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2 April - Update from the Vice-Chancellor: Emergency Student Appeal

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Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simon Maddocks:

The impact of COVID-19 is casting a wide shadow over all our lives – and this includes many of our Vocational and Higher Education students who often work full-time, study part-time and juggle the responsibility of family.

Many of our students are hurting at this time – some of them are among the one million people who have lost their jobs as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak. …and our international students – who are an important part of Australia’s multicultural community - are also severely impacted because their part-time or casual work has disappeared overnight.

Charles Darwin University is already working to help our community – our students are making and distributing hand sanitiser, our 3D printer is trialling the rapid production of much-needed health equipment, and we have donated gowns and masks to our local hospital. But there’s more we can do to alleviate some of this pain and to help our students to continue with their studies.

We have created an Emergency Student Appeal that will directly benefit our students who are experiencing financial hardship. It will ease some of the stress and anxiety they are feeling. CDU will provide up to $2,000 per student for those who require immediate financial assistance… And I am asking you to help.

If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to our Emergency Student Appeal. It’s a very real way of helping our students at this very difficult time. We will get through this and come out on the other side. And we will do it, by working together and supporting those who need our help.

Thank you for your continued support. Together we make CDU.

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23 March - Update from the Vice-Chancellor
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Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simon Maddocks:

Hello everyone. I want to take some time to talk to you about what we’re doing at Charles Darwin University in response to the COVID-19 outbreaks. These are challenging times and we are all working as hard as we can to be as prepared as we can to meet those challenges.

I know that COVID-19 is causing concern for many people in our community. There are a number of things that we just can no longer take for granted as we used to, such as taking part in large gatherings, travelling freely, and so on.

This means that the university is not going to proceed with graduation ceremonies in May or June this year. Students will still formally graduate on time, but we simply will not be able to proceed with the ceremonies as planned in the middle of this year. We will do our utmost to make sure that students that would like to participate in a ceremonial occasion will get a chance to do so with some future ceremonies.

Notwithstanding changes to work practice, I want to ensure everybody that unless we are otherwise instructed the university intends to ensure that its campuses remain open for business as much as is possible. We continue to follow the advice of Australia’s health authorities in ensuring we do everything we can to help reduce the entry and movement of this virus through our communities.

Part of this involves changing the way we do some of our business. Commencing during the week of March 23rd, we are going to move all of our possible courses into online learning mode. CDU is already a leader in online learning delivery and more than 70% of our higher education students already study with us online. Next week we will commence moving all possible additional delivery into online mode. This should allow students who currently study on campus to maximise the opportunity to stay home and continue to engage with learning online. That way, they will be able to limit any contact they have with other people.

Some of our courses do require on-campus practical engagement—clinical training blocks, apprentice trades development, and the like. Wherever possible, we will be planning to allow these opportunities to proceed as long as social distancing measures can be maintained. Where this is not possible, we will have to either postpone these activities or come up with alternative means of providing engagement for our students, and we will contact all students as these changes are developed. For our vocational training students, again we will be moving to put as much material online and to assist you in engaging with us online to maintain your study engagement wherever this is feasible. Other changes that have to be brought into effect will be discussed with you, and where necessary, with your workplace.

I just want to assure everybody that during this time, our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our students, our staff, and the communities in which we all live and work. We are here to help you. You all make CDU.

If you have any concerns at all, please refer to the contact points that are being provided in conjunction with this video. Any assistance you need, we'll do our best to support and provide to you. Please remember, if you’re feeling at all or unwell, do not come to work. Do not try to come to the campus. Please ring in. If you’re a staff member, discuss your needs with your supervisor. If you’re a student please contact the Student Centre for help and assistance, and if you are feeling unwell please make sure you follow the advice of the medical authorities in how you seek medical assistance.

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