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HOW HAS MORLING RESPONDED TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS?

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We are now in a phase of re-opening the Sydney campus and are very glad to let you know that we are opening Level 1 of our MALC building from Monday, 18th October.

All Sydney based lectures, chapel, groups (such as Discipleship Groups) will remain online for the duration of Semester 2. Where applicable, students will sit exams with supervisors or in a zoom exam set up - no on campus exams.

While we still encourage you to study from home where possible, there are no government restrictions for those fully vaccinated if you want to return to campus. As we have done in the past, we are ensuring decisions align with the NSW Government’s public health orders and advice. It is likely that there will be further lifting of restrictions at 80% and then on the 1st December, 2021. We will continue to review our processes as we respond to advice and consultation.

We are conscious that we want to act with caution and wisdom; ensuring our care for others in our community (especially the vulnerable), supporting students and staff needs, and providing opportunities for those who would benefit from an alternative study space as the Semester finishes.

During this significant time of change, it is normal for people to feel anxious or overwhelmed. These decisions all impact us one way or another. For some of us, these responses (as well as others) can take their toll on our mental, physical and relational health. As a community, we want to do all we can to help people stay connected and have a safe place to share concerns. You can find some helpful information here and here, and please contact us if you need support.

Please be assured of our prayers as you enter the last few weeks of Semester.

NSW guidelines and their impact on Sydney campus arrangements

The current NSW Government guidelines indicate that only those who are fully vaccinated can benefit from the relaxation of restrictions. Any student who signs in to the MALC building will need to confirm their full vaccination status (unless there only to pick up mail or reserved books). If you are not fully vaccinated you will be unable to study in the MALC building during this period.

The government has defined "fully vaccinated person" to mean a person who:

a. has had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, OR

b. has a medical contraindication certificate issued to the person.
If you have a medical reason as to why you cannot receive a vaccination, you need to obtain a medical contraindication certificate from a medical practitioner (such as your doctor) who must use a form approved by the NSW Chief Health Officer.

If you are not yet vaccinated, and are able to do so, we strongly encourage you to be vaccinated as soon as possible. You can find information here.

Some relevant NSW Government requirements are summarised below.

We want to support you!

For many in our Sydney-based community the reality of balancing various responsibilities is a challenge (especially for those with school aged children or in essential workplaces). We hope that giving you certainty (at least for the next few weeks) allows you to plan and prepare. We know that lockdowns and other uncertainties can impact our mental health and sense of connection. Please take care and support one another. Take time to rest, to exercise, to meet with your church community and others. As always, please let us know your circumstances, reach out for support and share your prayer requests.

For our Education students, school chaplains and counsellors, and others teaching and working in schools throughout Greater Sydney,  we appreciate that there may be added expectations from your own schools. Please reach out for support if needed!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How are we keeping our community as safe as possible?

    We want to keep our community as safe as possible. We all have a part to play in, knowing that we are in a significant time of change. As we have always been, we want to act with caution and wisdom, ensuring our care for each other in our community (especially the vulnerable), and following both the advice as well as health orders given by the NSW Government. This means that if you do choose to visit the campus you:

    • will not visit the campus if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, are waiting on the result of a test, have been directed to be in isolation due to your own COVID-19 status or the status of a close contact.
    • recognise that being fully vaccinated does not remove all risk in relation to contracting or transmitting COVID-19.
    • will follow the College’s COVIDsafe plan which includes:
      • Signing-in to campus through the NSW QR code as well as our Morling Who’s on location program.
      • That while required according to the NSW guidelines, you wear a mask indoors, common areas, unless alone in a closed room or eating and drinking.
      • Maintain social distancing and capacity limits as required at all times.
      • Ensure that areas you used are cleaned after use.
  • What about Week 3 and beyond?

    We will continue to monitor any COVID-related developments in the Greater Sydney area and inform you of changes for Week 3 and beyond as soon as we can. We will, of course, reintroduce COVID-safe face-to-face attendance options as soon as it is permissible and safe to do so.

  • What is happening to on-campus classes and extra-curricular activities?

    We will continue to offer live-streamed and online units until we have approval to commence face-to-face on-campus classes, in line with the NSW Government guidelines. 

    Students will be able to access their learning in various modes according to their desired pattern of learning and their own health needs. Our experience of fully online unit delivery in 2020 has highlighted that we are in an excellent position to provide space for deep learning and transformation no matter what mode is taken.

    Our Transformational Discipleship Groups will begin as online meetings, but will likely have both on-campus and online options once we are approved for face-to-face options.

  • What is happening to assignments and where can students get academic support?

    We appreciate how disruptive the past few months have been on study and have planned our Semester 2 academic and study schedules with the knowledge that we need to be adaptive and responsive to student needs.

    We want our students to succeed in their studies and have thankfully have excellent processes to offer students support and extensions if they are facing particular hardship. Students are encouraged to seek academic support from the lecturer or from Morling’s Academic Tutor.

  • Is the Library open?

    At the moment, we are only opening up some areas of our MALC building. We will monitor this and will communicate if other areas open.

    MALC Level 1 Library Study Hub
    Monday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
    Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm*
    Wednesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm*
    Thursday: 9:00am – 6:00pm*
    Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
    Saturday: closed

    MALC Level 2 Library - for reserves contactless collection.

    Please continue to reserve ahead of time. If only visiting to collect a Library reservation and are not fully vaccinated, you may access the click and collect service but leave the MALC building after pick-up.
    Monday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
    Tuesday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
    Wednesday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
    Thursday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
    Friday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
    Saturday: 10:00am – 4:00pm

  • Are lecturers and administrators still contactable?

    Yes – our open door policy has become a virtual open door policy! Even though many of us will be working from campus as well as home, we are still available via the College phone number, email and Zoom.

  • What is Morling doing to encourage student wellbeing?

    We are conscious that at times of crisis, especially one that is global in nature, most people will experience times of feeling alone, anxious, confused, overwhelmed or concerned for others in their family or community. We are committed to walking this journey with our students. We don't want anyone to feel isolated during their time at Morling - at any time, not just during lockdowns! Joining a Discipleship Group (in Sydney campus and online) or the GSF group (in Perth) will give you lots of opportunities to connect and pray for one another. Consider how you can stay connected with those in your units or course. Know that your Student Representatives are planning ways to help build community and share your voice.  

    In Sydney, the chapel Gathering (via Zoom) will start in Week 1 and our Discipleship Groups will be livestreamed in Week 2 (via Zoom). There will be more information in our @Morling newsletter on Monday so please look out for it in your inbox.

    Students can always contact our Dean of Students, Peter Friend, throughout the week.

    Our Student Representative Group is also keen to connect, encourage and pray for students.

    Our Ezra Counselling Clinic is also still operational (online) for students or members of the public who need a more formal space to process and find support.

  • Will Morling events still continue?

    We are still keen to equip people in our churches, workplaces and neighbourhoods by holding events that will inspire us to live out our faith in real and relevant ways. All events at the moment are being offered online via livestreaming. Please check our Events page for updates.

  • Is Morling still holding Open Nights or taking enrolments?

    Yes! Even though the way we teach may change we are still committed to providing world class training in Bible and Theology, Education, Counselling, and Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care. We are exploring ways that this crisis might actually provide new opportunities to equip women and men who want to be better equipped to follow Christ and make an impact in God’s world.

    Please see our Events page to register for an Online Information Events and/or contact Rebecca Brown, our Future Student Advisor on our enquiries email.

  • How can you pray for Morling?

    As always, we appreciate your prayers for Morling as we seek to live out the mission and vision God has given us. At this time, please keep our students, staff and residents in your prayers as we navigate new ways of connection, learning and service.

    Praise God for his faithfulness, provision and empowering.

    Thank God for the ways that Morling has been able to quickly adapt to changing contexts.

    Pray for wisdom for those in leadership and godly reliance in decision making.

    Pray for those in our Morling Residential College (many who are studying at Macquarie University) and for the MRC staff team.

    Pray for the churches and communities our students and staff represent.

    And please let us know how we can pray for you!

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