Select Page

FAQs

Graduate House COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Updates

Please check this FAQ page regularly – we are attempting to keep this as up to date as possible. Please also feel free to telephone reception on +61 3 9347 3428 on weekdays or to email us on ghadmin@graduatehouse.com.au

 

COVID-19 Latest update   –   31 May 2020

Though some aspects of Victoria’s State of Emergency are extended, there is some easing of restrictions from midnight Sunday 31 May.

The Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) updates its website (at least) daily – please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19 regularly for these updates.

At Graduate House we are giving best endeavour to:

  • keeping abreast of the changes ahead as restrictions are eased
  • changing our operations so that Graduate House opens gradually and with safety of residents, non-residents and staff at the forefront of all of our activities
  • communicating these changes.

We are grateful to all residents for:

  • their adherence to restrictions – you have all been remarkable – truly we thank you
  • giving us helpful comments to improve our operations safely
  • your patience and understanding of the hard work being undertaken by a small staff
  • just being wonderful global citizens

Continue with some restrictions

Please read the information on this DHHS page: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/work-and-study-restrictions-covid-19

For residents at Graduate House this means continuing to:

  • study and work as much as you can from your room
  • be conscientious about cleaning your clothing, shoes and any new items – particularly takeaways – brought into the building
  • wash and sanitise your hands frequently
  • exit Graduate House infrequently. Yes, the number of active cases in Victoria is low, however the risk of community transmission still exists – see https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/stay-home-restrictions-coronavirus
  • have no guests in your rooms or in Graduate House. As an organisation we must continue to adhere to distancing, capacity limits and sanitisation requirements
  • not hold gatherings unless pre-approved by the CEO/Head of College – this is to ensure that Graduate House is not breaching DHHS required capacity limits, physical distancing and cleaning/sanitising, and to minimise the risk of community transmission
  • provide to us a letter from an authorised person at your place of employment or from the university to explain why you need to go out from Graduate House, and the dates and times that you are required to be at this work/education place. We are very sorry to ask this of you as we too may be required to provide these letters to the police and the health authority if so requested
  • quarantine for two weeks in your room if you have travelled to Australia from overseas, and if required by a health authority. We will support this with delivery of meals and necessities to your room

Residents who come to and go from Graduate House frequently effectively endanger our building and all residents and staff by being exposed to different germs. COVID-19 spreads through air and you may inadvertently pass through an airspace that contains the breath/sneeze/cough particles of an infected person. Touched surfaces can be contaminated and thus brought into Graduate House and increasing the risk for another person to be contaminated. This is known as ‘community transmission’ and we all hold responsibility for decreasing this risk.

Ultimately, we will all feel safe here at Graduate House is everyone continues the great work!

Please note that the police continue to be given authority to issue fines for non-compliance with these restrictions.

Dining Room – gradual reopening

From 1 June 2020 the dining room is reopening and we are:

  • returning to seven breakfasts and five dinners per week
  • no longer delivering meals to resident rooms, except for those required to be in quarantine
  • ensuring adherence to capacity limits in each section (rear [16] and middle [20])
  • if requested and only for the purposes of contact tracing, providing to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) the first name and telephone number for each person attending each meal sitting
  • asking each resident to check their temperature before proceeding to the dining room. If this is above 37.5 degrees we ask that the resident does not come to the dining room and informs us that they are not well – by email: admingh@graduatehouse.com.au or telephone: 9347 3428. We will deliver the meal to the resident’s room and require the resident to seek a COVID-19 test: ring 1800 020 080, go to a testing station (https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/gp-respiratory-clinics-and-hospital-respiratory-clinics-covid-19) or, for University of Melbourne students, book a test at https://services.unimelb.edu.au/health/home.

Booking for breakfast and dinner meal sittings and queues

Graduate House is required to adhere to DHHS prescribed capacity limits and physical distancing.

It is thus essential that residents book sittings for breakfast and for dinner (and queue start times) in advance.

Go to this link (http://www.graduatehouse.com.au/online-food-order/) to request a sitting and queue start time for breakfast (seven mornings) and dinner (five evenings, Monday to Friday).

Breakfasts will be in two sittings each for a maximum of one hour and with two queue start times:

  • Sitting 1. Queue start time: 6.55AM
  • Sitting 1. Queue start time: 7.10AM
  • Sitting 2. Queue start time: 7.55AM
  • Sitting 2. Queue start time: 8.10AM

Dinners will be in two sittings each for a maximum of one hour and with two queue start times:

  • Sitting 1. Queue start time: 5.55PM
  • Sitting 1. Queue start time: 6.10PM
  • Sitting 2. Queue start time: 6.55PM
  • Sitting 2. Queue start time: 7.10PM

 

The breakfast on WEEKENDS (Saturday and Sunday) will also be served in the Dining Room from 8.00AM to 10.00AM. To allow for a sleep in on the weekends, the sitting queue start times will be one hour later than those booked initially:

  • Sitting 1. Queue start time: 7.55AM
  • Sitting 1. Queue start time: 8.10AM
  • Sitting 2. Queue start time: 8.55AM
  • Sitting 2. Queue start time: 9.10AM

This means that if you booked a weekday Queue start time of:

  • 6.55AM, your allocated Queue start time for the dining room breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday will be 7.55AM
  • 7.10AM, your allocated Queue start time for the dining room breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday will be 8.10AM
  • 7.55AM, your allocated Queue start time for the dining room breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday will be 8.55AM
  • 8.10AM, your allocated Queue start time for the dining room breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday will be 9.10AM

We look forward to welcoming you again in our dining room.

One-way routes to the Dining Room

Main Building Ground Floor

All residents are required to join this queue at 220 Leicester Street and go to reception to:

  • check-in for each meal (according to the regular sitting and queue time that was booked in advance)
  • have a temperature check
  • gain a tray, cutlery and paper napkin (meals will not be served to anyone without a tray and cutlery).

No resident is to enter this queue from the main building. Internally, the queue may be joined from the terrace (north) wing first floor (after going through the main building first floor).

All residents can go outside through other doors of the Leicester Street Graduate House to join this queue at 220 Leicester Street.

 

Terrace Building Ground Floor

 

This route map shows the end of the route from the terraces, that is:

  • to enter the queue at 220 Leicester Street from 224 Leicester Street at ground level
  • for those coming from the first floor of the terraces, (see next route map) go down the stairs at 224 Leicester Street to reach the ground floor

this is the end of the internal route for residents in the Stella Langford Wing and the central wing through the first floor of the central wing to the terraces (see last route map)

 

Terrace Building First Floor

This route map shows the way to enter the first floor of the terraces from the central wing for:

  • central wing residents (by going to the first floor – two people only in lift, using stairs and staying on the left)
  • Stella Langford Wing (SLW) residents after they have:
    • gone to the ground floor of the SLW;
    • walked north to the central wing stairs
    • walked up the stairs (on the left) to the first floor
    • walked through the first floor to the terraces

*the shorter route for SLW residents would be to exit at 210 Leicester and re-enter at 220 Leicester Street but this involves going out into the (possibly) cold and wet weather of Melbourne.

This route map shows the central wing path to the terraces from the lift and stairwell for:

  • central wing residents by going to the first floor
    • two people only in lift
    • using stairs and staying on the left
  • Stella Langford Wing (SLW) residents after they have:
    • gone to the ground floor of the SLW;
    • walked north to the central wing stairs
    • walked up the stairs (on the left) to the first floor

*the shorter route for SLW residents would be to exit at 210 Leicester and re-enter at 220 Leicester Street but this involves going out into the (possibly) cold and wet weather of Melbourne.

The queue for the Dining Room

As mentioned in the previous section, the queue for the Dining Room will start at 220 Leicester Street.

There will markers (green footprints) on the floor to show where to stand while queueing.

All residents must wear masks to at least cover nose and mouth, and have hair up (and preferably also covered). Temperature checks will be undertaken at reception.

The first section is a queue for reception where the resident:

  • will sanitise their hands using the contactless sanitiser (near the key return box)
  • inform reception of their name which will be checked against their sitting/queue time booking
  • will confirm their telephone number (as required by DHHS for contact tracing purposes)
  • will have their temperature checked and recorded

If the resident does not have a fever, they will be given a tray and wrapped cutlery, and asked to join the second section of the queue.

If the resident records a temperature above 37.5 degrees they will be asked to return to their room and to seek medical advice. The temperature will be recorded and a note will be made in our records to follow up with the resident to gain the results of their test. A meal will be delivered to the resident’s room.

The second section is a queue for the bistro and dining room where the resident will:

  • stand in the queue on floor markings to ensure physical distancing
  • be served at the bistro ONLY if they have a tray and cutlery (signifying that they have been through reception and had their temperature checked)
  • be served pre-plated cold foods and pre-poured drinks, as well as hot foods on plates that will be in the kitchen
  • be guided to a chair/table
  • provided with any pre-ordered snacks, tea, coffee and any mail/parcels
  • asked to not stop to speak with seated residents while walking to the chair/table
  • asked to not rearrange any of the chairs/tables – these have been positioned carefully to comply with physical distancing requirements
  • asked to take off their mask at the table and place it in(face)side down while eating

Exiting the Dining Room

After finishing the meal the resident is asked to:

  • leave everything on the tray on the table (the floor staff will collect the tray and clean/sanitise the table/chair for the next resident)
  • exit the dining room to the south through the main building to then return to:
    • the terraces by going up to the first floor of the main building (maximum two per lift; left side on stairs) and then across to the terraces
    • the main building by going up the lift (maximum two per lift) or the stairs (left side)
    • the Stella Langford Wing by continuing on the ground floor from the central wing to the SLW lift (maximum two) or stairs (left side)
    • Barkly Place or Barry Street by continuing on the ground floor from the central wing to the SLW and exiting at 210 Leicester Street
  • exit the dining room on the north side and through 220 Leicester Street ONLY if there is no queue.

 

Lunch, Snacks, Café Bar and Takeaways

Lunch

Lunch is not included in the resident rental payments but can be charged against the resident’s account.

Lunch is available in the dining room, with the sitting and queue start times to be ordered online at  https://www.graduatehouse.com.au/dine-here/dining-room-bookings/.

As per the breakfast and dinner sittings, numbers will be limited to 16 in the rear dining room and 20 in the middle section. It is thus important to book ahead early.

Takeaway lunches can also be ordered online at an extra cost of $5 for a sandwich and $10 for a microwavable meal:

  • for lunches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, order by 4.00PM on the day before you require lunch
  • for lunch on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, order by midday the Friday before
  • Barry Street, Barkly Place and Stella Langford wing residents can heat up the microwaveable meal in their rooms.
  • residents in the terraces and central wing, may use the microwaves in the preparation area near the resident kitchen in the terraces. These are for use ONLY by residents in the terraces and residents in the central wing and with ONE person at a time in the preparation area. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after use. All surfaces (including inside the microwaves) must be cleaned and sanitised after each use. All other residents have kitchens in their rooms and are not to use the terrace resident kitchen or preparation area.

 

Tea,Coffee and Snacks 

Tea, barista-made coffee and snacks are available from our in-house Graduate House café bar. Order by selecting from the online options.

Your beverages and snacks can be collected when you come for meals and, if need be, delivered to your room, except for Barry Street and Barkly Place residents who will need to collect their order from Graduate House.

Tea, barista-made coffee and snacks will be available Monday to Friday from 8.00AM to 8.00PM.

For residents in the terrace and central wings at Graduate House, tea and coffee is also available in the preparation room beside the resident kitchen in the terraces. Milk is available from the café bar during weekdays. Please note that it is imperative to keep the preparation area as clean and as sanitised as possible both before and after use.

 

Take-away orders (from other restaurants)

Do not order take away orders unless absolutely necessary. Each delivery risks contamination for us all. This contamination can be directly from the person who delivers the meal (e.g., through Uber Eats), indirectly from the kitchen at which it was prepared or from the bag/box containing the meal.

Residents who have ordered take-away food through delivery companies, such as Uber Eats, must pick up their orders outside the building (facing the park, outside the glass doors) in front of Graduate House Reception.

When ordering the delivery, advise all delivery personnel to wait outside Graduate House for you to collect your food.

When it is delivered, tell the delivery person to place the delivery on the ground outside and to step away.

When you pick up the order, you must wear disposable gloves for your own safety. Do not use your bare hands.

When you take the delivery into your room, clean any surface touched by the delivery person (e.g., handle, box side), remove the gloves and then wash your hands thoroughly before eating.

Place all rubbish from the packaging, and the gloves, into a sealed garbage bag. Thoroughly clean all surfaces in your room that the packaging has touched.

 

Shopping for food and meals outside Graduate House

Shopping for groceries should only be once a week. Every shop risks contamination for us all.

All residents are to be mindful of contamination from supermarkets and are to ensure that every product brought back into Graduate House is washed/sanitised before use and that they then wash their hands thoroughly before using the product or eating the food.

Restaurants will be opening gradually from 1 June. Yes, it will indeed be good to catch up over lunch and dinner with your family and friends. Please be sure to follow all of the precautions that you have been applying so diligently here at Graduate House.

Consular and University assistance for international students

If any overseas residents, either in Australia or currently overseas, need any help, please register for consular assistance (help and advice provided by the diplomatic agents of a country to citizens of that country who are living or travelling overseas) by visiting the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website for Australian embassies and consulates overseas and foreign embassies and consulates in Australia.

Study in Australia  – for information on education, health, visas and travel.

Study Melbourne – for information for international students regarding COVID-19.

Smart Traveller – for travel advice and information for Temporary Visa holders and international students.

Information from your university of enrolment or employment about COVID-19 may be found here. Most of our residents are enrolled or working at The University of Melbourne and RMIT so we suggest going to the following links for each.

The University of Melbourne – particularly the online community page and the page called Updates and advice for students which shows:

  • the new 2020 calendar;
  • how to ask for financial support (from the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund) of up to $7,500. Apply by  31 August 2020.   
  • health and wellbeing services (medical, counselling, psychological) that are available on appointment; and
  • strategies for managing stress and anxiety, and for keeping healthy and fit.

RMIT – particularly the page called Frequently asked questions which shows:

  • the changes to important dates;
  • how to stay healthy, well and safe during this uncertain time;
  • how to ask for financial support from the Emergency Financial Grant or the Technology Grant (up to $1,000); and

the numbers to call if you are in crisis (RMIT: 1300 305 707; Lifeline: 13 11 14; Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636; Suicide Call Back: 1300 659 467).

International Student Emergency Relief Fund

In Victoria, international students will be able to apply for financial assistance to assist students experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announced on 29th April 2020, the International Student Emergency Relief Fund provides a payment of up to $1,100 for vulnerable international students who have lost their jobs or had a significant reduction to their employment and who are facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. 

The fund complements the range of relief programs on offer by education providers and existing government support. Students from all of Victoria’s tertiary education providers, covering universities, TAFEs, private vocational education and training and English language colleges are all eligible to apply.

Find out more about the Emergency Relief Fund or complete the online webform to register your interest.

 

 

Health and COVID-19

Follow the latest update on COVID-19 in Australia on the Australian Government’s Health Department website.

What do I do if I suspect I have symptoms of Covid-19?

Stay calm and, obviously, stay in your room.

The COVID-19 helpline is 1800 020 080.

We suggest first giving us a call at reception and asking to speak to CEO/Head of College. She will call back as soon as possible to ask you a few questions and to check if you are OK.

If there is no answer at reception, or if you cannot get through, please email:  admingh@graduatehouse.com.au (weekdays) or eatoceo@graduatehouse.com.au (weekends).

If you are advised to go for a test, please let us know so that we can arrange for you to leave the residency safely.

Free COVID-19 Tests

COVID-19 testing criteria has been expanded by the Victorian Government to include mild symptoms. Students and staff in residential accommodation – even those with no symptoms – are able to participate in testing. Free voluntary testing for students and staff is available at the  University of Melbourne Health Service.

The test:

  • involves looking for the virus in a sample, usually collected from the back of your throat and nose;
  • usually just involves a swab being taken and generally takes less than a minute; and
  • results are sent to a laboratory to see if you have coronavirus (COVID-19). You will be contacted with your results.

To undertake a test, please contact the Health Service on 8344 6904 or book through the online booking system or book through the online app, Appointuit. It is essential to book an appointment to avoid crowding at the clinic.

You will have all signed the COVID-19 Declaration form – so please remember to inform Graduate House reception within ONE HOUR if:

  • you become ill with COVID-19 related symptoms (dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, tiredness, aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, skin rash, discolouration of fingers.toes)
  • a medical professional request(s) that you undertake a COVID-19 test
  • you are tested for or diagnosed with COVID-19
  • you become aware of the need to self-quarantine while staying at Graduate House
  • you become aware of the need to self-quarantine within 14 days of your stay.

What happens to the rest of us if someone in the college is tested positive?

We hope that all the measures that we have put in place at Graduate House will protect us all – residents and staff – from COVID-19.

Thank you all for being a part of the solutions that will prevent this virus from spreading through our community. We know that you are all doing a great job. And if you are not, you know that the CEO/Head of College and staff will implement swift and strong measures on behalf of us all. We will only be as strong as our weakest link. Anyone who is not strictly adhering to these measures will be required to leave residency.

If anyone in Graduate House tests positive for COVID-19 we will be informed immediately.

This advice will come from Victoria’s Health Authority.

The Health Authority will then step in to work with Graduate House so that the ill resident is cared for and so that the virus is contained and does not spread further.

Of course, Graduate House will act swiftly and appropriately to follow the advice of the Health Authority and to inform and protect all staff and residents.

Laundry

We strongly recommend that you undertake your laundry in your room.

With less frequent outings you do not need to go through many changes of clothes.

Graduate House will continue to change and wash your linen and towels regularly.

The laundries at Graduate House are open Monday to Friday from 9.00AM to 5.00PM. They are not open on weekends which means that you too can take a break from your housekeeping.

There is strict control of entry and exit to these laundries through Graduate House Reception.

Follow these steps to use the Graduate House laundries:

  1. Book the time that you want to use the laundry via the online laundry booking form. Please ensure that you only use the laundry in the time slot that you have booked.
  2. Come to Graduate House Reception to collect a token for the washing machine which is good for one wash cycle. The cost of the token is $3 and will be added to your next rental payment.
  3. Staff will open the laundry for you. Load your laundry into the washing machine, leave the laundry and then staff will then lock the laundry.
  4. Once the washing cycle is complete, return to Graduate House Reception so that staff can open the laundry for you to collect your washed clothes. You must sanitise the washing machine after using.
  5. If you want to use the dryer, you must have your own $1 coins. Graduate House staff will not be providing any coins. You must wash these coins and your hands thoroughly before going into the laundry. Put the laundry on a dryer cycle, leave the laundry room and then staff will lock the laundry.
  6. Once the dryer cycle is complete, return to Graduate House Reception so that staff can open the laundry for you to collect your dried clothes. You must sanitise the dryer after using.
  7. Sanitising the washing machine and dryer after use will be at the direction of Graduate House Reception staff. All cleaning materials will be provided.
  8. Again, our strong request is that you wash and dry your clothes in your rooms, rather than using the laundries which are used by other people. Most of you should not have a lot to wash as staff are washing your linen and towels (we change these weekly).

Outside laundries

The laundries at Barkly Place and Barry Street are managed by Owners Corporations. We have asked for strict access and sanitisation controls, as these laundries are used by many other people. We recommend NOT using these laundries as we are not able to implement the strict sanitisation approach that we have for the Graduate House laundries.

There is strictly NO washing of laundry to be done using a public laundry. This is a risk to us all. Anyone found to be washing their clothes at a public laundry will have their continued residency at Graduate House reviewed.

Common Areas

Resident kitchen in the terrace wing

The Residents’ kitchen is open from 10.00AM to 7.00PM.

This kitchen is for use only by residents in the terrace and central wings. All other residents have kitchens.

  1. Write the time of your booking on the sheet pasted on the kitchen door (washing hands before and after using the pen); and
  2. Collect the key to the kitchen door from Graduate House Reception on weekdays or from the Duty Resident on weekends. Do not impose extra opening hours on the Duty Resident.
  3. When using the kitchen Residents MUST adhere to the following conditions:
  • ONE person at a time in the kitchen;
  • The kitchen door is to be CLOSED while cooking so that no person is tempted to come inside to sample your excellent cuisine
  • The kitchen window is to be opened;
  • Use the kitchen for a maximum of ONE hour;
  • This ONE hour is to include your cooking AND your cleaning time;
  • Residents MUST clean the kitchen after use (instructions are in the kitchen);
  • Failure to clean the kitchen properly will result in you being banned from future kitchen use OR closure of the kitchen for future use by all;
  • When you have finished, inform reception (weekdays) or the Duty Resident (weekends) so that the kitchen door can be locked until the next booking.

Other common areas

One person at a time may use the preparation room near the resident kitchen in the terraces. Before entering this area, the resident is to clean their hands with soap and water.

After use of kettles, microwaves, benches, taps, sinks, fridges, etc. the resident must clean and sanitise every surface that is touched or breathed over.

All other common areas are NOT to be used – this includes the library, the MV Anderson room, the games room and the central wing dining hall.

There is to be no gatherings of residents. This is to comply with ‘social distancing’ rules.

Unfortunately, the government will fine any individual who does not comply with this restriction.

Mail and Parcels

The delivery address for mail and parcels is:

Graduate House
220 Leicester Street
Carlton VIC 3053
Australia

For the foreseeable future, parcels will be delivered to your room by Graduate House staff. They are not to be collected from Graduate House Reception.

For the residents in Barkly Place and Barry Street, you can now collect your parcels when you come to the main building for breakfast or dinner.

Staff are checking two to three times a week (between 8:30AM and 11:00AM) with The University of Melbourne mailrooms for parcels that have arrived there.

If we do not have your parcel, you will need to contact the delivery service that you received the notification from to find out exactly where your parcel is.

Please note that parcels and mail are taking much longer to arrive than usual.

JobFocus

Usually JobFocus sessions are held in a face-to-face group forum.

With physical distancing and self-isolation measures, these meetings are now being held on a one-to-one basis via Zoom for half an hour with the CEO/Head of College.

These meetings are free and are made available to all residents.

Register your attendance on the Graduate House website.

We will contact you regarding the Zoom meeting, determine the best time and date and then send you the link closer to the scheduled date.

Work Opportunities

If you are looking for work in Victoria, you can register your details on the Working for Victoria website to access new work opportunities. This initiative is part of the Economic Survival Package designed to connect workers with opportunities that will help our community and contribute to Victoria’s ability to respond to the pandemic. International students who are legally allowed to work in Victoria are also eligible to register for this program.