AMC Matters - 25 June 2020

Dear Colleagues,
 
Happy ‘Day of the Seafarer’!
 
Congratulations to everyone on successful completion of Semester 1 and overcoming the numerous and varying challenges of COVID-19. Well done to all.  I trust you will enjoy the break from teaching, as applicable, and where possible take some leave so that all return refreshed and ready for Semester 2. I realise some may consider that there is too much work yet to be done and therefore feel unable to take leave; and that they do so out of a sense of purpose and desire to excel; or that they don’t want to come back off leave and have to catch-up. Either way, your health and welfare should be of primary import and as such, I would urge you to take leave where possible.  As they say in the classics, no one is indispensable; and the organisation will continue to move forward regardless.  
 
As we move to a more relaxed COVID-19 environment we still need to be mindful of adhering to restrictions that remain in place around the campus.  As a reminder, the intent is to conduct course teaching and tutorials online for Semester 2, but we will maximise on-campus activities that provide students with high value experiences that support their learning; cognisant of the need to make adjustments to assessments for students who are unable to come onto campus either by providing an equivalent activity that does not lead to disadvantage, or by delaying until a later point in time.  We have already commenced conducting practical training in support of some courses, and have sought and obtained approval from the UTAS CMRT, to breach the 1.5m separation rule where it is absolutely necessary to achieve a training objective; mindful of the need to have specified controls in place.  Overall, I expect the return to campus to be slow but gradual noting that the primary focus remains online delivery of training.
 
Return to Campus
So, with the gradual return to campus required to support our activities, it is timely to remind everyone of the need to compete the COVID-19 MyLO refresher training prior to returning to campus.  Likewise, everyone must undergo screening on a daily basis, prior to entering the workplace; and a screening station is located in the student entrance to the Swanson building.  (Thank you to the volunteers who have been manning the Screening station over the past weeks.)  You will notice signs have been placed on the doors to all rooms, including offices, detailing the maximum number of people who can occupy that room; please adhere to these restrictions.  In addition, all activities undertaken on campus must have a COVID-19 plan which includes a risk assessment and a completed UTAS COVID-19 check off list.  The use of facilities must meet social distancing requirements and enhanced hygiene requirements.  If you are undertaking a practical training evolution in one of the classrooms/labs/research facilities/vessels or even outdoors, you will need to have a COVID-19 plan; Gregory Truloff, AMC Operations Manager, can assist you in developing your plan. 
 
Working Better 
On the Working Better program, the decision has been made to not change reporting lines to Working Groups Leads from 1 July, due to the recognition that disruption caused by an interim change of reporting line to a temporary structure before the ongoing reporting line is established is not people-centric. The aim is to change reporting lines only once, to minimise the impact on people. Therefore, reporting line changes will occur over the coming months and at different stages for each Working Group, as they work through Service Design.  There will be further communication on the change of reporting lines in the near future.  The Working Better program will continue to expand engagement across Working Groups with the intent of continuing existing sessions involving the Working Better team and Working Group leaders, supplemented by additional catchups with Working Group leads as and where required. Stay tuned.
 
Course Structure Transformation
The Course Structure transformation also continues with AMC courses having cleared UCUPC and now awaiting approval of Academic Senate which is expected to occur next week.  There has been a great deal of work undertaken by many people to ensure our courses meet the requirements of the Course Structure Transformation program, and as a result, we are well positioned for the future.  There is still more work to be done in various areas but overall, it has progressed very well; thank you to all concerned.
 
Semester 2 - AMC Staff Forum
I am seeking to hold a face-to-face meeting with fixed term, contract and continuing staff on 23 Jul 20; COVID-19 restrictions permitting.  I ask that you save the time/date and I will advise you of the intent and location closer to the date.  Should we ultimately, for COVID-19 reasons, not be able to hold the meeting face-to-face, then it will occur on zoom.
 
AMC Staff Service Award
In closing, it gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of the Staff Service Award for June 2020: Ruth Groom. Confined in the UK due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ruth has provided exceptional support to the Maritime Operations and Coastal Seafaring (MOCS) inaugural task of transitioning vocational seafarer training to a blended delivery model in response to the cessation of face-to-face training and as a means of delivering necessary skills to industry. Throughout this process, Ruth has gone above and beyond in her collegial support of fellow staff members liaising extensively within AMC to help determine the optimal online delivery model. Her dedicated efforts and diligence in designing the online course model has allowed her colleagues to focus on collaboratively converting traditional face-to-face elements of learning into an engaging online student experience. Ruth achieved this by repeatedly going ‘on watch’ at all hours of her day in England, to meet schedules of staff and students, repeatedly demonstrating determination, dedication, resilience and leadership as she brought her colleagues up to speed. Congratulations Ruth.
 
My latest email to AMC students is below for your information.
 
Regards,
Michael
Michael van Balen AO
Principal
 

​​​​​​​Email to Students:
 
Dear AMC Students
 
The last three months have been a period of challenges and uncertainly as we deal with the impact of COVID-19. I commend all students on their resilience and commitment to their studies throughout this difficult time. Our focus now turns to the remainder of the year. 
 
For Semester 2 – 2020, learning, research and teaching will continue online. There will be opportunities for on-campus activities to complement online delivery where the use of physical facilities is necessary for students to be able to complete a unit, or where there are professional accreditation requirements. This approach will reduce the number of students required to attend the campus and will protect the health and safety of all students and staff. Specific details relating to each discipline area are outlined later in the email.
 
Please be assured that despite the challenges, we are committed to providing all of our students a high quality, consistent learning experience. We understand that some students are unable to attend learning and assessment activities on-campus due to their current physical location or health concerns. Where there is an on-campus class scheduled, alternate arrangements will be made for those students who are unable to attend.  
 
It is important to note that currently all travellers arriving in Tasmania are required to quarantine for 14 days. The Tasmanian Government has not yet set a date for a change in this restriction, but it is believed border controls will be reviewed again next week. We will keep you informed of any updates.
 
Maritime and Logistics Management
All classes will continue to be delivered online for Semester 2. The Semester 2 timetable, to be released shortly, will advise the details of the live online tutorial times for your participation. Further information will be provided by your Unit Coordinators.
 
Ocean Seafaring
The theoretical component of the academic units will be delivered online in Semester 2. Some face-to-face teaching for compulsory practical activities and short courses will take place on campus during the semester. For Engine students, all academic units can now be completed online. Five e-Learning simulation licenses have been purchased by AMC to enable online delivery of the JNE234 Ship and Engine Resource Management unit in the Engine Watchkeeper phase of the course. For Deck students, the practical components of the academic units will commence on 21 September. 
 
The short courses and engine practicals are scheduled throughout the semester from early August until late November.
 
Students can find out about their practical sessions through their semester timetables. For those students unable to attend the on-campus sessions, their short courses will be rescheduled to next year and they will receive an Assessment Ongoing (AO) grade for the academic units where completion of the compulsory practical component is not possible this year.
 
As some cohorts can complete their Semester 2 studies entirely online, some students may be planning to leave Tasmania. If you are currently in Launceston and preparing to return home to study, please contact your Course Coordinator or the Short Course Coordinator before making your travel arrangements to ensure you have no on-campus commitments this semester.
 
Maritime Engineering
Lectures and tutorials will continue to be delivered online but, when opportunities arise, face-to-face practical or other on-campus collaborative activities will be organised. Details of these classes will be included in the Unit Outlines but if you require additional information in the meantime, then please contact your Unit Coordinators.
 
As mentioned earlier, we understand not all students will be able to attend these on-campus classes; those who are unable to attend will not be disadvantaged, appropriate arrangements will be made.
 
We are hearing that 3rd Year students are wanting confirmation of their scheduled Bluefin voyage. At this stage, the arrangements cannot be confirmed, however, we will continue to explore ways to allow this to go ahead provided we are granted permission to do so. If the voyage cannot happen in Semester 2, other options (e.g. elective unit) will be considered. The NCMEH Director and Course Coordinators will meet in Orientation week to discuss this further and more details will be communicated as they become available.
 
Screening
A reminder that all students returning to campus are required to complete a re-induction module available in MyLO addressing social distancing and hygiene requirements. In addition, students must visit a health screening point on each day of attending the campus; the screening point for AMC is located at the Student Entrance to the Swanson Building.
 
Graduation Ceremony
For some students, Semester 1 brings an end to their studies. Those students may be aware the Winter Graduation Ceremony has been cancelled for this year due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings. We understand this is disappointing news for our graduands as the Graduation Ceremony is a time of great celebration for not only the graduand but also their families and friends. If you are potentially eligible to graduate, you can still graduate but your award will be conferred in absentia, meaning in your absence. You will have the opportunity to attend a later Graduation Ceremony as a ‘walk through’ if you wish. Congratulations to all our graduands, we are very proud of your achievements. 
 
We hope you can enjoy a well-earned break after the completion of your Semester 1 studies, and we look forward to you resuming your studies on 13 July.
 
Should you have any queries relating to the content of this email, please contact Lee-Anne Britcliffe, AMC Student Experience Liaison Manager on AMC.Student.Engagement@utas.edu.au.
 
For the latest information regarding the University’s response to COVID-19 and support services available, please refer to the  Student COVID-19 Updates and Support for Students pages.
 
Regards,
Michael
Michael van Balen AO
Principal

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