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To: Victorian and South Australian Governments

ARTS WORKERS STRANDED

ARTS WORKERS STRANDED

Victorian and South Australian arts workers are stranded in NSW with their work cancelled or finished and no way to get home.

These arts workers are sole contractors and freelancers who travelled to NSW to earn a living on various gigs or productions while they were allowed to do so, but before their work finished up they were locked out of their home state.

Their applications to return home have been ignored or rejected without reason. They are now facing many more months of separation from their loved ones, with no job, income, or guaranteed accommodation.

I call on the Victorian and South Australian Governments to take urgent action to create a process to bring their workers home safely.

Why is this important?

Victorian and South Australian arts workers are stranded in NSW with their work cancelled or finished and no way to get home. Their applications to return home have been ignored or rejected without reason. They are now facing many more months of separation from their loved ones, with no job, income, or guaranteed accommodation. Sign the petition to bring them home.

Jasmine Vaughns

I am in the cast of Come From Away and travelled to Sydney for this work on the 25th of May. Shortly after opening the season I was stood down on the 25th of June due to the latest COVID outbreak. I applied for an exemption to return to my home/Victoria three and a half weeks ago. I was denied last night and am now going through the taxing process of re-applying all over again. My reason for doing so is that my mental health has suffered greatly being isolated here in Sydney. Suffering from anxiety and panic disorder I need to return to my home to be in the care of my partner and family. I get COVID tested weekly, have had my first dose of the vaccine and provided all documentation and evidence I could to support my application, yet still was denied. My only reason for being here was for work, and now that it can no longer continue currently, I simply wish to go home.

Zelia Kitoko

I travelled from Naarm to Gadigal land in January 2021 to commence a contract with Hamilton Australia. I was stood down as of June 26 2021 due to covid restrictions. My mother in Melbourne has been unwell and I am her only child and carer. I have not been able to return to her after many attempts and 6 weeks of waiting with minimal communication or clarity. It's been very invalidating and incredibly stressful to be stuck here without any consideration.

Deirdre Khoo

I'm a new performer in the industry. I moved to Sydney from Melbourne in early May for a temporary contract with the Darlinghurst Theatre Company for the tour of ONCE. My contract in Sydney was meant to go to early August, and a tour to regional NSW and Melbourne was going to happen after. A few weeks after the NSW stay-at-home orders, the company was stood down after seeing no possibility of the production going ahead. By this time the Victorian borders had shut for anyone ins NSW. I have not only lost my capacity to generate income, but also lose the ability to get back home to Victoria, where I am a resident. My accommodation in Sydney ended as per originally arranged, and I have moved into a colleague's nan place, who have very graciously opened their arms to me in this time of need. I am still covering partial rent and entirety of bills in Melbourne, while also providing a small amount to make up for my costs at my current accommodation. While this financial struggle does not come to me as large an issue in this time as compared to many, I have been experiencing anxiety and my mental health has been exponentially deteriorating from the lockdown. This is because I am unable to return to my place of residence and be in my own space, even after declaring that I will strictly follow the Victorian health orders to self-isolate and avoid contact with the Victorian community for their wellbeing.

Andrew Coshan

I am an Actor who travelled to Sydney on the 30th of May to begin rehearsals for Merrily We Roll Along at the Hayes Theatre. We were four days away from opening night when the lockdown which began on June 25th meant we had to postpone. At this point it was only meant to be for a week, so we planned to move opening night seven days later. But as the lockdowns got extended it became obvious that we could not plan when lockdown would end, and we were officially stood down on July 27th. Because we were now out of contract, we could try get back to our home state, but by this point the Victorian border was closed. I have now spent over eight weeks in this lockdown. I have stayed in NSW over three weeks longer than I ever planned to. I have tried, and am still trying to get back to Victoria, but have

so far only been denied entry to the state that I call home. I have never lived in Sydney before. I don’t have family in Sydney. And I now feel like a burden on the associates that I’m staying with, but I have nowhere I can go.

Kathleen Moore

I take work in traveling theatre shows because they provide very good salaries and when in work, I am able to help pay for the hefty mortgage and bills my husband and I are responsible for.  Performers’ contracts are generally very short, and do not provide consistent pay throughout a year. Therefore, I need to be able to make my proper salary when I am employed, in order to help save money for the time when I am not under contract and the show closes. 
The Victorian Government not only has a duty of care for its Residents who are currently within Victorian borders, it also has a duty of care for those working Victorians stranded away from their loved ones and homes. Bring Victorian workers HOME!

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Reasons for signing

  • They are Australian citizens, they have a right to have access to their home and families.
  • I support the Arts industry, workers, performers, creators, artists, audience members. This is my industry too. Let’s get them home!
  • For their mental health, we need to get them home!

Updates

2021-08-27 09:03:34 +1000

1,000 signatures reached

2021-08-25 16:18:59 +1000

500 signatures reached

2021-08-24 18:34:05 +1000

100 signatures reached

2021-08-24 16:16:22 +1000

50 signatures reached

2021-08-24 14:59:07 +1000

25 signatures reached

2021-08-24 14:01:59 +1000

10 signatures reached