Avondale’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Update (as of July 16, 2021): Classes and Homecoming by distance mode

Given the ongoing number of infectious COVID-19 cases in the community, and the extension of the lockdown in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong) until 11.59 pm on July 30, Avondale has decided to deliver all classes on its Lake Macquarie and Sydney campuses in distance mode from today until August 13. At this stage, and subject to any change in NSW Government health advice, face-to-face classes will resume on August 16.

Students will receive more information from their school about any changes to academic programs.

On-campus students (Lake Macquarie)

On-campus students will return to the residential halls for the start of face-to-face classes on August 16. Student Life Services will soon host a Zoom meeting to answer questions about this.


Orientation for new students will still occur on August 2 but by distance mode.


The annual Homecoming (August 27-28) for alumni will be presented by distance mode. Programs such as a Friday evening music and celebration service and a Saturday morning worship service will be live streamed. Honour year reunions will be hosted on Zoom. Register your interest in the event.

Thank you for your flexibility as we navigate this evolving situation. We are committed to keeping our community safe while providing the best possible learning experiences.

Update (as of June 26, 2021): Stay-at-home order and work-from-home recommendationThe NSW Government has extended a stay-at-home order across all of Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong) from 6 pm yesterday (June 26) to 11.59 pm on Friday, July 9.

If you’ve been in Greater Sydney on or after Monday, June 21, then you’re under the same stay-at-home order for 14 days from the date you left Greater Sydney.

We ask all staff members and students affected by this order to comply. This request includes students planning to come to Winter School—we will deliver your classes in distance mode by Zoom. If you can’t work or study from home without first collecting items from Avondale, you can collect those but must wear a mask while doing so.

In other parts of New South Wales, including our Lake Macquarie campus:
  • Masks must be worn in all non-residential settings (including at work)
  • Singing by audiences and choirs is not permitted
  • The four-square metre rule applies

Our response to this stay-at-home order and the other restrictions is to advise those who are able to work from home do so in consultation with your line manager or head of department. We understand this will not be possible or practical for everyone, so those who need to can remain at work wearing a mask while indoors.

We’ll be holding all official meetings by Zoom until further notice.

Avondale Libraries (Lake Macquarie campus) is open from 10 am to 2 pm Monday to Thursday this week. Opening hours for Avondale Libraries (Sydney campus) are to be confirmed.

If you are a student on or about to go on a professional placement, please await further information from your school.

We wish all staff members and students the best as you navigate these new challenges. Your safety is our top priority.

Update (as of June 25, 2021): Face masks and visitor check inTo help with contact tracing, we’re asking all visitors to campus to check in using the NSW Government QR code. The codes are at every reception area.

We’re also reminding staff members, students and visitors to campus of the latest public health order. The order states that if you’ve been within the Greater Sydney area on or after June 9, you must wear a face mask indoors (unless at home) through until midnight on June 30. This includes any person who has visited the Central Coast during this period (unless you have an exemption).

It’s important to follow NSW Health advice. If you are directed to get tested for COVID-19 or to self-isolate by NSW Health at any time, you must follow this advice whether or not the venue or exposure setting is listed on the NSW Health website. If you have received a SMS from NSW Health, please follow the advice and NSW Health will contact you.

Update (as of May 10, 2021): Temperature check in and mask wearingTemperature checking has been reintroduced on our Sydney campus. Visitors to campus will also be required to wear a mask. These measures will remain in place as long as required by the New South Wales Government and by Adventist HealthCare Limited.

Update (as of May 3, 2021): Relaxation of restrictionsWe’ve made several changes to our COVID-safe plan on the Lake Macquarie and Sydney campuses following the relaxation of guidelines in New South Wales.

Lake Macquarie campus

  • Music and sporting events are beginning again but visitors will still need to check in
  • School visits are beginning again with accommodation offered in the Andre Hall residence
  • Music rehearsals are beginning again but visitors to campus will still need to check in
We’re still emphasising physical distancing and hand hygiene and allowing only on-campus students to access the Ella Boyd and Watson Hall residences.

Sydney campus

If you’re visiting our Sydney campus, you’ll need to check in using the NSW Government QR code but will no longer be screened for temperature.

Update (as of February 24, 2021): Mask wearing and sporting eventsAvondale is maintaining the square-metre rule and physical distancing as recommended by the NSW Government. If you’re visiting our Sydney campus, you’ll need to check in using the NSW Government QR code and undertake a temperature check.

Mask wearing

Avondale has not mandated the wearing of masks on campus. But in classes where students interact in close proximity to each other, lecturers may consider mandating mask wearing to improve safety. 

Sporting events

On-campus sporting events will continue but for staff members and students only.

As with all COVID-related decisions, we will regularly review and revise these as necessary.

Update (as of November 23, 2020): GraduationAvondale University College has finalised a COVID-safe plan for its graduation ceremony. The plan is subject to any change in public health order rules.

Graduation ceremony

Avondale will present up to eight graduation ceremonies over two days (Sunday, December 13, and Monday, December 14). Each ceremony will feature about 40 graduands from particular course groups and include only lecturers directly involved in teaching each group. Each graduand can invite two family members. (According to current public health order rules, up to 150 people, if appropriately distanced, can attend this type of event.) Graduands not able to attend a ceremony in face-to-face mode could attend in distance mode.

Key points from the COVID-safe plan for the ceremony include:
  • Entry by ticket only—numbers limited to comply with venue capacity
  • Physical distancing a priority—those with COVID symptoms to remain away from Lake Macquarie campus
  • Hand sanitiser readily available
  • Seating spaced and marked
  • Tape, barriers and markers to guide guests in and out of venue
  • Guests encouraged to leave venue promptly after ceremony has finished
  • Venue cleaned thoroughly between ceremonies
  • Food not offered as part of ceremony—only pre-ordered takeaway options
  • Government health guidelines monitored and followed

Update (as of September 2, 2020): GraduationGraduands of Avondale University College will have the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony in face-to-face mode this year. The decision comes after wide consultation, including with NSW Health, but is subject to any change in public health order rules.

Graduation ceremony

Avondale will present up to eight graduation ceremonies over two days (Sunday, December 13, and Monday, December 14). Each ceremony will feature about 40 graduands from particular course groups and include only lecturers directly involved in teaching each group. Each graduand can invite two family members. (According to current public health order rules, up to 150 people, if appropriately distanced, can attend this type of event.) Graduands not able to attend a ceremony in face-to-face mode could attend in distance mode.

Other services and programs

Avondale will also present an online program during which it will deliver key messages to graduands. However, it does not plan to present consecration or valedictory services on Friday evening or Saturday morning and will not offer on-campus accommodation or food services.

Other COVID-safe guidelines, such as the checking of temperature, the wearing of face masks, the cleaning of the venue between ceremonies, and the return and cleaning of regalia, are still being considered.

Planning, including the allocation of course groups to graduation ceremonies, continues.

Update (as of August 11, 2020): Students from Victoria now out of quarantineEvery student from Victoria who returned to quarantine at Avondale University College has now received a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result.

In accordance with government regulations, all students—on- or off-campus—who travelled from Victoria had to self-isolate for 14 days and obtain a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result before returning to campus.

While a number of students had places in New South Wales in which they could isolate, about half a dozen did not. NSW Health, under strict guidelines, granted permission for Avondale to use the empty Andre Hall residence on its Lake Macquarie campus in which to isolate these students.

Update (as of August 6, 2020): Accommodation and teaching mode options for students from QueenslandAvondale University College will continue providing accommodation to on-campus students from Queensland after the state’s border with New South Wales closes on Saturday (August 8). If students are concerned about the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine—at their expense—for returning Queenslanders, Avondale is encouraging them to go home before 1 am on Saturday. Course convenors will make provision for online learning. If the border closure extends beyond the end of the semester, Avondale will offer students accommodation in the residences at the usual fee.

Update (as of August 3, 2020): COVID-19 safety plan for returning studentsAvondale University College’s coronavirus (COVID-19) safety plan for returning on-campus students includes a COVID-19 self-declaration, thermal temperature testing, contact tracing, social distancing, hygiene practices, and capacity restrictions in buildings. It is also asking students to minimise unnecessary travel. And it is encouraging staff members and students to procure personalised masks for possible use—it has ordered a supply of generic masks if or when needed. The provision of hand sanitiser and wipes to each department means lecturers have a supply of these to take to classrooms when teaching.

With the return of students, and to comply with its safety plan, Avondale reminds guests or visitors not to enter the cafeteria or the residences on the Lake Macquarie campus. And a fruther reminder: only current staff members and students are permitted to participate in any Avondale sporting competitions.

Update (as of July 21, 2020): Return of students from Victoria to campusAvondale University College is helping students from Victoria return safely to campus.

In accordance with current government regulations, all students—on- or off-campus—travelling from Victoria must self-isolate for 14 days and obtain a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result before returning to campus.

While a number of students have places in New South Wales in which they can isolate, about half a dozen do not. NSW Health has, under strict guidelines, granted permission for us to use the empty Andre Hall residence on the Lake Macquarie campus in which to isolate these students.

We continue to monitor COVID-19 developments in New South Wales and will make any necessary adjustments to our preparation and processes.

Update (as of July 8, 2020): Return of students to campus; restrictions on campusAvondale University College is responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in Melbourne and to the limitation of flights from New Zealand to Australia. It is contacting all students via text message to discover who is in Victoria and New Zealand. It has asked students in the state and the country to provide their name, preferred contact details and postcode of current location. It is also contacting via phone all students whose residential address is in Victoria or in New Zealand. And it has asked staff members who have travelled to Victoria to self-report.

The School of Education has rescheduled professional experience for students allocated to schools within greater Melbourne.

In accordance with current government regulations, all students—on- or off-campus—travelling from Victoria or New Zealand must self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus.

The dates for the beginning of semester two are:

Sydney campus

  • July 20, Bachelor of Nursing (Year 2 and 3)
  • July 27, Bachelor of Nursing (Year 1)

Lake Macquarie campus

  • July 27, Bachelor of Nursing (Year 1)
  • August 3, All other students (except those on professional experience)

The residences on the Lake Macquarie campus will open on July 26.

Restrictions on campus

While noting universities in New South Wales are exempt from the four-square metre rule for activities involving only staff members and students, all teaching and learning spaces on the Lake Macquarie and Sydney campuses will open in accordance with hygiene and physical distancing guidelines. On-campus students returning to the residences must sign a self-declaration form about their health and their travel over the semester break.

Update (as of July 2, 2020): Graduation, and delivery mode in semester two


Avondale University College will continue monitoring government advice before making a decision about graduation this year. We strongly recommend graduands and guests not make travel plans until students receive official notification of a graduation ceremony. For those who are course complete, degrees will be conferred irrespective of the date of the ceremony.

Semester two

Avondale will resume delivery of classes in face-to-face mode at the beginning of semester two. It will set up teaching and learning spaces in accordance with hygiene and physical distancing guidelines, including a room limit number displayed at point of entry. Where larger class sizes exceed the limit of a venue, we are considering alternatives such as streaming to another venue or continuing with delivery of classes by distance mode.

Students returning to the residence halls must adhere to additional guidelines. We will sent these by email within the next week. The guidelines are subject to review in response to changes in government advice.

If you reside or complete a professional placement in what has become (or may yet become) a coronavirus (COVID-19) hotspot, we will contact you about your return to campus. If you have visited or will be visiting Melbourne during the semester break, contact us ( before returning to campus.

Update (as of May 27, 2020): Return of students to campusAvondale University College is expecting its academic program to return to “normal” with the beginning of semester two, 2020.

The dates for the beginning of semester two are:

Sydney campus

  • July 20, Bachelor of Nursing (Year 2 and 3)
  • July 27, Bachelor of Nursing (Year 1)

Lake Macquarie campus

  • July 27, Bachelor of Nursing (Year 1)
  • August 3, All other students

The residences on the Lake Macquarie campus will open on July 26.

Students, we look forward to having you return to campus and trust, in the meantime, you continue to keep healthy.

Update (as of April 30, 2020): Homecoming still on but only onlineWhile the Australian and the New South Wales Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) has implications for the annual Homecoming, Avondale University College and Avondale Alumni will present the event August 21-23 this year. Homecoming connects us again with each other and with Avondale. That’s important.

At this stage, subject to no significant change in the social distancing restrictions for preventing the spread of the virus, we will present Homecoming 2020 in a modified, online-only format.

Worship services
Homecoming 2020 will begin on Friday with a live stream of Praise Hymn, an informal evening of fellowship and favourite hymn singing with Dr Lyell Heise. It will continue on Saturday morning with a live stream of the Homecoming worship service from Avondale College Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Honour year reunions
Honour year reunions, including the 2020 ReConnect and the Sycamore Lane pop-up conference, will follow from midday on Saturday (honour years) and from Sunday morning (2020 ReConnect and Sycamore Lane) primarily on dedicated Facebook groups. Hosts may choose to connect with their classmates via Facebook Live, Facebook Messenger, videotelephony or video conference. Hosts will seek nominations for citation recipients to honour over the weekend.

Homecoming magazine
Avondale Alumni will produce a Homecoming magazine featuring the citations. The magazine will be distributed on digital publishing platform‎ Issuu.

Homecoming 2020 will end, for most, on Saturday evening with a live stream of the Homecoming concert featuring not Avondale Conservatorium’s Gospel Proms but guitarist and alumnus Peter Dixon’s Campfire Songs, continuing a more than 30-year tradition of performing on campus.

Avondale will provide full refunds for those who have registered for Homecoming.

Follow Avondale Alumni on Facebook to receive updates about Homecoming 2020.

Update (as of April 14, 2020): Sydney campus facilitator out of isolationAn Avondale University College School of Nursing clinical facilitator supervising a Sydney campus non-residential student who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) is now out of isolation. The facilitator had been self-isolating on the advice of the Public Health Unit of NSW Health’s Northern Sydney Local Health District but is feeling well and showing no symptoms. The student continues to self-isolate at home.

Update (as of April 3, 2020): Sydney campus student tests positiveAn Avondale University College Sydney campus non-residential student on a clinical placement has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The student is now self-isolating. As a precaution, a clinical facilitator is also self-isolating on the advice of the Public Health Unit of NSW Health’s Northern Sydney Local Health District. The facilitator is not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. The Public Health Unit has determined that Avondale does not need to take further action. Avondale will continue offering pastoral care to the student and the facilitator.

Update (as of April 1, 2020): Staff to work from homeAvondale University College is now transitioning to work-from-home mode for its staff members. Those who can work from home are, subject to the approval of their line managers, either now doing so or will do so from today. Those who must remain on campus will remain within their immediate work area. Visitors should not make appointments to see staff members on campus. Rather, they should call reception (02 4980 2222 for Lake Macquarie campus, ‭02 9480 3681‬ for Sydney campus) and ask the receptionist to forward their call to the applicable staff member.

Update (current as of March 27, 2020): Delivery of all units by distance modeAvondale University College will deliver all units only by distance mode for the remainder of semester one. This means some students may not be able to complete the practical components of select units by the end of semester. Avondale will organise intensive sessions to deliver practical components once face-to-face delivery of units resumes. Dates for these sessions are yet to be confirmed.

Delivery of all units by distance mode prioritises the safety of staff members and students.

All units and Moodle sites will reflect the necessary adjustments to assessment tasks by Tuesday, March 31.

Avondale Libraries closed

Avondale Libraries (Lake Macquarie campus) has closed until further notice but staff members remain available by email or phone during office hours. It will continue to help staff members transition to delivery of units by distance mode and provide services for eReserve with digitised course content. It will also extend all loans.

Avondale Libraries (Sydney campus) remains open but is offering only limited services.

Check email daily

As Avondale continues transitioning to the delivery of units by distance mode for the remainder of semester one, please regularly monitor your email account to keep up-to-date with information you need to know about your study. For help in adding your student email account to your mail client, visit

Update (current as of March 25, 2020): Residence halls now closedThe residence halls on Avondale University College’s Lake Macquarie campus are now closed until further notice. The halls are closed to all students except those who have arranged previously to remain on campus. Avondale does not anticipate a return of students to the halls for the remainder of semester one. Contact the Director of Student Life Services for more information.

Update (current as of March 23, 2020): Mid-semester break begins tomorrow (Tuesday, March 24)Avondale University College is scheduling an even earlier mid-semester break to encourage students who are able to return home. Classes will close at the end of the day (Monday, March 23) and return on Tuesday, April 14.

The scheduling of an earlier and extended break will give lecturers more time to move their classes online and students time to adjust.

When classes resume, all lectures will be delivered online except where there is a practical component. Lectures delivered online by video conference will run to the existing timetable. Online academic support including the virtual mentor program will be monitored and scaled up if necessary.

Where online delivery of lectures is not possible or feasible, such as for nursing labs and classes in ceramics, counselling, general studies, music and outdoor recreation, the theoretical component may be delivered online while the practical will be delivered in face-to-face mode subject to coronavirus prevention protocols. Schools, particularly education, nursing and theology, will contact students about the impact on placements and professional experience.

Work-from-home capabilities for staff members

Avondale’s Lake Macquarie and Sydney campuses remain open. Managers are completing audits on work-from-home capabilities for staff members.

Q’n’A sessions

The Q’n’A sessions Avondale is hosting today for staff members and students will be accessible only via Zoom. The sessions are at the following times:
  • Staff members—Monday, March 23, 12 pm
  • Students—Monday, March 23, 4 pm

Isolated student tests negative

The Sydney-based on-campus student isolated by Avondale when they became ill has tested negative for coronavirus.

Update (current as of March 20, 2020): Isolated student tests negativeThe Lake Macquarie-based on-campus student isolated by Avondale University College when they became ill has tested negative for coronavirus. Avondale released the student from isolation this morning and the student has returned to their residential hall.

Residential hall access

Avondale has limited access to the residence halls on its Lake Macquarie campus. Only on-campus students will have access to Ella Boyd and Watson Halls—Andre Hall is vacant and reserved for students who need to self-isolate. Overnight guests and off-campus students are not permitted to enter.

Q’n’A sessions: Zoom invitations

Zoom invitations for the Q’n’A sessions with staff members and students will be sent Monday morning.

Worship gatherings: Avondale College Seventh-day Adventist Church

Worship gatherings at Avondale College Seventh-day Adventist Church will move to an online-only format—via live stream—from this Saturday (March 21)—the pastoral team will record Bible studies and sermons on Fridays; the Lake Macquarie campus chaplain will host. The church is also cancelling its Saturday morning Bible-study groups and its life groups.

Pastoral care support: Students

The Lake Macquarie campus chaplain is scheduling regular video conference prayer meetings. He will, with the Student Welfare Officer, continue pastoral care support walk-throughs of the residence halls.

New episodes of the SALT Creative Podcast are online. Future episodes will cover topics suggested by students.

Update (current as of March 19, 2020): Changes to the semester one academic calendarAvondale University College is bringing forward the mid-semester break and aligning it with the Easter long weekend as part of its response to the coronavirus. This will mean that the last day of classes before the break will be Friday, March 27, with a return to classes on Tuesday, April 14. This change is necessary to facilitate Avondale moving the majority of its classes to online mode, although as indicated below, some units will continue to be offered on-campus.

Changes to Avondale’s teaching delivery mode

In line with the fact that many of Australia’s universities are transitioning to online delivery to reduce the amount of physical contact during this period, when Avondale’s classes resume on Tuesday, April 14, most of our classes will be offered online.

Things to note regarding these changes:
  • Bringing the mid-semester break forward has been necessary to assist staff members and students to make a timely adjustment to online delivery.
  • Not all units can be offered online—this relates particularly to units that have a high level of practical components or laboratories built into them (eg., nursing, counselling, outdoor leadership, music, ceramics, etc.)—and so some units will continue to be offered in face-to-face mode.
  • Any units that may need to be continued in face-to-face mode will be conducted within the government guidelines in regard to meeting numbers and physical distancing.
  • On return from mid-semester break, Avondale will continue to operate its classes on the present timetable. In general, you will be expected to “turn up” for class at the usual time for lectures to be conducted via Zoom, unless alternate arrangements have been made by your lecturer. You will receive class meeting invitations and will need to log into your lectures. It is likely that some of the assessment tasks may need to change to align with the online mode of delivery and you will be notified of those changes in a timely manner.
  • You will be provided with more specific information regarding the mode in which the various units will be offered as your dean, head of school, course convenors, and lecturers consider all of the implications of the decision to move to online delivery.
  • Your lecturers will continue to be available to provide assistance to you.
  • Avondale will be closely monitoring your academic progress while you study online through its virtual mentor program.
  • Avondale will continue to offer accommodation to on-campus students who are not able to return home or need to attend classes on campus. They will be able to remain in the residential halls in line with the present arrangements.

Avondale’s guiding principles in responding to coronavirus:
  • Keeping staff members and students as safe as possible.
  • Maintaining a quality learning and teaching program.
  • Preparing to restore normal operations as soon as possible.

It is our aim to work through this challenging time as effectively as possible then to return to our normal program and on-campus lifestyle.

Q’n’A sessions

Avondale is planning to host Q’n’A sessions to address issues you might like to raise in regard to these plans. The sessions will be available via Zoom. They are at the following times:
  • Staff members—Monday, March 23, 12 pm, Avondale College Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Students—Monday, March 23, 4 pm, Avondale College Seventh-day Adventist Church

This is a difficult time for all of us. We will need to work together, care for ourselves, and care for each other. It is at times like this that our community shows what it is really like to have a Christian foundation to everything we do.

Update (current as of March 18, 2020): Two students in isolationAvondale University College has isolated two on-campus students—one on the Lake Macquarie campus, one on the Sydney campus—because they have become ill. The students have been tested for coronavirus and are waiting for the results. We are continuing to provide services to and care for these students following the protocols recommended by government and announced previously and described on this page.

Our Critical Incident Team is meeting daily to manage Avondale’s response to the coronavirus. We will keep you up to date with news of that response.

We are making preparations for continuity of classes by exploring a transition to online delivery for as many units as possible. We are also making preparations for continuity of services in worst-case scenarios.

Take care of yourselves and each other by following the coronavirus prevention protocols.

Update (current as of March 17, 2020): Cafeteria (Lake Macquarie campus) open only to on-campus studentsAvondale University College is limiting access to the cafeteria on its Lake Macquarie campus. Only those who have registered as on-campus students (ie. students living in the residence halls) will have access to the cafeteria until further notice.

Our priority is the safety of our community, particularly our staff members and students.

We thank you for your understanding and will notify you when the cafeteria is again available for general use.

Update (current as of March 16, 2020): Classes continuing but events postponedAvondale University College is taking the advice of the Australian Government and health experts to guide its decisions. Classes will be continuing until advised otherwise. We do not currently have a case of coronavirus on our Avondale campuses. Some practical placements in nursing and theology may be impacted but the relevant school will contact students regarding this. If you become ill, isolate yourself, let Student Life Services or Human Resources know, and contact your doctor for medical advice.

Preventative measures: International and national

The World Health Organisation has now deemed the coronavirus to be a pandemic. This has led to many countries putting in place travel restrictions and other measures in order to slow the spread of the virus. Australia has also made decisions that restrict travel to certain countries and have made recommendations in regard to preventative measures.
  • If you have returned from overseas since midnight on Sunday, March 15, 2020 (no matter your departure point), you must self-isolate for 14 days. Cruise ships will not be permitted to dock in Australia.
  • If you have been in touch with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus, you must self-isolate for 14 days, and if you have symptoms, you must contact your doctor (by phone) and go to a coronavirus testing centre. State governments are putting in place serious penalties for people who do not follow the protocols for self-isolation.
  • All should follow the protocols for handwashing and social distancing (eg., no handshaking and remaining 1.5 metres apart).

Preventative measures: Avondale

In addition to the previous steps that Avondale has taken in regard to cancelling international travel on behalf of Avondale and the requirement to self-report completed international travel, Avondale has taken the following additional steps to protect its community. These protocols will be in place until further notice:
  • At this stage, classes will proceed as scheduled—this is in line with the decision of the Australian Government to keep schools and universities open.
  • The immediate postponement of events—this has meant the postponement or cancellation of the following: Festival of Faith (due to begin next week), SALT (the Friday evening program), school visits to campus, sporting competitions (due to begin this week), and Avondale Open Day (scheduled for June).
  • Should on-campus dormitory students need to self-isolate, they will do so in the vacant Andre Hall.
  • Domestic air travel to be curtailed to what is essential.
  • Zoom meetings (where appropriate) to substitute for face-to-face meetings.

Preventative measures: Working together

Remain calm. It is vital we all work together to slow down the spread of coronavirus. So, take note of all of the preventative measures recommended on government websites. If you are concerned about class attendance, contact your lecturer or course convenor in regard to the possibility of studying online. Or, if you’re concerned there is a possibility of you carrying coronavirus home to vulnerable relatives, speak to your faculty dean or departmental head to make alternative work arrangements. Avondale is monitoring the situation daily but is also putting in place planning for worst-case scenarios.

Preventative measures: Contingency plans

Avondale is working hard to develop contingency plans to prepare for any forthcoming interventions that may be necessary in the future.

Preventative measures: Stay up to date

Stay updated with the situation by consulting relevant websites:
Please keep in mind that the above protocols are in place until further notice and that they are designed to protect us all.

Update (current as of March 6, 2020): Avondale restricts international travelAvondale University College’s Administration and the Executive Committee have taken a decision for the Avondale community, including staff members and students, to cease all international travel on Avondale business, effective immediately, and until further notice. The health and safety of our staff members and students is paramount and cannot be assured if regular travel continues in this rapidly evolving situation. This decision is similar to that taken by other Australian universities and higher education providers.

If you have international travel planned or booked, please cancel or postpone your travel arrangements and do not make further bookings at this stage. Domestic travel can proceed as normal at present. The Senior Executive group will review this decision on a regular basis with updates posted to our web page and conveyed by email.

Avondale is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and its implications for overseas travel. Many countries are now reporting cases. Entry restrictions to other countries are changing often and quickly.

Any staff member who believes they have essential travel, either already booked or in planning, should take up the matter with their respective dean or department head. Ultimately, any decision on travel will be determined by the Senior Executive group and will be final.

Update (current as of February 28, 2020): Avondale and its initial responseThe Federal Government will maintain the travel ban and entry restrictions from mainland China, aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, until Saturday, March 7. The ban prevents anyone other than Australian citizens or permanent residents and their immediate families from travelling to Australia from mainland China.

The ban is being reviewed on a weekly basis.

Anyone who is able to return to Australia is still expected to isolate themselves for 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.

NSW Health is also advising individuals who have travelled from overseas in the 14 days before the onset of symptoms (fever, acute respiratory infection; eg. shortness of breath or cough) to seek medical attention.

If students or staff members have travelled overseas (whatever the destination) in the past 14 days, you have an obligation to self-report this to Student Life Services (for students) or Human Resources (for staff members).

Avondale will provide advice to students who are concerned via the website, email and SMS. Students can also access support via Student Life Services (02 4980 2148,

If staff members require support, they should talk to their manager. Avondale also provides support services for staff members through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) via Human Resources (02 4980 2284,

Avondale will continue to update students and staff members as relevant information becomes available.

Should Avondale’s academic programs be impacted by the spread of the virus, be assured that Avondale will do everything possible so that students will not be disadvantaged.

Our thoughts are with our students and staff with friends and family in China and anyone who has been affected.

Answering your questions

  • The Department of Health has published a fact sheet with information for university and vocational education students and staff.
  • NSW Health has advised the risk of contracting the virus is extremely low without close contact.
  • NSW Health is updating its information regularly via its website.

Seeking medical advice

  • Any members of the Avondale community who are unwell or concerned about their health should contact their GP or a health professional. We suggest you call ahead, explaining your symptoms and recent travel history, rather than attend in person.
  • Overseas students can also call the Medibank OSHC Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283. Medibank have updated all nursing staff who take calls.
  • NSW Health is updating its information regularly via its website.
  • NSW Health has a free helpline, Health Direct, at 1800 022 222. Registered nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide advice when you’re not sure what to do—whether you should see a local GP, manage the condition in isolation, or go to an emergency department. (Calls are free from a landline; charges may apply from a mobile phone.)
  • The federal Department of Health has set up a 24-hour COVID-19 Health Information Line at 1800 020 080.
  • NSW Health has arranged for medical fees to be waived and covered for any international student who seeks treatment in relation to the COVID-19 issue.

Precautions to follow

  • We ask students, staff members and visitors to take the precautions advised by the public health experts including:
    • frequently clean your hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
    • when coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands
    • avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough
    • if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
  • Please observe and comply with health-related signage around Avondale.
  • The World Health Organisation has more information about simple personal hygiene practices to reduce exposure to illness.

Advice for travellers

  • The Australian Government, like other governments around the world, has implemented procedures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advice for travellers, including those returning from a destination with reported cases.