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Update: Camden campus to reopen on Friday 13 December

Camden will reopen on Friday 13 December 2019
Our Camden campus will reopen on Friday 13 December 2019 after the evacuation of the campus due to fire risk. We are pleased to report all staff, students and visitors can return to campus with operations resuming as normal.

Update: 5pm Thursday 12 December 2019

The fire risk at our Camden campus has significantly decreased and as of 9am tomorrow all students, staff and visitors can return to the campus. Student accommodation at Camden will also reopen and we will organise transportation for those students who have been living in emergency accommodation at our Darlington/Camperdown campus.

We are pleased to report that all staff, students and animals are safe thanks to the efforts of our university and local communities, as well as the NSW Rural Fire Services.

With continuing risk of hazardous smoke conditions across the Camden, Molonglo and Greater Sydney campuses, please [for staff version: staff and students should] continue to follow safety precautions and put the safety of yourselves and those around you first. Managers should continue to consider flexible work arrangements for staff as needed.


Update: 5:30pm Tuesday 10 December 2019

Camden, Molonglo and Darlington/Camperdown campus operations

The safety of our staff, students and visitors is our first priority. With bushfires near some of our campuses and poor air quality, please be advised that:

  • Camden campus will be closed until Saturday. We will conduct daily reviews regarding reopen timing and advise of any changes via this page. The University Veterinary Teaching Hospital will be open for critical animal care only and with limited staff approved to work.
  • Molonglo campus will be open with regular risk assessments conducted.
  • Darlington/Camperdown campus will remain open and examinations and graduation ceremonies scheduled for tomorrow will go ahead.

Managers should continue to consider flexible work arrangements for staff and all staff should continue to follow safety precautions and put the safety of yourselves and those around you first. 

We will continue to monitor conditions and advise of any changes via this page. Please continue to follow any RFS instructions and stay safe.


Update: 11am Tuesday 10 December 2019

Fire conditions around our Camden campus have worsened today. The campus remains closed to general staff, students and visitors. Please stay away from the Camden campus until at least Wednesday.

The Molonglo campus has resumed daytime operations only with tight control of access.

With hazardous smoke conditions across Sydney, please be mindful to take care of your health by:

  • limiting your time outside, including between meetings or classes
  • drinking plenty of water
  • wearing P2 face masks if available
  • managing any existing health conditions and follow the advice of your doctors.

Further health and wellbeing advice is available via NSW Health.

A limited number of staff attending to the critical care of animals with pre-approval from their line managers and security were allowed access to the sites earlier this morning.

These events can be distressing and our Employee Assistance Provider (Benestar) is available to all staff for health and wellbeing support on 1300 360 364. Students can contact Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for health and wellbeing support on (02) 8627 8433, or call the after-hours Crisis Line on 1300 474 065. 


Update: 4pm Sunday 8 December 2019

On Thursday, we successfully evacuated all students, staff and visitors from our Camden and Molonglo campuses.

The safety of our community is our first priority. 

Camden campus remains closed to general staff, students and visitors. Molonglo has resumed daytime operations only. Unless otherwise advised, please stay away from the Camden campus until at least Wednesday.

The University Veterinary Teaching Hospital will be open from 8am-4pm tomorrow in a reduced capacity so local animals requiring urgent assistance can be treated. The ambulatory livestock and equine service will be in operation where possible. 

All animals onsite are being monitored very closely, with security onsite at all times monitoring animal welfare. The safety and wellbeing of our animals is of paramount concern. 

Please continue to follow the instructions from the NSW Rural Fire Service and keep yourself safe. It is anticipated that on Tuesday the area will experience high fire danger so no decisions will be made regarding resuming normal operations until after this time. 

We will continue to update this page with any new information.


Update: 11am Friday 6 December 2019

Last night, we successfully evacuated all students, staff and visitors from our Camden and Molonglo campuses by 8.30pm.

Both campuses remain in full evacuation mode and the safety of our community is our first priority. Unless otherwise advised, all staff, students and visitors are to remain off site and not return until Monday at the earliest.

A small number of staff required for essential duties will be on site for limited times throughout the weekend to tend to the needs of animals. Staff are advised to check with their line manager before coming onto the affected campuses.

Please continue to follow the instructions from the NSW Rural Fire Service and keep yourself safe. We will continue to update this page with any new information.


Message to all staff and students: 5pm Thursday 5 December 2019

This afternoon the Vice-Principal (Operations) Stephen Phillips wrote to all staff and students with the following message:

Today we have been advised by the NSW Rural Fire Service to evacuate our Camden campus and student accommodation as a precautionary measure due to nearby fire danger.

At this stage there has been no specific impact on any University property, including the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, student accommodation, and Faculty of Science facilities or services.

Unless otherwise advised, all staff, students and visitors are directed to evacuate the site and not to return tomorrow. Staff required for essential duties, please check with your line manager before coming onto site. The University Veterinary Teaching Hospital will continue to operate on a skeleton staff. We will continue to monitor the situation and have procedures in place to evacuate if the situation changes.

Students living in accommodation at Camden have been evacuated until further notice and will be provided with emergency accommodation.

Following the advice of NSW RFS, all animals on site have been attended to, with food and water.

If you live in an area that may be affected, please ensure you have a fire plan ready and follow any instructions from the NSW Fire Brigade. You will also be able to access special leave and should contact your supervisor to arrange.

For the latest updates on the fire situation, visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website, download the Fires Near Me app or call the Bushfire Information Line on 1800 679 737. Please call triple zero (000) in an emergency.

These events can be distressing and our Employee Assistance Provider (Benestar) is available to all staff for health and wellbeing support on 1300 360 364. Students can contact Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for health and wellbeing support on (02) 8627 8433, or call the after-hours Crisis Line on 1300 474 065. 

If you have been asked to evacuate, pack a small bag with phone and laptop, chargers, passports, change of comfortable clothing, medication, and valuables and follow all instructions.

It is crucial that everyone follow the instructions of emergency services to keep yourself safe -  please take care and put the safety of yourself and those around you first. 


Any updates will be posted to this page.

5 December 2019