ACU’s Living and Learning Communities are taking a proactive approach to managing the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Our focus remains the safety of the residential community. We are working closely with the university, as well as NSW Health and VicHealth, in developing our ongoing response.

This is a difficult time for our many of you. Our residential community is highly valued, and we are doing everything we can to support our students who are away from home in challenging circumstances.

Our team will continue to carefully monitor this situation. Updates will be provided on this FAQ page as soon as they are available.

Current situation

Some government restrictions remain in place for NSW and regional Victoria, while Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions apply in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. The situation changes often, so please stay up to date with the latest public health information for Victoria and NSW.

All ACU campuses and libraries remain open, as places of education remain exempt from closure. Student Accommodation has been deemed an essential service and is therefore open. Accommodation staff have been identified as essential staff.

Students in residence are studying online, with the full support of accommodation and university staff – while observing social distancing requirements.

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our residential sites in Sydney, Ballarat or Canberra.

We have implemented numerous protocols for our residents and staff, as per NSW Health and VicHealth advice. This includes:

  • no external visitors being permitted on residential sites
  • provision of hand sanitiser
  • social distancing
  • limiting the number of residents using common areas
  • providing letters to residents in Melbourne to allow them to travel back to the Ballarat residence in preparation for Semester 2.

Additionally, we have been calling all our residents individually to check on their wellbeing, including whether they are experiencing any financial hardship. Care packages are being provided to students in our residences to ensure they continue to have essential items during this difficult time.

We are still holding residential events, but we are delivering these in innovative ways.

Living and Learning Communities staff, along with our Residential Advisors, continue to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect the wellbeing of our residents.

Currently, we have implemented the below activities and communications to support our residents, while also adhering to COVID-19 health protocols:

  • running in-house events, including online trivia/ bingo, Zoom social catchups, Facebook Live cooking tutorials, and ‘mobile’ campus catchups for residents enrolled in same units
  • providing self-care packages containing essential items to students undergoing self-isolation
  • providing fresh fruit for residents
  • individual phone catchups between staff and residents
  • regular email communications to residents from MCR Management, advising of any updates from the Federal and State Governments or ACU
  • displaying posters in common areas of all residences around health protocols, such as handwashing, physical distancing, and limiting the number of residents per common area
  • promoting online ACU Sport fitness and wellbeing activities for in-room use
  • referring residents to internal and external service support and providers, based on individual needs
  • common areas are still available with notices posted to advise how many people can safely access each room at one time to support your physical distancing.

Face-to-face support is still available for all residents as our team remains on-hand to support you. Physical distancing will be observed. If you require support, please contact your Residential Advisor on duty or contact your local residential team at any time.

Living and Learning Communities staff can support students who are required to self-isolate while living in residence. With adequate personal protective equipment, staff can deliver food and other essential items to these students while also ensuring they adhere to strict isolation protocols.

Staff will also check in daily with isolating students via phone call to check on their wellbeing and refer them to support services as required.

It’s your decision about whether you feel safer to return home during this health crisis or to remain in residence. Our residences are essential services and will remain open, so all the service and support we provide will remain in place no matter where you decide to live during this time. 

Additionally, the university’s campuses remain open and residents can still access all student services. View our student FAQs page to learn more.

If you choose to go home, but you’re still enrolled in your course and would like to break your residential agreement, normal break-lease protocol will apply. Please contact your local residential team to discuss support options.

If you and your family are facing extreme financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are here for you

Please contact the ACU Rental Advisory Service for support.

If you need advice or assistance to find accommodation, please contact the ACU Rental Advisory Service for support.

If you have any concerns about your accommodation, please contact your accommodation provider or the relevant state government authority:

Australian Capital Territory

  • Contact the Tenancy Advice Service at Legal Aid ACT on 1300 402 512.

New South Wales

  • Contact Study NSW-funded International Student Legal Service NSW at Redfern Legal Centre. To make an appointment, call 02 9698 7645 or enquire online using the free check-in app. Free legal advice is by appointment, either in person, by phone or using video link-up.

Queensland

  • QSTARS is a free independent advice and referral service for all Queensland renters.
  • 1800 QSTUDY (1800 778 839) is a 24/7 hotline for international students across Queensland.
  • Brisbane Student Hub offers a free information, advice and referral service to international students.

Victoria

  • Visit Consumer Affairs Victoria and also see your rights as a tenant at Tenants Victoria
  • Study Melbourne also offers an International Students Accommodation Legal Service, a free, confidential and independent service to help international students with accommodation issues, including those students who remain overseas. Make a phone appointment by emailing info@studymelbourne.vic.gov.au. Translation services are also available.

Yes, you need to keep your contact details up to date in Student Connect all the time.

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