Kangan Institute has been recognised for its COVID-19 safety practices as it was announced as one of four finalists for the Victorian COVIDSafe Business Awards’ Community Award.
The Victorian COVIDSafe Business Awards recognises industry leaders that have demonstrated exemplary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, with finalists shortlisted for the Community Award for implementing and encouraging excellent COVIDSafe practices for their customers and the community.
Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Chief Executive Sally Curtain said the wellbeing of students and staff was a priority in its COVID response.
Kangan Institute’s leadership team
“We’re immensely proud to make a difference to our community through COVIDSafe measures at Kangan Institute, and we’re honoured to be recognised alongside other commendable finalists at the Victorian COVIDSafe Business Awards,” said Ms Curtain.
“As an essential service with a critical role to play in the skills required for post-pandemic recovery, it was important for our TAFEs to respond to the pandemic with agility and leadership.
“The wellbeing of our people and students is at the top of our priorities and guides our overall COVID response, from direct support to students and staff right through to wider engagement initiatives.”
Initiatives at Kangan Institute included expanding support and counselling services to help staff and students navigate the impacts of the pandemic and a shift to remote learning. This included supplying students with internet dongles, laptops and practical learning equipment.
Outreach campaigns were also implemented to provide additional advice and support to students most impacted by the pandemic, including students on placement and students who had contracted COVID-19.
As COVID vaccines became available, wider community engagement measures were adopted to support the Victorian Government’s public health recommendations.
“With initially low community vaccination rates, particularly in the City of Hume where our largest campus is based, as well as our own staff and students impacted by COVID-19, it was important that Kangan Institute embraced a leadership role to raise awareness of COVID-19 vaccination and its importance within our community,” said Ms Curtain.
Measures included adapting Kangan Institute’s marketing campaign from ‘Heroes’ to ‘Heroes Get Vaxxed’ across social media, websites and campus signage, hosting vaccination Q&A information sessions in collaboration with community partners like DPV Health, and promoting local COVIDrelated community events to staff and students.
Across campuses, COVIDSafe campus signage are on display and offered through multiple languages to include culturally and linguistically diverse students. A comprehensive risk assessment at Kangan Institute’s largest campus in Broadmeadows was conducted to ensure COVIDSafe practices were well-above industry standard
Ms Curtain said strong support from students, staff and community partners bolstered the overall positive outcomes of the COVIDSafe measures at Kangan Institute.
“We’re grateful for strong support from community partners like DPV Health who have worked with us on these initiatives.”
“I’m also incredibly proud of our staff at Kangan Institute who always put our students at the centre – their agility and innovative measures have enabled our students to continue thriving in their studies during the pandemic.
“Encouraging a community response to the pandemic has been a key factor in enabling us to continue to support our students and return to a COVID normal work and study environment.”
The Victorian COVIDSafe Business Awards are presented by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Victorian Government Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. Winners will be announced early this year.