ACU’s Living and Learning Communities is 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

While the stage 3 restrictions have been brought into legislation by the NSW and Victorian governments, all ACU campuses and libraries remain open, as places of education remain exempt. 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 physical distancing requirements.

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

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
  • physical distancing
  • limiting the number of residents using common areas
  • twice weekly disinfecting of residential common areas, in addition to our normal common area cleaning services
  • providing letters to residents in multi-share apartments to allow them to travel outside of the residence as a ‘family unit’ to access essential services (housemates are recognised as a family unit according to NSW Health).

Additionally, we have been calling all our residents individually to check on their wellbeing, including any financial hardship. Care packages are also 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; however, we are varying our delivery of these in innovative ways so we can support our student residents through this crisis.

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 any updates from the Australian Government 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.

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, however, you are in extreme financial hardship due to the COVID-19 restrictions, please contact the ACU Rental Advisory Service. This service can assist you with any issues you face while renting privately and provide information about your rights as a tenant.

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.

Australian states and territories have put a six-month moratorium on evictions in place for both residential and commercial tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will prevent landlords from evicting tenants if they are unable to pay rent due to financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

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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