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Hospo Resources for COVID-19

This page is to assist hospo businesses and workers with resources that might be useful as we all try to navigate a COVID-19 worldscape. Inclusion does not necessarily equal endorsement. If you are looking for something that’s not here, please ask.



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OS Workers Resources

This page is to assist overseas workers in Australia on working visas who have lost jobs or reduced hours due to COVID-19. I am a food writer who cares about your plight. I am not qualified to give you legal advice. Please use this page as a starting place. I can take no responsibility for your actions or the consequences that may arise from them. I wish you all the best and I want you to know that many people care about your situation!



Turkish Yoghurt and Rice Soup

In its most simple form, this is a yoghurt soup that’s thickened with rice. In the traditional version, chickpeas are incorporated into the soup – I’ve turned them into a golden topping instead, brightened with kale and chilli. I get really excited about reworking simple ingredients for new pleasures. The components of this dish are humble and modest but each finds new potential in this recipe, and thus new opportunity for diner pleasure.

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Chef @charliesatlas has nine employees at @atlasdining restaurant in Prahran. Seven of them are from overseas, with visas that allow them to work in Australia but not to claim any benefits. "I don't think the government is aware how bad the repercussions are for these workers," Carrington says. "They are taxpayers, they are here now and we have to look out for them." Charlie, along with other restaurateurs including @caterinascucinaebar, @misskukuwindsor
and @chinchin are taking it upon themselves to help their overseas workers.

Read my story in today's @theageaustralia
and via link in bio.
This morning, the government announced changes that will allow some visa workers to access super but the basic message is: "leave". This is unconscionable. It's also unrealistic: there are few flights, they are expensive and - in many cases - people have no home to go to. Visa workers have lives, lovers, leases, families and careers here. They also have a reasonable expectation that the legal working pathways laid out for them would not be torn up due to a global health crisis. Also - our economy absolutely depends on them. Restaurants certainly do. If we want to #savehospo we also need to ensure #noworkerleftbehind

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"Do you know where I
could find some food?" This is from an email I received today from a temporary visa holder who is in Melbourne without work and without any access to government support. Before becoming unemployed when their restaurant shut down due to COVID-19, this person was washing dishes, sweeping floors, cleaning rangehoods, and taking out rubbish. They have also been paying tax, rent, uni fees, private health insurance and visa costs. They are not entitled to JobSeeker or JobKeeper or their own super. They are not able to go home to India because they don't have money for a ticket and because the borders are closed. And their life is here.
There are at least five good reasons why overseas workers should be included in COVID-19 benefits. I've outlined them in more detail in my petition ( and via link in bio) but they are:

1. Humanitarian: It's unconscionable to leave taxpayers in unfunded limbo during this unprecedented crisis.
2. Health: A poverty-stricken underclass - created by government inaction - is at greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
3. Resources: Overseas workers with no access to any funds will overwhelm existing charities.
4. Economic: The hospitality industry doesn't function without overseas workers.
5. Security: Maintaining social cohesion will be a challenge in the months ahead anyway. No good will come from creating a needy and desperate cohort of temporary visa holders at a time when all Australians are under particular stress.
The PM talks of Team Australia. My Team Australia is inclusive, caring and ensures that no person is left behind.

@scottmorrisonmp @sallymcmanus1971 @joshburnsmp

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Every Sunday for 13 years, I've had a restaurant review column in the Sunday Age. Today, there isn't one. You always know as a freelancer that any phone call could be the one that informs you a gig has gone. I got that call on Monday. Fair enough. But of all the reasons that might have called time on my column - budget cuts, fresh voice, editor doesn't like the way you use adjectives - it never, never, ever occurred to me that the reason might be, "Melbourne has no restaurants". I'm sad about my column. The missing income will hurt. But I'm mostly stricken about the reason behind it: the closure of restaurants and cafes, the standing down of thousands of employees, the loss of that way of gathering, expressing ourselves, sharing culture and community, and finding meaning and connection. For me, writing about restaurants was always a way to write about people - the way they grow food, cook it and serve it, and in so doing, share of themselves, give from their hearts and hands, honour the bond between host and guest. I always loved hearing the stories behind food businesses: it was a privilege to get nosy and then to work those tales and my own impressions into words for my readers. I learnt so much. The biggest compliment I could ever get from a restaurant was, "You really understand what we're trying to do". And the biggest compliment from readers was, "I never would have tried that / got that / known that, if not for your review." Anyway, if you served me food and wine and coffee, thank you. And if you read my reviews, thank you, I hope they steered you well. To @theageaustralia, thanks for trusting me. If you're wondering what you might do next, I give you two ideas. 1. Support your local restaurant or cafe if they are still doing takeaway, selling groceries, vouchers, toilet paper, whatever. 2. Support media organisations: it is more important than ever that we have strong, independent, well-funded media keeping eyes and ears on the world right now. I don't care who you support (though The Age / SMH would be great) but if you can afford to buy a subscription to whichever news outlets you rely on, I would appreciate it as a citizen, not just as a journalist. ...

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Cake break. One of my kids turned 15 today. Her original plan for her birthday was a night in a hotel with her friends. That idea got a Hard No from 'worst mum ever' over here. But as it happens, I could have pretended that I was fine with it and let a global pandemic swoop in to play helicopter parent. Live and learn? Anyway, the best thing I could think of to make the day spesh was a cake from @sweetbakes_ - and what a cake! Thanks, Alisha for supplying sweet sunshine and buttery goodness for my girl. A birthday to remember, if not the best birthday ever. Apparently the cake feeds 40 but probably fewer if you have it 3 meals a day, am I right? #cakeforbreakfast #coronabirthday #covid19birthday ...

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Overseas workers are especially
vulnerable at this time. Many of
them have visas tied to the job
that they have now lost. They are
not entitled to benefits. They often
have few resources or connections.
So we built a form for overseas hospo
workers to register their needs and
we will try to help. Not sure who 'we'
is but it might be you...We are in this
together. Link in bio and #savehospo Thanks @meandu for
assistance with this 🙏

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"I've been up all night...I've turned from a chef into a baker. This is insanely hard but you've got to stay positive and hang in there and just keep going." ❣️💔❣️💔 @benshewry @kystadds @atticamelbourne @boylemd #savehospo ...

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Had a few legal questions come up from hospo folk so I got in touch with workplace lawyer @libertysanger1 to ask her for some tips to help #savehospo. Before we got started, we had a bit of a cry about the whole *wehavenorestaurants* bafflement and bereavement and how hard and sad that is making things for so many of us. Watch the interview in my Instagram Live. All her answers and follow-ups are also on my resources page via Thank you, Liberty, principal lawyer at @wefightforfair and thanks Josh Bornstein for the intro. Got more legal questions? Ask and I'll find the answers. ...

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@fareshare_australia will accept
donated produce. They are
best-placed to deal with a
random selection of items.
It's what they do all the time.
Your ingredients will be cooked
into nutritious meals and given
to those doing it tough...
which will be many of us
YOU MUST CALL FIRST (03) 9428 0044
Kitchen is in Abbotsford #savehospo

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OK, restaurants &
cafes closed by
noon tomorrow.
Feel the relief.
Feel the awful pain &
sadness. Takeaway
& delivery OK. News
on food drop-off to
prevent waste coming
shortly #savehospo

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While Melbourne's supermarkets are stripped bare of produce, local farmers who supply restaurants are in danger of ploughing fruit and vegetables back into the fields. Independent restaurateur Lily Stokes at @theodor.es_ decided to do something about it. Link in bio. Yay @northsidefruitandveg Also doing great work in this space: @beccorestaurant @smithanddaughters @annam_melbourne @vicfarmersmarkets 🙏❣️ ...

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