Hear first-hand how the charity Support Act is providing crisis relief, with the help of an Australian Government funding boost, to musicians, artists, live performance workers and crew who have lost work during COVID-19.
Sarah’s story (musician)
Sarah is a 29-year-old musician who was on tour in regional Tasmania when the pandemic hit. She was due to release an album this year, but will now be unable to tour the album, as her gigs for the rest of the year have been cancelled. While Sarah has been able to access JobSeeker payments, she has lost money from album, merchandise and tour costs – leaving her with no reserves. Support Act has assisted Sarah with a month’s rent and provided support via the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline.
Julia’s story (tour manager)
Julia is a tour manager and production crew member who has been affected by the cancellation of tours and festivals. Her income to cover living expenses has dried up with no certainty of when things will resume. Support Act has paid some of her rent, outstanding bills and an accountancy fee. They also referred her to the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline.
As part of a $27 million targeted support package, the Australian Government provided $10 million to Support Act to scale up its services. These include:
- one-off grants for essentials that are not covered by other services such as rent, mortgage, food, utilities and medical equipment costs
- mental health first aid training and other skills development
- the extension of Support Act’s free and confidential telephone counselling service to all people working in the arts.
The Support Act Wellbeing helpline can be accessed by calling 1800 959 500 or via email.