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Good financial planning, and knowledge of the resources available, can provide a sense of security for anyone, and particularly people with HIV. The planning needs of HIV+ people depend on their personal circumstances, their current resources, and future needs.

Straight Arrows

Straight Arrows provides a limited amount of emergency financial relief to people within our service category: HIV+ parents and HIV+ heterosexual men, HIV+ women.

Some HIV positive people, particularly those with a recent diagnosis, continue to maintain employment. However the reality is that 40% of people living with HIV rely on a government benefit (often Disability Support Pensions) and many more are under-employed. Even those who are working on reasonable salaries can experience unexpected financial stress from time to time.

Please contact us to discuss how we can best meet your needs during times of financial hardship.

Tel: (03) 9863 9414
Email: support@straightarrows.org.au


At various times, many of us need to access the social security system.
For advice as to Benefits to which you or members of your family are entitled it is best to directly contact Centrelink. Centrelink staff also visit the Alfred Hospital twice a week providing a very discrete link to the social security system.

The following are central numbers – Australia-wide 

Popular Numbers

  • Report Employment Income: 13 3276
  • Self Service: 13 6240
  • Customer Relations: FreeCALL 1800 050 004
  • DHS Multilingual Call: 13 1202
  • TTY: FreeCALL 1800 810 586
  • TTY Customer Relations: FreeCALL 1800 000 567
  • Report a Suspected Fraud: 13 7230
  • Farm Assistance: FreeCALL 1800 050 585

Services and Payments

  • Employment Services: 13 2850
  • Retirement Services: 13 2300
  • Disability, Sickness and Carers: 13 2717
  • Family Assistance Office: 13 6150
  • Youth and Student Services: 13 2490
  • ABSTUDY: 13 2317
  • TTY ABSTUDY: FreeCALL 1800 639 109
  • Financial Information National Seminar Booking Service: 13 6357
  • Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC): 13 2318
  • Centrelink's Business Hotline: 13 1158

National Relay Service

  • Voice and TTY: 13 3677 or 1800 555 677

International Numbers

Calling from within Australia

  • Foreign Income Exchange Line (for enquiries about the exchange rate applied to your income from outside Australia): FreeCALL 1800 050 041
  • Centrelink International Services: 13 1673

Calling from outside Australia

  • Centrelink International Services - Reverse charge call: +613 6222 3455
  • International Toll Free Numbers:
    • Austria - 0800 295 165
    • Canada - 1888 2557 493
    • China (north)* - 10 800 6100 427
    • China (south)* - 10 800 2611 309
    • Denmark - 8088 3556
    • Germany - 0800 1802 482
    • Greece - 0080 0611 26209
    • India - 000 800 61 01098
    • Indonesia - 001 803 61 035
    • Italy - 800 781 977
    • Korea, Republic of - 003 081 32326
    • Netherlands - 0800 0224 364
    • New Zealand - 0800 441 248
    • Philippines - 1800 1611 0046
    • Portugal - 800 861 122
    • Singapore - 800 6167 015
    • Spain - 900 951 547
    • Thailand - 001 800 611 4136
    • Turkey - 00 800 6190 5703
    • United Arab Emirates - 800 061 04319
    • United Kingdom - 0800 1695 865
    • U.S.A - 1866 3433 086

* China (north) is the provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin, Shandong and Henan. All other provinces are considered to be China (south).

Note: International toll free numbers may not be available from every location within each country, and may not be free from mobile phones or public phones. You may need to insert coins/card in pay phones as for a local call and this may not be refunded at the end of the call.

Write to Us

If you have received letters from Centrelink before you will find the Centrelink street and postal address printed on the letter. Use this address to send any documents or information to do with your payments or services from Centrelink. This is usually the office you use to attend an appointment with Centrelink.

For more information, please use the 'Visit Us' option on the 'Contact Us' page of the DHS or Family Assistance Office websites for a list of offices throughout Australia.

Visit Us

Please telephone Centrelink to check the opening hours of a particular Customer Service Centre, or use the 'Visit Us' option on the 'Contact Us' page of the DHS or Family Assistance Office websites for a list of offices throughout Australia.

Message Us

To send an online message to us, you will need to go to the 'Contact Us' page on the Centrelink website and choose the 'Message Us' option.

Register For A Payment

To advise us of your intention to claim a payment, you can either telephone us, visit us or message us. To message us, go to the 'Contact Us' page on the Centrelink website and choose the 'Register For A payment' option.

Note: Centrelink Customer Service Centres and Call Centres may be closed for business on National and State Public Holidays.

Child Support Services contact

For Child Support Services information please visit their website at www.csa.gov.au

The David Williams Fund (DWF) was established in 1986 to provide emergency financial assistance to people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are experiencing financial hardship. The fund relies upon donations.

Services include:

  • Financial advice and referral
  • Food Vouchers
  • Study Assist
  • Money Matter workshops
  • Emergency Financial assistance

Poverty affects a substantial number of PLHIV, and demand for assistance regularly outstrips the funding available. Each year, the DWF distributes over $100,000 to PLHIV in Victoria. The Fund is totally reliant upon the sale of red ribbons - and the generous sponsorship of M·A·C Cosmetics - to ensure adequate levels of funding are available.

M·A·C Cosmetics www.maccosmetics.com.au

M.A.C Cosmetics - AIDS fund logo


  • Provide proof of HIV Status
  • Demonstrated receipt of a Social Security Benefit or Pension
  • Demonstrated financial hardship
  • Resident of Victoria
  • Provide a Centrelink income statement

What we can assist with?

Assistance may be provided for any item that will legitimately improve and enhance the health and well-being of PLHIV. 

Items for consideration may include:

  • Utilities, eg, gas, water, electricity
  • Telephone service and equipment charges
  • Two weeks rent or mortgage payments may be considered
  • Motor vehicle/bike repairs
  • Removal/storage expenses
  • Medical, Pharmaceutical, Dental and Optical expenses
  • Rates and Body Corporate fees
  • Food vouchers
  • Funeral assistance (must be prior to applicant’s death)
  • Clothing
  • Childcare and/or respite costs
  • White goods, eg, refrigerator, washing machine
  • Beds and Manchester
  • Education/retraining.

The fund does not assist with:

  • Legal, fines, loans/credit cards, pawned items & accounts already paid.

All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. No application is guaranteed.
You can discuss your application with the DWF Co-ordinator to determine the likelihood of your application being approved.
Please note that DWF applications are not accepted by fax.

DWF application forms are available online or at the following locations:

  • The Positive Living Centre, at 51 Commercial Road, South Yarra.
  • The Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men's Health Centre, at 6 Claremont Street, South Yarra.
  • The Social Work Department of the Alfred Hospital.
  • The HIV Co-ordinator at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
  • Straight Arrows Inc,1/111 Coventry St,Southbank.

Contact us

The DWF is run from the Positive Living Centre in South Yarra. 

For more information on the fund, contact:

Positive Living Centre
51 Commercial Road
South Yarra, Victoria 3141
Tel: (03) 9863 0444
Fax: (03) 9820 3166
Free-call: 1800 134 840
Email: plcfeedback@vicaids.asn.au

or follow this link


Finance, Learning Independence Program (FLIP)

The Finance, Learning Independence Program (FLIP) provides financial assistance to any member of Living Positive Victoria who is seeking assistance with returning to work or study in order to attain financial independence.

In recognising that some people living with HIV may not have the option to fully realise financial independence, the program also offers limited financial assistance to any member of Living Positive Victoria faced with situations of extreme financial duress, such as an eviction notice for rental arrears.

Please call Positive Living Victoria for more information or follow this link


Suite 1, 111 Coventry Street,
Southbank VIC 3006
Tel: (03) 9863 8733
Fax: (03) 9863 8734
Email: info@livingpositivevictoria.org.au

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