Graduate House COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Updates

COVID-19 Latest update – 6th December 2020

The Victorian government announced that from 11:59PM on Sunday, 6th December 2020 restrictions will be eased further as part of the COVIDSafe Summer – How we live in Victoria plan in metropolitan and regional Victoria.

In summary:

  • There are no travel restrictions from your home (‘home’ for those living at Graduate House is your room) with travel permitted throughout the whole of Victoria – no change.
  • Face masks:
    • Must be carried at all times.
    • Mandatory when inside shopping centres, retail stores inside shopping centres, department stores, electronics stores, furniture stores, hardware stores or supermarkets, when travelling on public transport or when travelling in a commercial passenger vehicle (unless a lawful exemption applies).
    • Recommended, but not mandatory, when leaving home and physical distancing cannot be maintained, for example, while shopping.
  • You can leave home for any period of time to exercise or see friends and family outdoors. There are no limits on the number of times you can leave home – no change.
  • You can meet in a group of up to 100 people outdoors from any number of households.

To see a full list of restrictions for the COVIDSafe Summer – How we live in Victoria plan, click here.

Visitors are allowed at Graduate House, but are not allowed in rooms. Please spend your time with visitors in open areas of Graduate House. For contact tracing purposes, please ensure that all visitors report to Graduate House Reception during office hours, or to the Duty Resident outside of office hours so that their contact details can be recorded.

It is critical that we continue to keep at least 2 metres apart if passing in a corridor and that we practise good hygiene. Gatherings in small spaces, particularly in residential rooms, increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. You must not have anyone in your room except yourself. See the State Government’s full list of restricted activities direction here. Police can issue fines for non-compliance with these restrictions.

Please check this FAQ page regularly – we are attempting to keep this as up to date as possible – and feel free to telephone reception on +61 3 9347 3428 on weekdays.


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 traveling 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 you all.

Social distancing and self-isolation

All residents are to remain in their rooms as much as possible.

Graduate House has been preparing for this return to lockdown and we are grateful to all residents who are working with us to ensure the safety of all residents and all staff. Going outside Graduate House increases the risk of contamination for everyone.

For residents going out for specific purposes (e.g. placements, essential work), a letter from the organisation should be provided to the CEO/Head of College. The Health Authority and police are now requesting these letters.

At this stage, you may go outside but we ask that you:

  • stay in the local area, as there are few people now in the park (University Square) and in the surrounding streets;
  • keep at least 2 metres from every other person, including the one other person who may accompany you outside;
  • not go out with more than one other person;
  • understand that there is a fine for individuals ($1,652) if you are outside and not for an approved reason;
  • understand the risk in supermarkets and ensure you have a great responsibility NOT to bring COVID-19 inadvertently back into this facility (e.g., because you touched something that was breathed/coughed/sneezed on, or touched, by another person);
  • wash your hands (as if preparing for surgery) before and after going outside; and
  • sanitise the soles of your shoes after coming back inside.

Hand Sanitisers

Currently, there are many hand sanitisers around Graduate House.

Please use the contactless sanitisers before going into the lifts – cup your hands underneath and wait a few seconds.

Please remember that the most effective method for cleaning your hands is to wash with soap and water (please watch the numerous videos on this to do it properly).



Breakfast and Dinner

Starting from Wednesday morning, 11th November, the dining room guidelines are:

  • Residents are no longer required to have their temperature taken. Registration at Reception and collection of trays is still required.
  • Residents can now have their meal at any time, for a maximum sitting time of one hour. However capacity limits are still enforced and residents may need to wait if capacity is full when they arrive.
  • All meals are now only to be consumed in the dining room.  No meals are to be taken to rooms.
  • Seven breakfasts and five dinners per week
  • If requested and only for the purposes of contact tracing, your first name and a telephone number will be provided to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
  • No temperature checks will be performed, however if any resident suspects they have a temperature above 37.5 degrees, do not come to the dining room and inform us that you are not well – by email: admingh@graduatehouse.com.au or telephone: 9347 3428. We will deliver the meal to your room and require you 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.

Breakfasts – maximum of one hour:
Monday to Friday 7:00AM – 8:30AM
Saturday and Sunday 8:30AM – 10:00AM

Dinners – maximum of one hour:
Monday to Friday 6:00PM – 7:30PM


Please order from our online takeaway menu – available Monday to Friday.

For residents in the terraces and central wing, there are two 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.

There must be only 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 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 (delivered to your room)

Tea, barista-made coffee and snacks are now available from our online takeaway menu – available Monday to Friday.

Your beverages and snacks will be delivered to your room, except for Barry Street and Barkly Place residents who will need to pick up their order from Graduate House.

Tea and barista-made coffee will be available Monday to Friday from 7:30AM to 5PM.

Snacks will be available Monday to Friday from 7AM to 7PM and on weekends from 7:30AM to 1PM.

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.

Cutlery, trays and food waste


Cutlery (knives, forks, spoons) arrangements differ according to the facilities within your room.

For residents in Barry Street, Barkly Place and the Stella Langford wing, cutlery sets have been provided. These are to remain in your room. Please do not return this cutlery on the tray collected each evening.

For residents in the terrace and central wings at Graduate House, you will have been provided with your own cutlery. This is to remain in your rooms. Please clean and dry these in your sinks so that they are ready for reuse at the next meal. For health and safety reasons, we ask that you do this immediately after finishing your meal. Do not return your cutlery on the tray collected each evening.

Tray collection times:

Trays will be collected from:

  • Barry Street and Barkly Place residents between 7:00 and 7:15PM
  • Central Wing, Terrance Wing and Stella Langford Wing residents between 7:15 and 7:30PM.

Bag the tray and all plates, glasses and uneaten food in the white bag (which should be on the tray when you receive your meal).

Tie up the white bag so that the tray is fully enclosed.

Place the bagged tray outside your room by:


  • 9.30AM (Monday to Friday) – only applicable for the terrace and central wing rooms of Graduate House.

Dinner delivery times:

  • Barry Street and Barkly Place residents between 6:00 and 6:15PM
  • Central Wing, Terrace Wing and Stella Langford Wing residents between 6:00 and 6:30PM.

We have a limited number of trays, crockery and glassware and must collect regularly to ensure we have sufficient numbers for the next delivery round.

If your tray is not placed outside your room by this time, please put it back in your room and email us so that we may suggest the next collection time.

We are all under many health and safety regulations at this time and cannot have your trays left in corridors overnight. We also do not have the time or staff to undertake repetitive tray collections.

Residents are reminded to not put their cutlery out for collection, but to keep it in their own room.

Food waste

Leave uneaten food on the plates on the tray that is bagged, sealed and left outside your room.

We will endeavour to give a suitable amount of food, as required.

If you have other food waste, please bin and keep covered and bagged to reduce attractiveness to ants and mice.


To decrease the risk of room-to-room transmission of COVID-19, in-room cleaning will no longer be provided at Graduate House. Until further notice, we ask that all residents clean their own rooms.

You will be provided with cleaning products, be required to leave your bagged waste and linen outside your rooms on designated days, and make your own beds. Clean linen will be provided to those rooms where linen has been put outside the room.

Cleaning of rooms will remain on the same day as per the current cleaning schedule (8:00-11:30AM each day): 

  • Monday – Main Building 2nd and 3rd floors
  • Tuesday – Main Building 1st floor
  • Wednesday – 50 Barry Street and 24 Barkly Place
  • Thursday – William Berry Wing Terraces
  • Friday – Stella Langford Wing.

Residents will be provided with the following cleaning items: 

  • Cleaning chemicals – Laser for bathrooms and floors and Viraclean disinfectant for all other areas; and
  • Clothes x 2 for use with the chemicals.

On Cleaning day: 

  • Linen – place all dirty linen that is required to be changed in a black plastic bag (provided), then place the black plastic bag outside your room;
  • Rubbish – please tie up the white rubbish bag and place outside your room;
  • Vacuum cleaner – will be made available to you from the housekeeping staff to clean your room; and
  • Toilet paper rolls will be provided to you upon request.

Please see self-help videos to assist in your self-cleaning


We ask that you maintain the cleanliness of your room during this period of time – it is important for your health and safety to ensure that this is done thoroughly and regularly.


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 discovered 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

We deliver mail and parcels to your room. Do not come to reception to collect your mail or parcels.

For parcels, you may receive a notification email from your delivery service stating that your parcel has been delivered to Graduate House.

If we have received your parcel at Graduate House, we will send you an email to notify you of receipt and the approximate time that we will deliver the parcel to your room. Parcels for residents in Barry St and Barkly Place are delivered in the evening with dinner.

If we do not send you an email, it means that the parcel has not been delivered to Graduate House and that it has, instead, been delivered to another mail room or post office (e.g., The University of Melbourne mail room; Carlton Post Office).

Graduate House staff members are contacting these offices 2 to 3 times a week (between 8:30am and 11:00am) to check whether they have parcels that are addressed to Graduate House.

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

If you receive a Drop-off Notice from Australia Post, you will need to pick up your parcel from the Post Office specified on the notice. Usually this will be the Carlton Post Office. Don’t forget to take your ID (Identification) to the Post Office to pick up your parcel.

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

Collection of rubbish

Rubbish will continue to be collected from rooms during the weekly room clean.

In between cleans, the procedure for removal of rubbish differs according to the location of your room.

Residents in Barry St and Barkly Place will put their rubbish in the bins that are provided in those buildings. Please be sure not to touch the bin opening handles, covers or sides with bare hands and please clean your hands thoroughly after putting your rubbish in the bin.

Residents in the Stella Langford wing are to use the bins in their rooms.

The rubbish of residents in the terrace and central wings will be collected twice a week. Once during the room clean and then a few days later according to the following schedule:

Cleaning and Rubbish Collection 1


Rubbish Collection 2


Central wing Levels 2 and 3



Central wing Level 1





We ask that residents do not take their rubbish out of their rooms to dispose somewhere else.

Previously, residents in the central wing put their rubbish in the laundry room bins however the laundries are now opened intermittently on weekdays.

Other Matters

Scholarships, Bursaries and Fellowships

We have made the difficult decision to close the2020 round and will not be proceeding with the 2020 Graduate House scholarships, bursaries and fellowships until further notice. We thank those who have already sent in their applications and apologise for not having informed you of this news earlier.

JobFocus Meetings

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

With social distancing and self-isolation measures, these meetings are now being held on a one-to-one basis online or face to face at a distance for half an hour with the CEO/Head of College.

These meetings are free and are made available to all residents. Please contact reception should you want to book in.

We will contact you regarding the online or face-to-face meeting, determine the best time and date and then send you the link/meeting invitation 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.

Meal delivery feedback form