal Government has announced a number of payments to support Australians in financial hardship:

  • COVID-19 information and support: Visit the Department of Social Services website.
  • Income Support, such as JobSeeker, Austudy, and Youth Allowance: Visit the Services Australia website.
  • JobKeeper payment (for affected employees): Visit The Treasury website.
  • I want to enrol but cannot afford it. What are my options?

    If you have a current health care card, you may be eligible for a scholarship via the Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation (CCEF) to cover the tuition and material fees. Please visit the CCEF website, or contact scholarships@chisholm.edu.au for more information.

    Students are encouraged to explore their eligibility for Centrelink support. The Federal Government will provide a temporary additional payment of $550 for eligible income support recipients (including Austudy). For more information, please visit Service Australia’s COVID-19 Information page. For help with how to claim, please visit Services Australia's Register your intention to claim a payment - coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

    Can I access any financial support/information while at Chisholm?

    Yes, our Student Wellbeing Officer is available for appointments. Students can contact the Student Wellbeing Officer on 03 9212 5269 or email financesupport@chisholm.edu.au.

    I’m currently enrolled and would like to withdraw. How can I do this?

    Prior to withdrawing, please contact our Financial Support team on 03 9212 5269 or email financesupport@chisholm.edu.au so we can discuss all options available to support you during this time.

    If you want to pursue withdrawal of course and request a refund of fees due to financial crisis, a refund of tuition fees will be provided for units not yet commenced.
    Please note, apprentices are able to continue studies they have paid for, to keep their apprenticeship progressing even if they don’t have an employer. Speak to your relevant trade department, or the Apprenticeship Hub on 1300 775 265.

    I’m struggling to pay my bills. What can I do?

    If you're having financial difficulties, having problems with an insurance claim process, or can't make your loan repayments due to COVID-19, contact your bank or financial service provider first and ask for assistance. The type of assistance offered by financial providers will depend on individual circumstances, but can include:

    • A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
    • Waiving fees and charges
    • Interest-free periods or no interest rate increases
    • Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.

    If you run into problems during this process, contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on 1800 931 678 or visit the Australian Financial Complaints Authority website.

    If you are struggling with your finances at the moment, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 and speak to a free independent financial counsellor.

    Is there help available in my community?

    No Interest Loans (NILS) provide individuals and families on low incomes with access to safe, fair and affordable credit. Loans are available for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines, computers and medical procedures for up to $1,500. Repayments are set at an affordable amount over 12 to 18 months. For more information, please call 13 NILS or refer to the NILS website.

    Local community support centres are a valuable resource, enabling residents to access services such as case management, financial counselling, and emergency relief. For further information regarding support centres near you, please contact Community Information & Support Victoria (CISVic) on 03 9672 2000, or refer to the CISVic website.

    Similar support may be available through the Salvation Army. For information regarding your local corps, please visit the Salvation Army website.

    I want to continue to study, but I don’t have a computer or internet access.

    You may be eligible to loan a laptop from Chisholm to support your studies. Please contact Students can contact the Student Wellbeing Officer on 03 9212 5269 or email financesupport@chisholm.edu.au for further details.

    Will my work placement be affected?

    If you have current placement arrangements confirmed, your placement coordinator will be in touch to confirm whether the placement will continue or be postponed to a later date. As Chisholm is currently considered an essential service, all academic and non-academic staff will continue to work and support students as required.

    Will my short course still go ahead?

    Whilst some short courses will go ahead, other may be postponed or cancelled. If your short course is cancelled, a full refund of fees will be provided.

    If you are interested in completing the course at a later date or have any questions, please email: shortcourses@chisholm.edu.au.

    Can I attend Chisholm if I feel unwell?

    If you are unwell and suspect you may have COVID-19 (cold and flu like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and breathing difficulties), we request that you remain at home and seek medical advice.

    Does Chisholm have any confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

    At this stage, Chisholm does not have any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

    Will Chisholm Institute shut down?

    The Victorian government has advised that TAFE’s and training organisations are considered essential services. Any closures will be made on the recommendation of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the Department of Education and Training. Should this occur, the Department of Health and Human Services will inform the Department of Education and Training, who will then work with Chisholm to implement any form of closure.

    What happens if Chisholm does shut down?

    Should Chisholm close, either as a stand-alone closure, or as part of a local, area or sector based closure, we will advise our students, staff and the wider community as quickly as possible.

    At that time, our contingency plans will be enacted. We are actively preparing for alternative ways of delivering our teaching and learning programs, and ways of working, should regular scheduled delivery be disrupted. This includes planning for the rescheduling of classes, enabling remote access to learning programs and negotiating alternate placement opportunities for students where possible.

    Key Chisholm contacts:

    For any Chisholm related COVID-19 questions, please feel free to contact us at COVID19enquiries@chisholm.edu.au or 1300 244 746.

    To notify us of your travel, self-isolation, if you are undergoing a test for COVID-19 or if you have tested positive, please email: studentsafety@chisholm.edu.au.

    Student Support offers free and confidential counselling, financial support and career advice. If you need extra help or are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, please contact us on 03 9212 5269 or email studentservices@chisholm.edu.au.

    For updated operating hours for campus receptions and the Apprenticeship Hub please visit our Contact us page.