SCAM ALERT: ‘COVIDsafe’ and proof of vaccination

Please be aware of the latest scam SMS targeting Australia.

The SMS may appear to be sent from ‘COVIDsafe’ or ‘BeCOVIDsafe’. It shows something similar to; “Your digital version of COVID-19 Passport is available at XXXXXXXXXXX”.

The link in the SMS will direct to a malicious website that offers a ‘COVID vaccination certificate’, requesting a small payment for issuing the certificate. This is an attempt by scammers to steal the individual’s personal and banking information.

If you or a customer have received this SMS please delete it immediately. Do not click the link.

Important facts to know:

  • – You will never pay for services related to their Services Australia held accounts or records, including for COVID 19 vaccination certificates or assistance with myGov.
  • – Services Australia will never send a text message to a customer that includes a link.
  • – All customers can obtain their COVID 19 proof of vaccination via Service Australia’s secure channels.
  • – If a customer advises they have fallen victim to this scam, they can contact our Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk on 1800 941 126.

To find out what we know about the latest scams, please visit the Services Australia website and type ‘scams’ in the search bar.


ACON Regional Community Survey Snapshot Launch

Join us as we launch the results of the ACON Regional Community Survey Snapshot.

ACON Regional staff and survey designers will be on hand to relay results back to our community and will talk about plans for future work in our regions.

When: Wednesday 22nd September at 6.30pm

Where: ZOOM (link emailed to you once you have registered)

Use this link to register:

It’s Time to Think Positive about HIV

Think Positive is an HIV stigma campaign. Through this campaign, we tried to take a different approach to traditional stigma campaigns. We flipped the narrative from a focus on the harms caused by HIV stigma to instead celebrate ally ship between PLHIV and the HIV negative people in our lives. As such, this “stigma” campaign is inspirational and gives some practical ways that everyone can contribute towards ending HIV stigma together.

You are more than welcome to share our post on your own social media platforms.

You can read more about the campaign via the press release here.

Employment and Training

The Kiama Community College are pleased to offer an array of online (via zoom), subsidised courses in SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER.


Subsidies are available for all courses below, for eligible students*

Computerised Bookkeeping using MYOB^*
Tuesday 12 October

Develop Social Media for your Beauty Salon*
Self-paced, start anytime

Microsoft Excel: BSBTEC302 Design and Produce Spreadsheets^*
Friday 1 October

Microsoft Word & Publisher: BSBTEC301 Design and Produce Business Documents^*
Wednesday 22 September

Use Remote Communication Tools: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Instant Messaging and more*
Thursday 7 October

Digital workplace skills for beginners^*
Wednesday 22 September

Navigating Career Crossroads: BSBPEF101 Plan and Prepare for Work Readiness^*
Wednesday 22 September

Stand out Resumes, Job Applications & Interview skills*
Thursday 23 September

Introduction to Working in Aged Care CHCCOMOO5*^
Tuesday 5 October

Introduction to Working in the Beauty Industry*
Starting soon, register your interest

*Subsidies and fee free scholarships are available for students who meet the eligibility requirements. The training is subsidised by the NSW Government. If you would like more information please refer to our website or phone the Community College on 02 4232 1050.

^This is a nationally recognised Qualification or Statement of Attainment.

Training on financial support for energy and water issues

Sydney Water and the Energy Ombudsman of NSW are delivering free training for community workers who work with vulnerable communities.  

Do you know what supports are available for families and individuals during this difficult time? Register below to find out.

When: Wednesday 22 September, 10.30pm – 12pm
Where: online (via MS Teams)
Register:  Via this Link

This session is for community workers who work with clients to address financial resourcing related to energy and water issues. Information includes details on help paying bills, disconnection and re-connection, how to avoid high bills, disputed accounts, managing your account and how to save on bills. The session is an opportunity to learn about the issues affecting consumers first-hand, and how to help clients overcome these issues.

This is particularly designed for workers who support vulnerable groups and those experiencing hardship, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • community housing tenants
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • seniors
  • people with disabilities
  • people living on fixed and or low incomes
  • people living in regional and remote areas

Young People

The Illawarra Centre for Enablement (ICfE) Youth Council have decided to focus on youth experiences of COVID-19, and to explore what the issues of concern are to youth in the Illawarra, aged 18-26 years old, they have created an online survey. 

The survey includes questions on a range of issues including COVID-19 vaccination; impacts on mental health and well-being, and personal and community concerns. The survey seeks to gain engagement from youth from all backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, youth with disabilities; multicultural youth and youth who identify as LGBTIQ.

They intend to publish their findings and recommendations in a Report which will be released online and distributed to relevant organisations.

Can I please ask if you can assist by sharing the Youth Council Survey link to youth in the Illawarra and any youth organisations you know.  I am also attaching a flyer. 

Information about the Survey and the link to it is at:

More information about the Youth Council is at

Community and Connection

Joyful Project submissions now open for Wollongong City Council

We’re inviting all people of the Illawarra to submit your happy photo snaps and share with us what brings you joy!

This Christmas we’re planning to fill the outdoor exhibition blocks in Crown Street Mall with as many photos of your happy faces as possible for The Joyful Project.

Selected photos will be on display over the 2021-2022 summer period.

Each photo needs to show joy. It could be close-ups of you and your family with smiling faces, or pulling funny faces, or you (or someone else)

doing something that brings joy, like jumping on the trampoline, a family celebration, or dancing in your kitchen!

Entries close midnight, Sunday 19 September 2021.

How to enter

Take a photo of what brings you joy! If you’re using a phone camera, make sure it’s set to the highest image quality. Your photo can be up to 20 MB file size.

Write a short message (up to 280 characters) that explains what brings you joy during tough times. Think about when you feel happiest, or how you can bring joy to others.

Try to follow the format: “(Activity) at (location) brings me great joy!”

Read the project Terms and Conditions

Use the button below, go to the online form. Fill in your details, upload your photo and your message of joy!

Enter The Joyful Project


Mission Australia Gamble Aware – Illawarra & Southern NSW Free Counselling Services

Its handy to know that you have a specialist service available if you have a client who presents with a gambling addiction. Problematic gambling often comes wrapped up in a whole range of issues.

A useful screening question is “Have you or anyone close to you ever been impacted by problem gambling?”. The light touch approach seems to work best as there is so much shame and stigma surrounding problem gambling. Shame often acts as a barrier to those seeking help. Our service is highly accessible and there is no cost involved.

From 1 July 2021, GambleAware is the new gambling support and treatment service in NSW. Like Gambling Help, GambleAware will provide support groups and counselling for individuals and their families and much more.

Need to refer a client to GambleAware?

Contact GambleAware Illawarra and Southern NSW on

(02) 4267 6600 or email

Later this year, you will be able to refer or book appointments for your clients through the digital platform at

Alternatively, for other regions call GambleAware on 1800 858 858.

GambleAware is funded through the NSW Government’s Office of Responsible Gambling. GambleAware’s purpose is to work towards zero gambling-related harm in NSW through research, education and support for individuals and communities.

If you have a moment please watch this short (1 minute) video.