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To: Australian Government

Scrap the Cap!

Support Network for International Students

We ask the Albanese government not to re-impose the 48 hour per fortnight rule for the following reasons:

• Imposing a cap on working hours will re-expose students to the dangers of unfair working conditions, which are harder to monitor such as wage theft and payment on hand.

• Students are re-exposed to harsh penalties whenever the cap is breached.

• Daily, we face the same challenges as domestic students such as the rising cost of living and accommodation. However, we are ineligible for government support such as the Medicare and Child Care Subsidies. We are subject to changing policies affecting our pathway to permanent residency, a non-guarantee to our future. We pay almost triple the course fees and some of us who come from lower tier countries need to work for it, realistically more than 48 hours a fortnight. We face a host of other conditions such as dodgy providers who exploit the loopholes in the ESOS Act to bind us to their institutions, sometimes with lack of facilities, exorbitant fees, substandard teaching. We are held on a very different set of conditions tied to our visa, but we face the same everyday challenges as our local counterparts.

Why is this important?

Locked out of government support during the pandemic, such as the JobKeeper, we were told to go home if we did not have any more funds, while most of us lost our jobs. Later on, after worker shortages was realised, we were the first in line to fill the gap. Thankful for the opportunity to work unrestricted hours in the last year, we have shown that we can sustain the required “satisfactory course attendance” and “satisfactory course progress” while working more than 20 hours a week.

Despite all that, we choose to stay in Australia because we believe that we make a positive contribution to the Australian society and economy. We believe in the promise of the Australian education, the very same democratic foundation that taught us the idea of a fair-go in life. We are not asking for a hand-out, but we believe that we deserve the freedom of choice on our work hours. Thus, we loudly say, SCRAP the CAP!

The Support Network for International Students (SNIS) is a coalition of organisations and individuals—including current international students and allies—who work collectively to advance the rights and welfare of all international students through various methods and initiatives.

Current SNIS members and supporters:
Migrante Melbourne, Philippine Studies Network in Australia (PINAS), UFIS (United Filipino International Students), Migrant Workers Centre, Gabriela Australia, PISO (Pinoy International Students Organisation), Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH), Advanced League of People’s Artists (ALPA Melbourne), Filipino Community Council of Victoria Incorporated (FCCVI), Renters and Housing Union (RAHU), Anakbayan Melbourne, Malaya Melbourne, Filipino-Australian Association of Ballarat Inc, Westjustice/Western Community Legal Centre, Living Incomes for Everyone (LIFE), Centre for Migrant Workers’ Concerns (CMWC), United Workers Union (UWU), Colour Code, Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), Sydney Alliance, South Asians For Inclusiveness (SAFI), ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans), Philippine Australia Solidarity Association (PASA), Social Justice and Community Ministries of Dandenong Trinity Uniting Church, Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), Tamil Refugee Council, FEGTA (Filipino Elderly Get Together Association), Five Fifty Myth Band, Spirit of Eureka, Victorian Multicultural Commission, International League of Peoples’ Struggles Australia (ILPS), Philippine Caucus for Peace, Global Vision Migration,The Entrée.Pinay, Migrante NSW, Sydney Community Forum, SBS Filipino, Democracy in Colour, Migrante WA, Arlan Fajardo of Pinoy Ako Pinoy Tayo, Walter Villagonzalo, MP BronwynHalfpenny, Sanmati Verma,
Christina Borromeo, Stef Ocampo, Carol Que, Cal Field, Steff Vasil, Wing Kuang, Orlan Tina, Cathy Weiss




2023-05-22 07:10:33 +1000

1,000 signatures reached

2023-05-04 18:06:33 +1000

500 signatures reached

2023-04-16 22:18:45 +1000

100 signatures reached

2023-03-27 17:35:57 +1100

50 signatures reached

2023-03-25 12:34:02 +1100

25 signatures reached

2023-03-24 20:02:21 +1100

10 signatures reached