Help in these extraordinary times

The VABT provides emergency financial assistance to members of our community who have suffered a health crisis. However, these are extraordinary times, and we recognise and understand the devastating impact that the coronavirus and subsequent government restrictions and shut downs have had on the performing arts community. As such, we have created the COVID-19 Assistance Fund in order to provide immediate assistance to those within our industry who may not have suffered a health crisis, but are in need of financial support.

The application process is confidential and quick, with all applications reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Before applying, please take a moment to read through the information below.

Important information

This application form is for financial support through our COVID-19 Assistance Fund. As outlined below, this fund is intended to provide assistance to those in our industry impacted by cancelled performances or the ongoing government restrictions, awaiting government payments or seeking replacement employment.

If you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), or are experiencing ill health, a medical emergency, or other significant pressures, we may be able to provide greater financial assistance through our standard fund. In these instances please complete an application for Emergency Support.

Apply for Emergency Support

Services Australia - COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Lump-sum payments may be available through Services Australia for individuals who have lost work and income due to a COVID-19 public health order.

Visit Services Australia

What assistance is available?

Through this emergency COVID-19 Assistance Fund, we are able to provide eligible applicants with Food Vouchers to the value of $250. The use of Food Vouchers has been chosen to enable the widespread provision of immediate assistance and financial relief, regardless of locale within Victoria.

As of October 2020, applicants can now re-apply through this Fund once every four-weeks, to a maximum of four successful applications (e.g. a total of four Food Vouchers).

How often can I apply?

As of October 2020, applicants can now re-apply through this Fund once every four-weeks, to a maximum of four successful applications (e.g. a total of four Food Vouchers).

Ongoing Assistance

This dedicated, emergency COVID-19 Assistance Fund operates separately to the VABT’s ongoing program of Emergency Support for those experiencing ill health or medical emergency. If you are experiencing either, or your circumstances are such that you require additional assistance, please complete a standard Emergency Support application.

Apply for Emergency Support

Who can access this fund?

The VABT’s COVID-19 Assistance Fund has been established to assist those within the professional performing arts industry who are in need of financial support due to loss of work, a significant reduction in hours, or those who are unable to practice their craft due to COVID-related government restrictions.

Applicants must be based in the state of Victoria, Australia, or the state of Tasmania, Australia. For information on Benevolent Funds and Trusts providing assistance in other Australian states, please see our list of Additional Resources.

This Fund has been established to assist professional theatre, dance, circus, comedy, opera, film and TV performing artists, creatives and crew. Evidence of involvement within the professional performing arts industry will be required as part of the application process. As an example, positions within the performing arts industry may include (but not be limited to) professional actors, directors, designers, stage managers, dressers, mechanists, gaffers, technicians and many others.

The VABT supports professionals from the fields of stage and screen. The VABT is unable to directly assist those who work primarily in the music industry. For information on assistance available to Australian musicians and those working in the music industry, please see our list of Additional Resources.

For information on assistance available to individuals working in the visual arts, or other fields beyond performing arts, please see our list of Additional Resources.

Acceptance of applications for COVID-19 Assistance from Tasmanian-based professional performing arts workers is made possible through the VABT’s membership within the Alliance of Australasian Performing Arts Benevolent Funds.

Additional Resources

How to apply

The VABT has endeavoured to make the application process as straight-forward as possible. As such, applications are via a simple online form, available on this page.

Within the application, you will be asked to provide evidence of your professional involvement in the entertainment industry and will be required to upload a PDF version of your current CV demonstrating this involvement.

To assist the Committee to process your application, please supply as much information as you can.

How an application is assessed

Each application is individually assessed by the VABT’s volunteer Committee of Management. Submissions are assessed to ensure applicants are Victorian-based and can demonstrate genuine professional engagement within the performing arts industry; through theatre, dance, circus, film or TV. The Committee of Management looks at every request on an individual basis.

Due to the challenges faced by our community in this crisis, the Committee is assessing all applications for COVID-19 Assistance as quickly as possible. However, due to the volume of applications received, your application may take up to 21-days to review. All applicants will be contacted via email once a decision has been made.

It is important you know that all matters referred here are strictly confidential.

Current Committee of Management

Can I refer or encourage someone else?

Yes. If you know someone who may be in need of assistance, please encourage them to apply! Direct them to our website, or you can download a PDF information sheet below and forward it to them.


VABT – Covid-19 Assistance Fund – Info Sheet

Alternatively, you may apply on their behalf; however, please note, the VABT will be required to confidentially reach out to them.

Assistance for Tasmanian-based performing arts workers

Through our membership within the Alliance of Australasian Performing Arts Benevolent Funds, the VABT is also accepting applications for COVID-19 Assistance from Tasmanian-based professional performing artists, creatives and crew.

The application and assessment process for Tasmanian-based performing arts workers is the same as those based in Victoria; simply complete and submit the accompanying application form.

For more information on the Alliance of Australasian Performing Arts Benevolent Funds, please visit aapabf.org

Information for Musicians and Music Industry professionals

Please note, the VABT is unable to directly assist musicians, or those who work primarily in the music industry.

Support Act is an Australian charity delivering crisis relief services to those who work within Australia’s music industry.

If you are a musician or someone who primarily/predominately works in the Australian music industry, we encourage you to reach out to Support Act.

Visit Support Act

Additional resources

The VABT is committed to supporting Victorian artists and crew through health crisis and difficult times. To further assist, the VABT has compiled a range of resources that may be able to provide additional assistance.

Additional Resources

Application for Covid-19 Assistance

Before we can assess your request, please fill out the form below: