Melbourne Based ‘Meld’ Magazine is delivering an International Student Safety Campaign, supported by Victoria Police, to strengthen early information provision, raise awareness among international students around identified areas of concern, and to encourage students to change their behaviours to stay safe.
They have launched a digital campaign entitled “Think Smart, Stay Safe” as the main part of the International Student Safety Campaign, which contains a series of guides, videos and articles produced with assistance from Victoria Police.
You can view the resources here:
From the City of Sydney Website…
We invite your feedback on our international education action plan. The plan includes actions to support international students and help them form lifelong connections with Sydney.
- welcoming international students into the Sydney community when they arrive
- providing a rewarding study experience with access to wellbeing resources and opportunities to participate in city life
- increasing opportunities to gain meaningful work experience
- strengthening connections with the local community
- nurturing our connections with global alumni.
These actions all aim to sustain Sydney’s position as a leading education destination in Australia and across the globe.
We would like to hear from people in the tertiary international education sector including students, alumni, education providers, support services, supporting businesses, accommodation providers education agents and residents.
Your feedback will help shape a collaborative plan and help provide a harmonious experience to international students.
How to give your feedback
You can complete an online survey about our plan. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2WTJDZG
Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 20 April 2018.
Other ways to give us your feedback
We want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to provide ideas and feedback.
If you prefer to talk to us in person, please contact the City of Sydney officer listed under who’s listening.
Upcoming PD and AGM the 17th October.
Guest Speaker: Mr Sam Zimmer
Psychologist, International Student Services
Sam Zimmer is a psychologist who works within the tertiary education sector as an International Student Counsellor. Sam’s more recent professional experiences involve working as an Academic Language and Learning Adviser, a TESOL English Language Instructor overseas, a Research Field Worker in the School of Psychology at QUT and as a Family and Relationships Counsellor at Mercy Family Services. Sam has a passion for supporting wellbeing and transition among international students studying at Australian universities. He also enjoys improving his professional skills and knowledge in applied psychological practice and peer program development with international students.
New strategy to raise international students’ awareness of workplace rights
The Fair Work Ombudsman is reaching out to international students to encourage them to seek free help from the agency if they experience any issues while working in Australia.
The agency has launched a new strategy aimed at raising awareness of workplace rights among international students, who make up a large proportion of temporary entrants to Australia – numbering more than 560,000 as at July 2017.
In an open letter to international students published today, Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James is encouraging international students to get informed about their workplace rights and, if unsure, seek help.
Ms James has also urged international students to speak up if they have any concerns in relation to their employment, underlining that they have the same workplace rights as all other workers in Australia.
“The number of international students reporting issues to the Fair Work Ombudsman is disproportionately low compared to other categories of visa holders, despite the fact that international students represent a significant proportion of overseas visitors with work rights,” Ms James said.
“We know that international students can be reluctant to speak out when something is wrong, making them particularly vulnerable to exploitation. This is especially the case when students think that seeking assistance will damage future job prospects or lead to the cancellation of their visa.
“We’ve seen cases where employers have threatened international students with deportation for working more than the number of hours permitted under their visa when they have raised questions about their entitlements.
“In some cases these same employers have altered payslips and underpaid hourly rates in order to disguise the number of hours the student has worked,” Ms James said.
“I would like to reassure international students that in line with an agreement between my agency and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, you can seek our assistance without fear of your visa being cancelled, even if you’ve worked more hours than you should have under your visa.”
The conduct against international students the Fair Work Ombudsman sees is often serious and highly exploitative.
This is reflected by the large percentage of cases the Fair Work Ombudsman files in court that involve one or more international students, despite the low numbers of international students reporting issues to the agency.
Last financial year, 49 per cent of litigations the Fair Work Ombudsman filed in court involved a visa holder – over a third of these involving an international student.
Research commissioned by the Fair Work Ombudsman found that many international students were not aware of their rights under Australian workplace laws and did not know where to go for help.
Some students told researchers they had been subject to intimidation by their employers, who threatened to deport or “blacklist” them for future work if they complained.
“The research showed that when it comes to international students in the Australian workplace, 60 per cent believe that if they report a workplace issue to their employer the situation will either remain the same, or get worse,” Ms James said.
“Our international student strategy focuses on raising international students’ awareness of their workplace rights and letting them know that they can come to the Fair Work Ombudsman for free advice and assistance.
“We know that it can be difficult to understand what is right or wrong at work, or to speak up if you are concerned.
“This is why we are committed to making it as easy as possible for international students to access the help they need,” Ms James said.
Ms James encourages all international students to get informed by visiting the Fair Work Ombudsman website, which has information available in 30 different languages.
Resources available on the website to help workers understand their rights and entitlements include the Pay and Conditions Tool at www.fairwork.gov.au/pay, which can be used to calculate the correct pay rates that apply to their work.
The Fair Work Ombudsman also recently launched its popular Anonymous Report function in 16 languages other than English, enabling non-English speakers to report potential workplace breaches in their own language, without being identified. The tool can be accessed at www.fairwork.gov.au/inlanguageanonymousreport.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s ‘Record My Hours’ app is aimed at tackling the persistent problem of underpayment of young workers and migrant workers around the country. The app, which equips workers with a record of the time they spend at their workplace by using geofencing technology to register when they arrive at work and when they leave, is available for download from iTunes or Google Play stores.
International students seeking assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or our Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50.
Below is a list of some recent matters investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman involving international students:
- Meatball and Wine Bar faces court for allegedly underpaying 26 workers, including visa holders
- Pizza Hut franchisee underpaid staff almost $20,000
- Joint operation uncovers alleged exploitation of overseas workers at Melbourne restaurants
- Melbourne cafe operator back in Court after 54 employees allegedly underpaid $73,000
- Penalties for blatant contraventions in popular Perth restaurant chain
- $72 000 in penalties after international student exploited, dismissed by text message
- Brisbane 7-Eleven outlet faces Court action
- Cleaning operator penalised for refusing to back-pay international students
- Labour-hire contractor signs workplace pact after underpaying Korean workers thousands of dollars
This topic is relevant to all of us as we work hard every day trying to make a difference in the lives of international students. Sometimes we feel powerless to do anything positive which is why this PD is so important. The presenters bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and will provide a way for you to think about wellbeing and importantly, how to improve your own and that of others. Please see below for more information and registration details.
From DET: 12th October 2017
Tuition Protection Service (TPS) levy – reduction in the administrative and base fees for 2018 collectionYesterday the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training has reduced the administrative and base fee components of the TPS levy by 75 per cent. Based on projected international student enrolment figures, this will save international education providers more than $3 million in 2018 and approximately $16.6 million over the forward estimates.The Legislative Instrument attached specifies the dollar amounts for the administrative and base fee components of the TPS levy payable by providers in 2018.In 2018, the administrative fee component will be the sum of:(a) $107; and(b) $0.55 multiplied by the total enrolments for the provider for the previous year (2017).In 2018, the base fee component will be the sum of:(a) $215; and(b) $1.36 multiplied by the total enrolments for the provider for the previous year (2017).If the Minister does not make a new instrument for the following calendar years, the instrument will continue to apply but with annual indexation. In making any adjustments to the administrative and base fees, the Minister cannot exceed the current legislated fees.BackgroundRecent changes to the Education Service for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislative framework enable the Government to proactively manage the Overseas Students Tuition Fund in response to changing market conditions. The Minister can now determine the administrative and base fee components of the TPS levy, which were previously prescribed in the ESOS (TPS Levies) Act) 2012.The Government will work closely with the TPS Advisory Board and the international education sector to ensure sufficient reserves are maintained in the Fund to protect students’ investment in their tuition.If you have any questions regarding the information provided in this email, please email ESOS-PolicyTeam@education.gov.au or call Brett Galt-Smith, Acting Branch Manager, Policy and Systems, on (02) 6240 0627.Kind regardsWarwick MilesA/g DirectorPolicy and Legislation | Policy and Systems
Understanding the International Student Life-Cycle and Managing Critical Incidents
Date: 29th June 2017
Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Venue: Department of Premier and Cabinet, 52 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000
Highlights of these two interactive workshops
Session 1 (9.30am- 12.30pm)
Exploring the international student lifecycle and identifying challenges they face
Sharing best practice and discussing available community resources
Developing strategies that contribute to a positive international student experience
Session 2 (1.30pm – 4.30pm)
Definitions and Examples of a critical incident
Critical Incident preparation and response
About the presenter:
National President: ISANA International Education Association
Current ISANA national president, Mary Ann Seow, has been a member of the ISANA National Council since 2009 and has been actively involved in international education in Australia for over 15 years. Her passion lies in working in the international education sector and collaborating with agencies, student groups and peers to assist and support international students and to advance research in international education.
REGISTER at www.ISANA.org.au