Dear colleagues and friends of Access,

For obvious reasons I wanted to take this opportunity to advise you of how Access has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and speak to you about how we are working to ensure we continue to service and support our clients and communities during this challenging time.
 
As of Monday, March 30 2020, Access implemented an operating model under which all staff are working from home.
 
As you would expect, the Access team is working very hard behind the scenes to ensure we continue to support the community, and particularly, our most vulnerable clients, under this new arrangement.

Rest assured, we are open for business and continue to deliver our programs to the community via the use of online and telephone technology to support our clients and where appropriate, are continuing face-to-face support for complex cases (such as mental health and disability support, highly vulnerable asylum seekers and emergency relief) to ensure crucial services remain available. The events over the last few weeks have been especially re-traumatising for many clients, and we are also acutely aware of the strain these necessary isolation measures can take on households. Our 99 Steps Domestic and Family Violence Support Service will remain open to support any families or individuals facing violence during this time. 

We are also working through various online channels and on-ground support to maintain communication and ensure crucial messages are being translated to the most far-reaching corners of our multicultural communities. Our community engagement teams have quickly adapted and are facilitating their programs online.

The majority of our physical offices, however, are now closed and we urge all referring organisations and partners to please advise clients to contact us in the following ways listed below.

Access Priority Contact List as of April 9, 2020

  • For all general enquiries please contact our switchboard on 07 3412 8222or email enquiries@acsl.org.au. Clients will be triaged to the appropriate area of their enquiry/need.  
  • For Health Services, including Harmony Place phone 3412 8282
  • For Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) phone 0439 655 482
  • For Employment Services phone 07 3412 8222 or email employment@acsl.org.au
  • (Please note all options are available as selected options on our main 3412 8282 switchboard)

These arrangements are being communicated to all our clients and other key stakeholders.

An additional suite of resources is available on the Access and SSI websites for our clients and the community to help them through the challenging time ahead.
 
I trust the above measures are in line with your own responses and reassure you that Access will maintain all key services in the circumstances. I am hopeful that in taking these actions we will be in a position of strength to tackle this crisis and be able to respond quickly when normality resumes.

I wish to leave you with the message that Access remains committed to the support we offer the community and we will be doing everything we can in the coming months to maintain that support.

 
Stay safe and treat each other with kindness.
 
Gail Ker
Chief Executive Officer