Update on COVID-19
Lockdown lifts at 11.59pm tonight
The Victorian Premier has announced from 11:59 Wednesday 17 February 2021, Victoria returns to COVIDSafe summer with revised conditions:
- Masks must be carried at all times. Mandatory when inside and outdoors when 1.5m physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Workforce cap of 50 per cent must be maintained. Staff must book a workstation.
- Adult education open with no density quotient required in classroom settings.
Read the full statement from the Premier to learn more about the revised COVIDSafe summer restrictions.
Visit the MGSE return to campus page for MGSE specific information and advice.
COVID-19 Staff entitlements
A reminder that there are special leave and other COVID-19 entitlements available for staff who cannot work due to COVID-19. If you are required to self-isolate or become ill with COVID-19 and are unable to work from home, Special Paid Leave (Quarantine) is available for fixed term and continuing staff and a COVID-19 Special Payment is available for casual staff.
As the travel restrictions around Australia ease somewhat, it is a good opportunity for us all to revisit the responsibilities and processes we need to follow if we undertake any travel for work or personal reasons.
The COVID-19 situation is dynamic and can change quickly. If you are planning to travel, stay tuned to local news and remember that:
- You must follow all COVIDSafe plans, local health and travel directions and any restrictions applicable to the area you are visiting.
- You may be subject to testing, quarantine or self-isolation directions when outside Victoria or when returning to Victoria.
- You may be subject to border closures preventing your return which may affect your work, study and personal commitments.
Interstate domestic travel for University business by University employees must be planned and approved then booked via UniTravel or through the UniTravel travel consultant assisted booking service. Doing so enables the University to respond to and support travellers should circumstances change. If you haven’t booked your travel through the appropriate University channels before you undertake the journey, and you get caught out by a change in restrictions while you are away, we will not be able to assist you.
In exceptional circumstances, where an external party requires the travel booking to be made via a process other than UniTravel, then the travel must be recorded via the UniTravel Log My Trip function. The registration must be made before the travel begins.
Please ensure that you have contingency plans for sudden border closures and follow the latest Victorian Government advice for travel and transport. Any staff member planning to undertake work-related travel must discuss their plans and risk controls with their supervisor before making a booking.
The University’s travel advice is updated as COVID-19 restrictions change.
Please refer to the following links for further information and advice:
- COVID-19 Travel advice page contains the most up to date information regarding COVID-19 and travel.
- Knowledge-base: Travel article provides guidance and information around travel process and procedures.
Boost to public transport
As more people return to offices across Victoria, Public Transport Victoria (PTV) has announced several initiatives and improvements to help you travel with confidence, including:
- All services, stops and stations will be disinfected and sanitised every day
- PTV app has real-time travel alerts, the ability to view your travel history and other new features
- RideSpace is a new, free, online tool displaying real-time passenger volumes on trains, individual platforms and stations across the metropolitan train network
- Anyone using Myki money between 9.30am and 4pm or after 7pm on weekdays will receive a 30 per cent discount for three months from 31 January (Please note, you must touch OFF when leaving trams to receive this discount)
- Extra train services have been added either side of the morning and afternoon peaks to assist with physical distancing on trains and platforms
- More options are available for cashless top-ups of your myki, including the PTV app, PTV website and an additional 100 Quick Top-Up machines across the network.
For more information visit the PTV website.
Digital Taskforce Update
Call for Expressions of Interest - (Director Digital Engagement)
Expressions of Interest close COB Friday 26 February
Expressions of interest are invited for the role of Director (Digital Engagement). The term of appointment will be for 12 months with the possibility of extension, and attract a 0.4 FTE workload allocation, download the position description for more information.
Forward your application to email@example.com with the subject line 'Expression of Interest – Director (Digital Engagement)' by close of business Friday 26 February 2021. Your application should be no longer than four pages and include; your interest in the role addressing the Selection Criteria, and a very brief CV.
Blended synchronous learning - support for teaching staff
As part of the University's support for dual delivery of subjects from 2021, a range of spaces across Parkville and Southbank campuses are being uplifted with technology and infrastructure to enable blended synchronous learning (BSL). A suite of BSL support and training options are available for teaching staff delivering their subjects through this modality, including side-by-side, in-classroom tech support in the early weeks of Semester 1, access to self-serve "how to" resources, and daily drop-in sessions from 15 February covering key pedagogy and technology considerations for BSL. Staff teaching subjects using BSL-equipped spaces are strongly encouraged to attend a drop-in session, virtually or in person, and review the support plan and resources available on the Learning Environments website.
Submit a story idea for Pursuit
Pursuit is the University's multimedia content site. The stories, videos and podcasts on Pursuit reinforce the University's reputation as one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions.
Visit the Staff Hub to learn more about writing for Pursuit. You can find the Pursuit style guidelines and more about the process of getting a story published. If you have a story idea, please contact Genevieve Costigan.
Resources for Teachers and home-schooling
The UCL Institute of Education (fellow INEI member) has shared some useful resources for teachers and home-schooling during COVID-19. Access is free and open to MGSE and the education community.
Kids Teaching Kids 2020 Conference
MGSE students Mia Haravitsidis, Bec Rosenfeld and Deborah Lee Ling Zhang contributed to last year's Kids Teaching Kids Conference.
The students designed resources for the teachers to take their classes through in the lead up to and following the conference, as well as included as a key session live on the day of the conference. The students compiled the following content and resources:
A series of lesson plans were developed based on the University of Melbourne’s virtual sustainability tours and aligned with the Victorian curriculum. The lesson plans, accessible to teachers on the Kids Teaching Kids online conference platform, guides students through the viewing of each sustainability tour and is complimented with a series of questions and activities to be answered and completed following the video. These ideas collected for each of the sustainability tours, have the potential to be incorporated into the University’s new sustainability plan which is currently under development.
An online, interactive quiz tool popular with school-aged students – was created for teachers to play with their class in the lead up to, and following, the virtual conference. The Kahoot, made accessible through the Kids Teaching Kids online platform, includes 10 questions about the University of Melbourne and 10 questions focused on sustainability and the environment.
Scavenger Hunt Challenge
This is a highlight resource included in live proceedings on the day of the conference. Kids Teaching Kids students are challenged with finding five items that demonstrate or represent sustainability practices, across a variety of categories including ‘school’, ‘home’, ‘public’, ‘online’ and ‘innovation’. The challenge was managed by the Master of Teaching students with an on-the-day leaderboard tracking each school’s progress. The challenge is also designed so that it can be completed multiple times over the course of the next 12 months for classes/schools to assess their sustainability progress.
Opening Web Room Booking access to staff
Web Room Booking (WRB) is now open for staff to make booking requests. The Pandemic Response Team has approved a two-phase approach to allow staff to self-serve bookings in WRB to support internal activity transition back to campus. Staff permission was activated on Wednesday February 10 to allow staff access to the system, but all spaces are restricted to request for semester 1 only.
The next release will be on Monday 26 April, and will align with the University return to campus approach at the time.
If you require assistance with venue management, visit the ServiceNow portal and select 'Help using Web Room Booking' or contact Zane Sadat.
Myki Commuter Club
Renewals are now open for the Myki Commuter Club, however, as some of you may have suspended the use of your Myki card while working from home in 2020 you may still have an unused balance. If you are not sure of your balance, please contact PTV directly at CommuterClub@ptv.vic.gov.au or on 1800 800 007 to find out. If your card is fully expended, then please apply for renewal.
New Commuter Club members:
From Monday 1 March, new applications for staff who have not previously participated in the Myki Commuter Club program will be accepted, however, staff who will not be using their Myki card daily are advised that it may not be economically advantageous to purchase the annual subscription.
Finding teaching and learning material for students
Phased library return to campus news
Visit the new Return to Campus Library page for the latest information on the phased re-opening of libraries and current services.
New public web search engine for the University
A new University web search engine and associated governance has been developed and is now available to test.
With the recent launch of the Staff Hub search for internal results, the new search presents results from key public University websites for external audiences and current students. It features a new interface with result filtering (including by faculty), auto-complete suggestions and key promoted results.
A percentage of web traffic has already been diverted to the new search and the current search engine will be replaced entirely on Monday 2 March.
For any further enquiries contact IT Service and Support.