26 July 2021
I trust that those of us in South Australia are managing the lockdown, that working from home is going smoothly, and that everyone is staying safe and warm in these stormy conditions.
The recent wild weather has unfortunately taken quite a toll on the Bedford Park/Sturt campuses.
A severe storm event Saturday afternoon – including very strong winds and lightning strikes - has left some damage on part of the campus.
The worst affected area was University Drive near Sturt campus, where trees have been split and felled, fences and signs have been damaged, and debris is widespread.
In some respects, the lockdown proved to be a silver lining as just a few security and other essential staff were on campus and thankfully no injuries have been reported.
Power was out to the north and south ridges for several hours however our backup systems were effective and kept essential services including research activities running. Power to the Sturt campus was restored Sunday evening.
The SES, MFS and CFS have been assisting our crew with making the campus safe and I am reasonably confident that the precincts will be fully accessible in time for the expected return to work on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the SA lockdown appears to have been effective at curbing transmission of the virus with the cluster now at 19 and only one new case in the past 24 hours, involving a person already in quarantine. Premier Marshall today stated we’re on track for the lockdown to end late tomorrow night at 12.01 am (Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning) meaning return to work can take place Wednesday.
We are excited to be transitioning our activities back to campus. However, we need to stage this over the next few weeks to ensure that we can most effectively manage the health and safety of our community as well as providing a high quality learning and teaching environment with as little disruption as possible.
As indicated previously we will keep all learning and teaching activities online this week with the exception of clinical skills and labs. Those clinical skills and laboratory sessions that were already timetabled for this week will proceed where possible. If Topic Coordinators could please work with your Education Resources Coordinator (SAS) and Dean, Education to plan out the teaching and then update your FLO site that would be appreciated.
Next week (week commencing 2 August) we will also resume our workshops, seminars and tutorials on campus where spacing allows. Lectures will remain online due to the need to utilise larger lecture spaces for more interactive learning and teaching. Please update your FLO topic sites to provide detail to students regarding how the teaching will occur in your topic. If any staff receive inquiries from students please direct them to their FLO site for details regarding how the teaching will occur in their topics
Even with the likely lifting of restrictions in South Australia, serious concerns remain nationally, and it is important that each of us stays vigilant to avoid potentially contracting or transmitting this virus. Please visit the SA Government COVID-19 website and our staff COVID-19 webpage for latest information. And once again, if you are able to be vaccinated please do so – combined with thorough hygiene and physical distancing, it is our best defence in battling the pandemic.
If you’re in the Northern Territory or elsewhere please follow the advice of your local health authorities.
If you have any questions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe, positive and supportive of each other, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you think you may need it.
Mark A. Gregory
Vice President, Corporate Services (COO)