fbpx
Thursday, October 28, 2021

Time for compassion for international students

A possible solution for the Aust Government to sustain and build goodwill

Reading Time: 2 minutes
International student are cast aside by the government who were happy to take their dollars and services in good times while deserting them in tough time

For the 500,000 plus international students in Australia, the next few months will be a testing time.

Already, they have been cast aside by the Australian government who were happy to take their dollars and services in good times while deserting them when the going got tough. The million odd temporary residents in this country, the majority of who are students, keep parts of the Australian economy ticking.

These temporary residents work in hotel services as managers, as chefs (one in five temporary residents is a chef), as service staff.  They make their ends meet with casual work at local restaurants, as stackers in supermarkets, and as cleaners elsewhere. Their wages are meagre but hard earned.

- Advertisement -

Then are others who work in healthcare – doctors, allied heath workers, aged care workers.It is known fact – and certainly the government is also aware – that most students live a hand-to-mouth existence. Yes, they are expected to have funds to support themselves in their first year here, and over time with work hours as mandated, are expected to see themselves through daily requirements.

The education sector adds $34 billion to the local economy through tuition fees and the money spent by the students on living costs, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The students pay their full rate of tax and are good temporary residents and at times like this need the support of the government to get them through. Most cannot go back home as international borders are sealed; very few international flights are taking off and those that are, are charging exorbitant prices. Australia also has an international obligation, with its comparatively better health care system, to keep those within its borders longer, even if it means taking care of those affected and stuck here.

Possible suggestions for solutions to the impasse include the setting up of a temporary fund and paying an allowance to those students disrupted by COVID-19. Allocations have been made for Jobseeker allowances of $1,100 and Jobkeeper payments of $1,500 each per fortnight. Overall, the cost to date to the government is over $115 billion. Setting up a shorter-term payment – say three months – of $400 per fortnight can help these students. No doubt it will be a $1 billion expense, but look at it as an investment to not only sustain but also build goodwill in an annual pre-COVID industry which earned $34 billion.

To date, the temporary Indian resident has been supported by the charity of the Indian-Australian community who have banded together to care for them, whether through food or accommodation. Restaurants are donating free food, home kitchens have been set up to create dinner packs, donations are helping with rents. These donors with big hearts need to be applauded for their selfless service.

It is in times of need that true friends come forward.

Perhaps it’s time for the Australian government to show their friendship now.

READ ALSO: DESPERATION: International students face being homeless and penniless

- Advertisement -
Pawan Luthra
Pawan is the publisher of Indian Link and is one of Indian Link's founders. He writes the Editorial section.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

0
  To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic death...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Paneer Jalebi. Source: Canva

Jalebi three ways

0
  Woh tyohaar hi kya, jismey jalebi na ho?  What’s the fun in festivities without jalebis? And a Diwali without jalebis, now that’s unheard of. Of course,...

7 truths from COVID lockdowns

0
  As we head to Diwali, COVID-19 imposed restrictions are also ending in two of Australia’s largest states, and there is promise of resuming normal...
Kayo: How to watch T20 World Cup in Australia online

Kayo: how to watch T20 Cricket World Cup in Australia

0
  The ICC T20 Cricket Cup has kicked off and the world’s best teams fight it out in what is set to be one of...
Quinton De Kock. Source: Cricket South Africa/Instagram

Taking the knee: Quinton de Kock lets his team and country...

0
  South African wicketkeeper and former captain Quinton de Kock controversially opted to withdraw from South Africa’s T20 World Cup match against the West Indies,...

Indian-origin breast cancer researcher awarded $8 million grant

0
  Melbourne-based physician-scientist Dr Shom Goel whose research focuses on an important but overlooked problem in cancer biology has been awarded one of three $8 million...