Dear Students, welcome back to Session 2! I hope you’re well-rested and ready to do great things.
Despite the continued challenges the current pandemic presents, there are reasons to be optimistic, as more people are vaccinated, and we begin to inch ever closer to returning to normal.
As the weather starts to slowly warm up in our part of the world, I encourage you all to get outside at least once a day if you can - fresh air and exercise is the best reset for study and work. However, please do it safely and adhere to current health guidelines. I know it’s difficult, but from my time in the US, I have seen first-hand the impact if we don't take this seriously and we’ve come too far to drop our guard now.
While you’re outside, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the small things. For inspiration, our UOW photo-journalist Paul Jones has done a wonderful job capturing ‘the beauty we can find in isolation’.
It’s certainly not easy to cope with all of the disruptions to your student experience, but please know that many of the services you can draw upon for support have transitioned online while we are remote. These services, primarily funded by the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), include career and employability services and initiatives, student support advisors at our regional campuses, sexual assault and sexual harassment support, enhancing student welfare initiatives and more. A full list of SSAF supported initiatives can be found here. I urge you to take full advantage of these and the many other essential services in your time at UOW, whether you're studying online or on campus.
I also want to acknowledge that some of you are experiencing longer than average wait-times when contacting UOW Student Services. Please bear with us, as the nature of student issues are extremely complex at the moment, with every student’s situation different. We want to ensure we give the very best support and advice possible, and it is critical we get it right in each unique situation. We are enhancing resources to this important area to improve the service experience and to reduce wait times.
I wish everyone an enjoyable and successful second session. Work hard, but not at the expense of your health and wellbeing. Look after yourself and those around you, and we’ll continue to keep you updated on covid-related developments as they come to hand.