Dear Colleagues,

The results of our recent staff mental health and wellbeing survey have now been received and reviewed by the University leadership team. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to let us know how you are feeling during this pandemic. We had a 64% completion rate and have been able to gain useful insights from staff across the University community.

According to the survey results, the majority of staff who responded were satisfied with measures that UOW has taken to protect the health and safety of our staff and students. Respondents also reported that although the period of transition has been a stressful time, they have been able to manage the pressure of working remotely and their mental wellbeing by accessing the formal and informal support services made available.

Feedback from respondents highlighted the need to continue clear and timely communication about the often rapid changes being made by the Government and our response to these changes. Following the Chief Operating Officer’s advice yesterday, I assure you the University leadership team and I will continue to keep you updated on operational changes, including our plans to transition back to work on campus as restrictions ease.

Additionally, respondents indicated their interest in receiving further information on the financial impact that the pandemic is having on the University. I encourage you all to join me in the virtual Vice-Chancellor’s All Staff Update on Thursday 4 June at 11.30 am, at which I will provide further information about the financial impact and steps towards achieving a sustainable position. Details about how to join the live stream will be sent to staff closer to the time.

Unsurprisingly, work-life balance was a considerable challenge for most, especially those staff that have additional carer responsibilities or children completing school work at home. Further information on managing work-life balance is available on our COVID-19 response page.

I want to acknowledge again the tireless efforts of staff to move to remote teaching so swiftly under challenging circumstances. The energy and determination of our UOW staff community are second to none, and I remain grateful for the flexibility, patience and adaptability you all continue to show in response to this constantly evolving situation.

The survey results are available to view here. Faculties and divisions will have access to their results shortly, and Executive Deans and Directors will review and share these results with their staff to address any team concerns or trends.

As we continue to plan for a phased transition back to teaching on campus, I encourage you to keep checking in on each another and refer to support services if needed. Our Employee Assistance Provider, LifeWorks, may be contacted on 1300 361 008 for free and confidential counselling over the phone or via one-to-one video conferencing.

Continue to look after yourselves and your loved ones. I look forward to having staff together on campus again as restrictions continue to be eased.

Professor Paul Wellings CBE