Last week’s Russian invasion of Ukraine has left people all over the world feeling extremely concerned and troubled, particularly those with ties to the region. As a result, you may be looking for ways to assist the Ukrainian community or for support resources to get through this uncertain time.
Below, we’ve compiled some key resources and updates to help you do exactly that.
How to help Ukraine
There are many ways you can assist the people of Ukraine who are being severely affected by the violence currently unfolding.
UNICEF is one of the key organisations urgently ramping up efforts to deliver aid to children and families living in the region. You can learn more about the UNICEF Ukraine Emergency Appeal or donate funds here.
Important support resources
Various organisations across Australia are doing their part to offer aid and solidarity to the people of Ukraine. Below are a few key examples you should be aware of, should you or anyone you know need to use them.
The Department of Home Affairs is supporting Australia’s response to the escalating crisis in Ukraine by accelerating outstanding visa applications from Ukrainian nationals across all visa categories.
In recent days, the Department has finalised hundreds of on-hand applications.
Close family members can apply on behalf of their family members in Ukraine. Before applying, learn more about who is eligible to help with a visa application here.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also announced that automatic visa extensions of six months will be given to Ukrainian nationals in Australia whose visas are set to expire before 30 June 2022.
In a show of solidarity, Charles Darwin University (CDU) has introduced a new scholarship fund specifically for Ukrainian students, a first for the higher education sector in Australia.
The CDU Ukrainian Assistance Scholarship will support Ukrainian humanitarian entrants to Australia, offering education scholarships to support their tuition fees and living expenses.
CDU is also planning to launch a staff fundraising campaign, under which the university will match staff donations dollar-for-dollar.
Given the severity of the situation in Ukraine, the mental wellness of those affected is a top priority.
According to Group of Eight (Go8) Chief Executive Vicki Thomson, the organisation has mobilised to identify and contact individual students from Ukraine and Russia. Go8 has also reportedly reached out to relevant student clubs and societies, offering support and wellbeing checks for those affected by the conflict.
“As tensions in the region build, our universities are mindful of the increasing pressure this will place on our Ukrainian and Russian students both here in Australia and studying offshore,” said Ms Thomson.
“We are extremely concerned for their welfare […] Our universities are offering access to peer support advisors, counselling services for domestic students, and establishing ‘chat’ channels for international students currently studying offshore. We will monitor the situation closely and offer additional support as the situation evolves,” she added.
You can also consult other Australian mental health resources – such as Lifeline (Phone: 13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (Phone: 1300 22 4636) – if you or someone you know is feeling depressed or anxious about the ongoing crisis.