Dear Students, several moments define your time at university, and for many, graduation is on the top of that list. Unfortunately, the last 12-18 months have seen people worldwide miss events and milestones that are dear to them, or at the very least, these traditional in-person moments and events have transitioned online.
Graduations across the world have not been immune to the effects of COVID-19, as evidenced when we were required to host our 2020 Graduation virtually, for the first time in our history.
With the current Delta strain of COVID-19 still prevalent and to keep our students, staff and community safe, we are making the necessary arrangements to once again present graduation safely online in 2021.
All students eligible to participate from the 2020 and 2021 student cohort will be sent additional info in the coming weeks, including dates, timings and order of proceedings.
We have taken on feedback from last year’s online graduation ceremony and now have a better understanding of what elements our students value most from an online graduation. Examples include; student names being read out aloud, more live elements and the chance for student engagement and photo opportunities, at a time when it is once again safe to do so.
We are working around the clock to present students with a new and improved online Graduation ceremony that factors in the above considerations and provides the optimal online experience.
I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate the students involved in driving UOW’s Youth Climate Statement to be presented at the 16th UN Climate Change Conference of Youth this October. UOW's senior executive has endorsed the statement and will work with the students to ensure UOW meets its commitments. Please support these students by visiting change.org to help them get to the 2,500 signatures needed to ratify the statement and for official consideration at the 2021 conference. Well done to all involved! Let’s work together to make significant change and impact in this area.
And finally, I would like to update students on changes to our Safe and Respectful Communities (SARC) program, which will now be expanded and moved into the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s portfolio, where it will be independent of other student administration functions, to focus attention on this vital area of work. The SARC team works with students and staff to manage incidents of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (SASH) and other student conduct issues and to provide education, training, and advice to the University Community. Please reach out to the team if you are aware of or have experienced sexual assault or harassment. You can find out more about safe and respectful communities on our website.
I hope you all have a productive week, and as always, please get vaccinated if you can. Visit our Vaccination Information Centre for all the latest advice, options, and FAQs.