Updated 23 April 2020

As our nation's COVID-19 environment evolves, we continue to work with the Department of Education and Training (DET), the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to plan for, and respond to, the impact of COVID-19 on Victoria's TAFE and training sector - and Chisholm's delivery of courses.

Education remains one of the essential reasons that Victorians can leave their premises, and there are a number of courses for which on-campus instruction is required. Chisholm, together with all Victorian TAFEs will manage a small number of classes on campus where necessary, following all of the social distancing directions issued by the Chief Health Officer.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been focused on the preparation of more flexible modes of delivery for classes in term 2 and transitioning to remote and online delivery wherever possible.

Communicating these changes is ongoing but most students will have received details of their term 2 course structure and process for remote learning. Information about student placements is also being distributed to those students who will continue to undertake placements this term.

Students, please be sure to continue checking your email for updates.

About COVID-19

Information for apprentices and employers

Information for international students

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 for those still on campus
  • 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:

  • Where possible training delivery has been adapted to be delivered online or remotely ,
  • The Apprenticeship Hub continues to operate remotely and can be contacted via phone or email. For updated operating hours for campus receptions and the Apprenticeship Hub please visit our Contact us page.
    • All Chisholm Library spaces are closed until further notice.
    • If you have library books on loan they will be renewed for you, until on campus classes resume, you’ll then have four weeks to return your books.
    • Library staff continue to provide support to students and staff via web chat and phone. Extensive online resources and web chat are available via the library website.
    • You can contact library staff via the Library Chat on the library website or via email at library@chisholm.edu.au.
    • The following spaces will be available for students to access computers, internet and printing with appropriate physical distancing and hygiene practices in place: Dandenong campus – A120 –4 computers
      Berwick campus – Client Services Building A – 12 computers
      Cranbourne campus – Client Services Building A – 4 computers
      Frankston campus – Building A Foyer –5 computers (printing not available)
  • Support services - 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 2 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.

Campus consolidation

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.

We are now delivering remote and online classes in term 2 where possible

Activities have been temporarily consolidated to the four main campuses of Dandenong, Frankston, Berwick and Cranbourne from Monday 6 April. We will continue to provide a service across the whole of the Chisholm student community.

How do I use Zoom?

Chisholm has updated its security for all Zoom meetings and this means some things have changed to the way you use it.

If you have any questions, or need any help to optimise their Zoom settings, they can contact the ITS Service Desk on 9212 5444, servicedesk@chisholm.edu.au or the Service Now Self-Service Portal, where you’ll find more ‘how-to’ guides to connect you with Zoom and other remote learning technologies.

What do I need to do as an AMEP student?

We have contacted all AMEP students with course details for term 2.

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 and SBATs 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:

What is Working for Victoria?

  • On 21 March 2020, the Premier announced a $500 million Working for Victoria Fund.
  • The fund will connect workers with new jobs that will support our state’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • This program includes retraining and certifying workers for direct employment now and to have skills for the post- coronavirus (COVID-19) economy.
  • Those wanting to register their interest in jobs or training should visit the Working for Victoria 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.

Contact Student Services on 03 9212 5269 or email studentservices@chisholm.edu.au for a full list of resources available to those in the south-east regions of Greater Dandenong, Casey Cardinia, Frankston and Mornington Peninsula.

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.

I have a disability – how can I receive the extra support that I need?

Our Equitable Learning and Disability Liaison Officers, and Student Engagement team may be able to provide additional support like:

  • Classroom support such as note taking and Auslan interpreters;
  • Working with you and your teachers to ensure accessible delivery of online classroom material;
  • Alternative formats for learning materials;
  • Adjusting assessment tasks or submission requirements to support your needs.

If you need support, guidance or study help, please reach out to Student Services 03 9212 5269 or email studentservices@chisholm.edu.au.

Will my short course still go ahead?

Most short courses in term 2 have been 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. 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.