Due to the hazardous smoke conditions across the ACT and surrounds, intermittent power outages, and ongoing threat of fire, we have decided to continue to keep the Acton, Mt Stromlo and Kioloa campuses closed to all but essential staff and those staying in residences. We are closed Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 January. Please don't come onto campus.
There is no immediate threat to the campus and this is a precautionary measure to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community. We understand this is disruptive and apologise for the inconvenience. We are dealing with unprecedented conditions so are taking an appropriately cautious approach to manage safety across our more than 200 buildings on our 145-hectare campus.
Our students and visitors currently living on campus are safe and we are proactively monitoring the residences.
We are working to re-open the campus on Wednesday 8 January and will issue advice at 11am tomorrow via email, the web and social media.
Given the operational challenges from smoke, electricity and threat of fire, we are seeking to minimise the number of people on campus, so we are encouraging our staff to work from home.
If you are essential staff, you will be contacted by a relevant University officer. To assist in the maintenance of ACT and NSW power supply, we have switched off all non-essential power.
You will be paid as per usual arrangements, and the closure does not affect your planned leave.
Staff who are volunteering with the RFS will have access to extra leave, with ANU matching the Australian Government's 20 extra days of paid leave.
For staff directly affected by the fires, if you are unable to return to Canberra, or require extra support, the University will provide access to ex-gratia leave.
In both these scenarios, please contact HR Division for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the toughest of summers. We are all feeling the physical and mental health effects of the fires, smoke and heat. It is important we all care for one another and each other and draw together as a supportive community. Please don't be afraid to seek support.
ANU provides all staff with access to support and counselling through the Employee Assistance program which can be reached on 1800 808 374.
Students can access support via ANU Crisis Support Line on 1300 050 327 or via SMS Text message service on 0488 884 170.
You can find additional information on mental health and wellbeing, as well as links to critical services here.
With fires and smoke having a major impact across the nation, the University strongly encourages everyone to stay up-to-date with emergency advice.
The ACT Emergency Services Authority has asked that all people in Canberra and surrounds familiarise themselves with the ESA website at esa.act.gov.au or social media accounts and download the "Fires Near Me" app to their phone.
For those outside of the ACT and surrounds, please check the relevant State emergency authority website.
The ABC is the national emergency broadcaster [go to abc.net.au/news/emergency].
In all circumstances, please prioritise your own safety and that of your family by making sure your fire plan is up-to-date and remain aware of the danger where you are, bearing in mind circumstances can change quickly.
Many in our community have been directly affected by the fires and are facing a long recovery. We have put together some information on donating to the bushfire effort [link here]
I want to assure you that we are seeking to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors while also making sure we can provide the essential services needed to support our university community.
Professor Mike Calford