Since its formation, the AFUO COVID-19 Task Force has met twice to discuss how to best service the Ukrainian Community in Australia during this time, on 20 and 25 March. Their next meeting is on 1 April.
The group was formed to provide a central place for our community leaders to discuss best practices and share information on how to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions and keep our communities safe and connected.
Subscribe to government updates on your phone via WhatsApp. If you don’t have the WhatsApp app, you can download it from the App Store.
SBS has COVID-19 resources in Ukrainian language
Financial hardship resources
The government’s MoneySmart website contains useful information on what to do if you’re having trouble paying bills, mortgage repayments or rent due to COVID-19.
Eligibility criteria and approval times for some government benefits have been adjusted to assist with the impact of COVID-19.
If you already receive a government benefit such as the Age Pension you may be eligible for an additional one-off payment.
Task force members
For your local representatives, please refer to the list below.
Stephan Chomyn (Chair), Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations
Slawko Kohut, Association of Ukrainians in Victoria
David Hassett, Dnister Ukrainian Credit Cooperative
Dan Wolody, Ukrainian Council of NSW
Most Rev Fr. Simon Ckuj, Eparchy, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Most Rev Fr. Michael Solomko, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Diaspora, Diocese of Australia and New Zealand
Halyna Yusypiuk, Embassy of Ukraine in Australia
Jaroslav Fursenko, Association of Ukrainians in South Australia
Joe Didocha, Association of Ukrainians in Tasmania
Peter Bongiorni, Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc
Mykola Mowczan, Ukrainian Association of Western Australia
Issues discussed by the task force to date
What’s happening in our communities and churches?
How do we maintain connection with people, especially the more vunerable in our communities/parishes, while adhering to social distancing requirements.
- Need to contact the elderly by phone
- Discussed what churches and hromadas are doing now
- Aged care facilities have more stringent restrictions on visiting
- Contacts in each state to share information via their established networks eg. community websites, radio, TV, SBS Radio, Facebook, Church newsletters etc.
- How to keep members engaged with the Ukrainian Community? Move activities to online channels such as Facebook, Youtube.
- Embassy has some material/resources to share for this.
How are hromadas adapting to social distancing rules?
- Potential use of virtual classrooms. Options to be investgated, Skype, Messenger etc.
- Connections with community. How? Need to find other ways. For example, Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral is streaming masses.
How to help people experiencing financial hardship?
- Share information on government assistance
- Dnister can offer advice and information on institutional financial assistance on loan repayments etc.
- Can we fundraise?
Information on welfare assistance
- How to package up all the information for release. What to do, where to go.
- Help bring down the panic
- Support groups to provide information on wellbeing, mental health
- Share links to Centrelink about financial assistance, health, COVID-19
Regular updates will be provided throughout the COVID-19 period via email and Facebook.