New coronavirus education tools and resources from the Fair Work Ombudsman

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has prioritised education and advice services, to ensure that those affected can find out about workplace entitlements and comply with their obligations. As coronavirus restrictions start easing, a number of industries and businesses are starting to operate again. This means that many employers and employees are planning their return to work or to the workplace. I am writing again to share our new resources, which help employers and employees with the transition back to work during coronavirus, when it is safe to do so and in accordance with state or territory directions.


We’ve developed a two part animated video series that dispel common misconceptions about JobKeeper rules and return to work. The videos address common enquiries that we receive through our social media and frontline channels.

In part 1, we deal with leave and stand downs, annual leave and JobKeeper and notice and stand downs.

In part 2, we deal with myths about work and the JobKeeper payment, employee duties back at the workplace, and JobKeeper and reduced hours.

Template letters 

We’ve also enhanced and expanded our suite of template letters to help small business employers manage their coronavirus related rights and obligations.

The suite now includes the following new and updated templates:

Further information

The FWO will continue to monitor and update our information and resources on and as the situation changes, including in response to the needs of workplace participants, Government announcements, and Fair Work Commission determinations. Recent updates include information about the extension and expansion of pandemic leave entitlements, a new Help in your language during coronavirus page and Frankie (our Virtual Assistant) who helps answer our customers questions about coronavirus and workplace laws.

I hope that these resources are useful for you, and I encourage you to share them within your organisation and networks. Remember, businesses and employees impacted by coronavirus can be referred to the FWO’s services by directing them to:


The Unique Student Identifier is coming for all new higher education students

The Unique Student Identifier (USI) is coming for all new higher education students (domestic and onshore International) from 1 January 2021 and will eventually be rolled out to all existing students.

The Australian Government is extending the Unique Student Identifier (USI) to higher education. Extending the USI to all tertiary students will reduce red tape for providers and give students access to a simpler, more streamlined tertiary identifier.

The rollout of the USI to higher education students will result in the Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) being gradually decommissioned.

From 2021, new students applying for Commonwealth financial assistance will need to provide their USI on their Commonwealth Assistance Form (CAF or eCAF). More information will be available soon.

CLICK HERE to find out more.

Joint media release – Supporting international students to support Australian jobs

The Morrison Government is making a number of changes to student visa arrangements to ensure Australia remains a priority destination for international students as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

International students are extremely important to Australia and our economy, contributing $40 billion annually and supporting 250,000 jobs. Many also go on to become great Australian citizens.

To read more, click here.

Additional resources:


VISA Update

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On 20 July the Australian Government announced a number of changes to student visa arrangements to support international students.

These changes include:

1. Granting student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia. This means when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make arrangements to travel.

2. Eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa (Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) will be relaxed for applicants who are enrolled with an Australian education provider and have been impacted by COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions

3. Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results, biometric collection, and health checks where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services.

These changes will help give international students confidence in their visa arrangements so that they can make plans to study in Australia when it is safe to do so.

Media release –…/supporting-international-st…

Webinar –…/ev…/qa-with-the-department-of-home-affairs

Free registration for five stimulating learning and teaching events

Registration: CLICK HERE

In just over a week the first of our five virtual events focused on learning and teaching quality will kick off with the Learning Leaders in Higher Education Conference scheduled for Thursday 23 July followed a week later by the annual Higher Education Quality Network (HEQN) Conference.

The final three events which focus on quality and compliance will be held on 13 and 27 August and 10 September from noon until 1pm. All events are offered free as a gesture of goodwill to the sector during these difficult and uncertain times. To register go to the HES website.

Held in conjunction with the Council of Australasian Leaders in Learning and Teaching (CAULLT), the Learning Leaders Conference will address the theme The Leader’s Challenge: Dilemmas in Strategic Decision Making. Presenters will share a cross-Tasman view with reflections from Professor David Sadler and Professor Giselle Byrnes.  Professor Sadler is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Western Australia and Chair of Universities Australia Deputy Vice-Chancellors (Academic) group.

Professor Byrnes is Provost at Massey University, New Zealand where she is responsible for leading the university’s research and enterprise and learning and teaching activities. An experienced leader in the higher education sector, Professor Byrnes has extensive senior management experience at universities in Australasia. She is also an internationally recognised historian with her major research contributions centering on settler-Indigenous histories, public histories and the politics of national history writing.

The HEQN Conference on Thursday 30 July will feature Professor Andrew Norton and Lisa Bolton.  Professor in the Practice of Higher Education Policy at the Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University, Andrew Norton was previously the Higher Education Program Director at the Grattan Institute.

His presentation is titled A new wave of change – the Tehan reforms and the 2020s in Australian higher education. He notes that the main goal of the Tehan reforms, to achieve more ‘job ready graduates’, will probably not in itself have dramatic effects. Student shifts in demand between disciplines are likely to be within the higher education sector’s normal experience. A block grant system near-guarantees university-level market share. But reduced total funding per place, including removing implied research money from domestic student funding, could be highly disruptive. Among the implications are a greater push to achieve economies of scale, and to replace teaching-research academic staff with teaching-only academic staff.

Lisa Bolton, Director of QILT Research and Strategy will discuss QILT in the time of COVID. As part of the new QILT contract (2020-2023) there will be an increased focus on the experience and outcomes of international students.  This session will focus on the main changes to the Student Experience Survey (SES) in 2020 including changes to the survey itself with the addition of an international student module, and a new International Student National Report.  There will also be an increased focus on engaging international graduates in the Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) and GOS-Longitudinal to enhance representativeness and also discussion about what institutions might need to do to prepare for an International Student National Report starting from the 2021 GOS collections. The session will also touch on the preliminary outcomes associated with the 2020 GOS with respect to COVID-19 employment affects and things to look out for in the results of the forthcoming SES.

Both events will run from 11am until 2pm, more detailed information about the final three virtual events will be available soon.


Survey of Temporary Migrants during COVID

The survey will document challenges faced by international students, backpackers, refugees and other temporary migrants who did not receive federal government support. It asks about work, housing, financial insecurity, health, safety and discrimination.

The multiple choice survey is open to anyone who was a temporary migrant in Australia on 1 March. It is anonymous and confidential and available in English and Mandarin

After completing the survey, participants can enter a prize draw to win or one of ten $100 Coles Myer vouchers


Please help us to include the voices of as many temporary migrants as possible by forwarding this email to temporary migrants in your network and sharing the link on social media:

Thank you in advance for your support,

Associate Professor Laurie Berg (UTS) and Associate Professor Bassina Farbenblum (UNSW Sydney)
Co-Directors, Migrant Worker Justice Initiative

Thank you stakeholders for your continuous support for CISA!

ISANA has been privileged to support CISA since it formed on the 7 July 2010. To see how CISA members and the Executive Teams have progressed in their chosen careers both within and outside of Australia, has been amazing. And to hear of the ongoing commitment and from the voices of the CISA Alumni makes ISANA feel inspired by the students and proud of our education industry.

New information for people seeking immigration assistance

Please see below some new information that has just been sent to us by the Office of the Migration Agent Registration Authority (OMARA).

Anyone who needs immigration assistance should first check the online register of Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) before paying for the services of a migration agent.

A Bill recently passed through Parliament –the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2019 – that will mean lawyers will no longer need to register with Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) to provide immigration assistance. It’s important to know that this change won’t actually happen for several months and, until then, lawyers still need to register with the OMARA.

Before that change happens, the Department of Home Affairs will provide more information to the community to explain how to access immigration advice under the new system.

The media release announcing the passage of the Bill is on the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs’ website at:



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