You will have heard about the various measures announced by the Prime Minister this week to manage the impact of COVID-19 across Australia. Importantly, Prime Minister Morrison has clearly indicated that these measures are expected to be in place for at least six months as the virus runs its course.
To be clear, we are preparing to ride out a crisis that will last not just a few weeks but perhaps for most or all of the current academic year.
This means that we must be ready and able to plan to continue our University’s core functions during that timeframe.
We have made a truly exceptional start.
It was only on Monday of this week that I announced a move to online lectures, and I can say that your response has been nothing short of magnificent.
By just Thursday of this week we already reached a new record with the number of lecture downloads reaching over 56,500 and with a surge in impressions of 347%.
This means that our core business of teaching continues, with our students being constructively engaged and able to progress with their studies.
Thank you all for your remarkable commitment to our students and to your University.
We all know that the situation in our community will get worse before it gets better, but rest assured that the University will continue to follow the very best health advice in order to provide a safe environment for both work and study.
This bodes well for our capacity to continue to deliver essential services in Education and Research during the challenging months ahead.
Further advice on Social Distancing and Working Arrangements, including policies on working from home, will follow shortly from Professor Pollock as chair of our COVID-19 Response Taskforce.
You have already shown that we are ready and able to respond to a challenge. If we meet each future challenge with similar determination then we will prevail through these difficult times.