Planning for a staged and safe emergence from lockdown is starting in earnest, right across the Australian community. The ACT will be roll out a staged return to school, non-essential shopping is restarting and planning for COVIDSafe restaurants and cafes has begun. The ANU is also starting to work out the mechanics of how to have a planned and safe return to campus. Some of us have really struggled during this remote working period, especially when combined with remote learning for school-aged children. The Better Allies list of 15 COVID-19 privileges is a sobering thing to contemplate. Some of us have thrived. Some of us will not be able to join the re-emergence because of underlying medical conditions that make it unsafe to do so.
One of the most delightful things to have come from our sudden flight from campus has been our transition to digital workspaces. The conversation and engagement in the Teams environment has really flourished, and we will carry forward a lot of that. On that, we want to know how people are going right now and to understand how we can help people make the transition back to our 'new normal'. Please complete the online survey to assist us with this ongoing development.
I also have it on good authority that the crowd-sourced ideas for merchandise to commemorate our period of self-isolation are amazing. Voting is now open on the CECS-wide Team for you to select your favourite idea. Also, if you’ve not done so yet, hop on over to the CECS-wide Teams site to get engaged in the conversation in our digital workplace.
In amongst all of the details of working out how to reawaken campus life, many of us are starting to wonder what exactly we’re returning to. Safety protocols are going to fundamentally change the way that we work, study and interact with each other as a community for a very long time. We also must acknowledge that the higher education sector is not immune from the recession that is coming, and we in the ANU face challenging times ahead. We will need to look to the core of our value proposition in order to come through this crisis. By concentrating on transformative, relevant educational experiences and impactful intellectual leadership, we will get through.
Professor Elanor Huntington
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