Queues for ‘Our Shout’ food vouchers span blocks around Melbourne Town Hall2 June 2020
Hundreds of international students were spotted queueing around the Melbourne Town Hall building since Thursday, 30 May to redeem cash vouchers given by the Melbourne City Council through its ‘Our Shout’ program. Students were required to provide proof of identity and redeem their vouchers in person to avoid fraud.
The ‘Our Shout’ program is a partnership between Queen Victoria Market and the City Council to support international students affected financially by the pandemic. Each student receives $200 in the form of 40 $5 vouchers to spend exclusively at Queen Victoria Market.
Foreign students, totally abandoned by the Commonwealth Government queue around the block for support from the Melbourne Council in the poring winter rain. Unbelievable pic.twitter.com/pgQC7zAQ5A
— John Weber (@JohnVWeber94) June 1, 2020
The application for the program has closed due to its overwhelming demand. The program was intended to only cost $200,000, supporting a maximum of 1,000 international students. However, the program received 17,000 applicants and will now be providing an estimated total of $2 million worth of vouchers.
Successful applications would have received an email detailing their eligibility and timeslot preference for the pickup.
Currently, international students in Melbourne are able to access the Victorian Government’s International Student Emergency Relief Fund (ISERF). This fund will be a one-off relief payment of up to $1,100. However, the ISERF is included within the Emergency Support Fund (ESF) grant up to the existing cap of $7,500. As such, the payout amount received from ISERF will be part of the ESF grant.
For more information on grants and supports available for Unimelb international students: