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Monash Experts: The implications of the Stage 3 COVID-19 suburb lockdowns

Monash University experts from the Faculty of Arts are available to discuss the social implications of Stage 3 lockdowns on 36 Melbourne suburbs.


Associate Professor Rebecca Wickes, Director of the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre and Professor of Criminology
Contact: +61 413 623 929 or
Read more of Associate Professor Wickes' commentary at Monash Lens

  • Impact on migrant communities in the suburbs facing the stay-at-home orders

The following quotes can be attributed to Associate Professor Wickes:

"Targeted messaging to our diverse range of migrant communities was needed from the start of this pandemic. As culturally and linguistically diverse communities are unlikely to access government websites for information during a crisis, we needed to approach communication differently from the outset.


"Messaging needed to be tailored and shared on the right platforms and channels. Now we are in a position where migrants and non-English speakers have been blamed for the spread of the virus.


"While these suburb lockdowns are necessary from a public health perspective, this doesn't mean that migrants will not contract the virus. Many migrants are working in service-related jobs with greater exposure to the virus. This isn't about migrants willfully spreading the virus, but the conditions that lead to infection.


"Some migrant families, especially those on humanitarian visas, also don't have the funds to afford large houses where physical distancing is possible if one contracts the virus. The virus spreading in smaller homes where families congregate is unavoidable.


"We need to avoid placing blame on migrants for the spread of the coronavirus and recall that the spread of COVID-19 really got out of control when people were returning from luxury cruises and overseas skiing trips. Generating smear campaigns and pushing racialised rhetoric will get us absolutely nowhere."


Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Director, Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

Contact details: +61 412 339 243 or 

Read more of Associate Professor Fitz-Gibbon's work at Monash Lens


Dr Naomi Pfitzner, Research Fellow, Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

Contact details: +61 3 9905 8048 or   


Associate Professor Fitz-Gibbon and Dr Pfitzner can talk about the following points:

  • The risks of escalated violence against women during periods of lockdown

  • Barriers to help seeking for women experiencing violence during lockdowns

The following quotes can be attributed to Associate Professor Fitz-Gibbon:

“During the restrictions in April and May, women in Victoria experiencing violence faced significant barriers to accessing help. As restrictions in certain suburbs are tightened, we need to ensure that organisations are resourced to respond to an increase in demand.


“Ensuring the safety of women and children emerging from a period of heightened abuse is crucial to Australia’s recovery.”


The following quotes can be attributed to Dr Pfitzner:

“Our research also reveals an increase in the complexity of women’s experiences of violence and alarmingly, the emergence of new forms of violence against women during COVID-19 restrictions.


“Perpetrators are using the restrictions and the threat of infection to gain access to women and children and control their movements. Perpetrators in these suburbs will need to be monitored throughout as victims lose some of their freedom."


For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, please contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 400 735 130 or