Charities Work To Provide Food For People In Need During Melbourne’s latest Lockdown

Among some of the worst-hit by this pandemic in Melbourne are International students and those on temporary, humanitarian or bridging visa’s.

During some much-needed respite from the usual joyless Covid-19 coverage, I spent some time with two volunteer charity organisations providing and distributing free meals for those who fall through the cracks of government assistance.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri (Far right) project co-ordinator of the Kasih Project is seen marking down the details of group as they come to collect their food which was prepared by ‘Alex Makes Meals’ on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working underpaying jobs with the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

The first is @alexmakesmeals, an organisation started by 20-year-old university student @alexkdekker during Melbourne’s first lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March. 

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Originally aimed at providing meals for healthcare workers, the charity has now expanded to provide meals for anyone in need following the return of lockdown restrictions due to a spike in community coronavirus transmissions. A team of volunteer chef’s and kitchen staff (most out of work) cook and pack hundreds of nutritious culturally appropriate meals a day. 

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: An international student is seen collecting food from Alex Dekker of ‘Alex makes meals’ at a location in the Melbourne CBD on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Alex Makes Meals is a volunteer food organisation started by 20-year-old Alex Dekker during Melbourne’s lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March. Originally aimed at providing meals for healthcare workers, the charity has now expanded to provide meals for anyone in need following the return of lockdown restrictions due to a spike in community coronavirus transmissions. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: International Student Meisa Betty from Indonesia is seen collecting food from Alex Dekker the founder of ‘Alex Makes meals’ on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Hospitality management student Meisa Betty has been without a job for 4 months added to this her studies have been effected as all her classes are online and she is unable to do her necessary internship. Alex Makes Meals is a volunteer food organisation started by 20-year-old Alex Dekker during Melbourne’s lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March. Originally aimed at providing meals for healthcare workers, the charity has now expanded to provide meals for anyone in need following the return of lockdown restrictions due to a spike in community coronavirus transmissions. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images) (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

The second group was the Kasih Project is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri project co-ordinator (left) and Hetty Hermanus a volunteer with ‘The Kasih Project’ are seen packing a car with food cooked by ‘Alex Makes Meals’ on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Angelina and Hetty then deliver the food to a collection point where residents in that area are allotted a time to come and collect their food. The Kasih Project is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri project co-Ordinator of the Kasih Project (centre) is seen making a ‘thank-you gesture’ as a worker comes to collect food on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working underpaying jobs with the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri project co-Ordinator of the Kasih Project (centre) is seen handing food to an International student at a house in Springvale on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. The Kasih Project is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri, project Co-ordinator of ‘The Kasih Project’ is seen counting a number of food containers as she prepares to hand out meals which were prepared by the charity ‘Alex Makes Meals’ to members of the Indonesian community who are in Australia on Humanitarian Visa’s on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working very low-paying jobs in the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Angelina Sukiri project co-Ordinator of the Kasih Project has been assisting in the distribution of food to those on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working very low-paying jobs in the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri, project Co-ordinator of ‘The Kasih Project’ (centre) is seen handing food package which were prepared by ‘Alex Makes food’ to members of the Indonesian migrant community at a property in Springvale on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working very low-paying jobs in the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

With work hours drastically reduced and some without work due to Covid-19, many have had to resort to initiatives such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: A group of temporary working Visa holders from Indonesia are seen as they leave a property in Springvale after collecting food packages from members of ‘the Kasih Project’ on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working very low-paying jobs in the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

If you wish to donate to either organisation you can do so via their links

@alexmakesmeals bit.ly/ammDonate

Kasih Project https://www.facebook.com/kasih.project/

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake #onassignment for @gettyimages

#melbourne #coronavirus #photojournalism

#photojournalism #documentaryphotography #reportage #gettyimages #photojournalist #reportagespotlight #covid19au #coronavid19 #covid_19 #covid #corona #melbournelife #melbourneiloveyou #melbournelife #canon #canonaustralia 

Melbourne Rally In Solidarity With Black Lives Matter Movement

An estimated 10,000+ #BlackLivesMatters protestors took the street today in #Melbourne in an effort to bring further attention to the Indigenous deaths in custody, Racial profiling and the murder of George Floyd.

Australia has had 432 Indigenous deaths in police custody since 1991.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A protestor holding a placards reading ‘Black Indigenous Lives matter’ on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A general view of protestors with the clenched fists raised in front o Black Lives Matter street posters on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A woman is seen wearing a face mask reading ‘More scared of A racist World than a Pandemic’ on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: Protestors holding Black Lives Matter placards as they listen to speeches on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A protester holding face-masks and gloves as a sanitization station on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Events across Australia have been organised in solidarity with protests in the United States following the killing of an unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota and to rally against aboriginal deaths in custody in Australia.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: Protestors stand with clenched fists in solidarity on the steps of St Paul Cathedral on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: Protestors take a knee as they protest in Solidarity with clenched fists on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Events across Australia have been organised in solidarity with protests in the United States following the killing of an unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota and to rally against aboriginal deaths in custody in Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: An Aboriginal man with a clenched fist stands before the crowd on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A general view looking towards Flinders Street station as protestors listening to speeches as Night falls on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Words and Photos by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake 

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake is a photojournalist and travel photographer based in Melbourne Australia covering Australia, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Follow him on instagram 

Melbourne International Students Impacted By Coronavirus Line up for Food vouchers.

 

While working on another story, I came across hundreds of people lined up toward Melbourne town hall.
Curious, I checked it out, spoke to people lined up, only find out they were International students lining up for food vouchers.

 

I made the call to drop the other story I was working on and focus on this.

After publishing and a tweet in which I recorded a video of the line of students, the images and video went viral and consequently, publications such as SBS picked up the story.

The City of Melbourne is distributing retail vouchers to support international students impacted by COVID-19 and boost trade at Queen Victoria Market as part of its ‘Our Shout’ program. The $200,000 retail voucher program aims to support international students affected by job losses and housing insecurity with access to vouchers worth up to $200 each to spend at Queen Victoria Market. Lines extended around the block. The international student economy is worth $9.1 billion a year to the state of Victoria.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up standing in the rain outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Words and Photos by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake is a photojournalist and travel photographer based in Melbourne Australia covering Australia, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Follow him on instagram 

Reclaim Australia : Melton Protests

A few selects from the Reclaim Australia protests in Melton.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Supporters of the Reclaim Australia group shout and hold banners during a protest organised by the far right wing group. Melbourne, Australia November 22 2015.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Anti-Fascist counter protestors clash with supporters of the Reclaim Australia group during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
A member of the Reclaim Australia wearing a balaclava of the Australian flag over his face an during a protest organised by the far right wing group. The Anti-Islamic group protested in the city of Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne voicing their opinions in relation to immigration and the building of Mosques and schools in the country.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
A man is arrested by police in riot gear during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia. The Anti-Islamic group protested in the city of Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne voicing their opinions in relation to immigration and the building of Mosques and schools in the country.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Anti-racism counter protestors push back a line of horses used to seperate opposing groups during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia. The Anti-Islamic group protested in the city of Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne voicing their opinions in relation to immigration and the building of Mosques and schools in the country.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Anti-Racism protestors protestors shield for cover as they are pepper sprayed by police after they tried to push through police lines during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Two young boys one of whom is riding his bicycle stand in front of police in riot gear during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Anti-Fascist counter protestors clash with supporters of the Reclaim Australia group during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
A supporter of the Reclaim Australia group is pushed back by police officer dressed in riot gear during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Supporters of the Reclaim Australia group march down the street waving flags and shouting anti-islamic slogans during a protest organised by the far right wing group.

ANZAC Day Dawn Service Melbourne 2015

MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25 : Soldiers in front of the Shrine during the Anzac Day dawn service at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25 : Soldiers in front of the Shrine during the Anzac Day dawn service at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25 : An estimated 80 thousand patrons braved cold and wet conditions during the Anzac Day dawn service at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25 : An estimated 80 thousand patrons braved cold and wet conditions during the Anzac Day dawn service at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25 : Large Crowds walk up towards the Shrine, official estimates that 80 thousand people attended during the Anzac Day dawn service at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25 : Large Crowds walk up towards the Shrine, official estimates that 80 thousand people attended during the Anzac Day dawn service at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

ANZAC Day Dawn Service Melbourne 2015

MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25 : Badges worn by a Army veteran  during the Anzac Day parade. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25 : Badges worn by a Army veteran during the Anzac Day parade. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25 : A carpet made of knitted poppies laid on the road during the Anzac Day parade. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25 : A carpet made of knitted poppies laid on the road during the Anzac Day parade. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25 : Members of the HMAS march towards the Shrine of Remembrance during the Anzac Day parade. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25 : Members of the HMAS march towards the Shrine of Remembrance during the Anzac Day parade. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25 : A soldier holding a riffle in front of the Shrine during the Anzac Day parade. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
MELBOURNE , AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25 : A soldier holding a riffle in front of the Shrine during the Anzac Day parade. This years Anzac Day marks the centenary of the ANZAC landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Melbourne, Victoria Australia on April 25 2015. Photo Asanka Brendon Ratnayake