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13 January 2020

VC Iain Martin announces Deakin’s Bushfire Relief Residential Scholarships

Deakin has established a new accommodation scholarship to help students impacted by the current bushfire crisis. The Bushfire Relief Residential Scholarships, each worth around $12,000, are now available and will cover the yearly cost of student accommodation. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said the Bushfire Relief Residential Scholarships are available at all Deakin campuses, in Burwood, Geelong (Waterfront and Waurn Ponds) and Warrnambool, to ensure affected students can continue or commence their studies this year. 

‘As the bushfire crisis continues in many parts of Victoria and Australia, it is clear that the consequences of the terrible devastation will be with all of us for many years to come,’ he said. 

‘We are focused on supporting the educational aspirations of students whose studies might otherwise be interrupted as a consequence of the bushfires that continue to rage. The new Bushfire Relief Residential Scholarships are available now at all Deakin campuses, including for our Cloud students, so impacted students can plan for the academic year with confidence.’ 

Are you eligible for a Bushfire Relief Residential Scholarship? 

The Bushfire Relief Residential Scholarships will fund accommodation for eligible current and commencing students who have been displaced for an extended period of time or lost their primary residence as a result of the bushfires. The scholarship offers accommodation for the duration of one academic year (a minimum of 36 weeks) at either Deakin’s on-campus residences or other accommodation nearby. 

Visit the Current Students website for more information about Deakin’s Bushfire Relief Residential Scholarships

Deakin also offers eligible students Natural Disaster Assistant Packages which include a combination of support services tailored to the needs of individual students. If you have been affected by a recent natural disaster including the current bushfires, learn more and apply now. 

Staying safe and well

At the time of writing, many bushfires remain active across the country. The threat remains constant in the worst-affected states of Victoria and New South Wales, with 19 fires still burning in Victoria and 111 active fires in NSW which authorities say could continue burning for months. While cooler weather conditions over the weekend allowed firefighters to contain some fast-moving fires, warmer temperatures are expected later in the week and may present renewed danger for emergency services and residents in affected areas. 

It is essential you have the right information to keep safe. To stay up to date with the current bushfires and other natural disasters, we recommend the following sites depending on your location. Each website features a map with the most current information, incidents and warnings. 

Reduced air quality due to persistent bushfire smoke also poses potential health hazards. For notices about air quality, please see the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) website or air monitoring data for your state below. Please take precautions and seek urgent medical help if you feel unwell

If you have been affected by the bushfires, remember you can access a range of Deakin services available to offer you ongoing support, including (but not limited to) free confidential counselling, financial assistance, and special consideration on assignments.

Giving thanks and next steps

In addition to providing support for Deakin students and staff directly affected by the bushfires, Professor Martin said the University was playing a larger role within the sector in response to these devastating events. 

‘Victorian universities have agreed to carefully coordinate their response to ensure universities maximise resources and effectively communicate with State Government agencies about how we might assist in bushfire response and recovery efforts,’ he said.

‘I would also like to acknowledge those Deakin students and staff who are members of the CFA and who may have been called to support to their colleagues in fire-affected communities.’

If you would like to make donations to help those affected by the bushfires, Professor Martin encouraged students to be wary of potential scams among the many legitimate bushfire relief funds available.

‘Please make sure you are giving to a reputable organisation by checking the information on the ACCC website,’ he said.

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