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Looking out for yourself and others


The emergency telephone number in Australia is 000. The ANU Emergency Telephone number is 6125 2249. Put this number in your phone NOW.

ANU Security has a number of initiatives designed to keep you safe, including after-hours Unisafe security escorts (from University buildings to car parks, halls, and colleges — just dial 02 6125 2249, but be sure to call up to an hour before you require an escort, not as you are shutting down your computer), and the On campus night bus. Crawford is not on the night bus’s usual route, so you will have to give them a call (02 6125 2249) in order to get them to pick you up.

You should also download and instal the ANU OK app on your phone. It provides quick and easy access to security and essential services in case of an emergency and will allow you to track and use the on campus night bus, with no need to call security and book the service.

The Safety and Security website includes information on personal safety and ANU Security does everything it can to keep you safe. Nevertheless, bad things can happen and they can happen to you, so demonstrate some situational awareness and

  • Report any suspicious behaviour, thefts, and incidents on campus to ANU Security

  • Take conscious steps to avoid risky situations

  • Avoid walking alone at night and if necessary organise a UniSafe Escort

  • Always use well-lit paths at night

  • Ensure that all vehicles are locked when parked

  • Use the On campus night bus for travelling around campus at night

  • Ensure departmental staff are aware of safety problems — they will alert the Warden Team


General safety on campus is important, as per the above, but we at Crawford PhD also have our own experience of various other situations that leads us to give you the following counsel:

  • Know the nearest, reliable exit to your office.

  • If you are in the building after-hours, know who else is around. Make your presence known to someone you trust. But if you are feeling uncomfortable or under threat by someone you don’t trust, then leave immediately. Keep your student card easily accessible and on your person so you can exit the building quickly.

  • If you need to get to your car after dark, ask two other trusted students — not just one — to walk you there. Once they have chaperoned you, they can walk back as a pair.

  • Civic seems safe at two o’clock on a Sunday morning, but the police only patrol a very small part of it; as soon as you leave the bus interchange and Garema Place area, you are fair game.

  • If a group of you are going out drinking, make sure that at least one of you stays stone-cold sober — even if there’s just the two of you. Drunk people are easy to mug.

  • If you feel uncomfortable or under threat, go with your gut instincts: they are usually right. Leave immediately you feel something is not right — would you rather look like a dork for being a bit paranoid, or would you rather end up in the hospital, at the Police station, or both?

  • If you are being followed or harrassed, head towards a group of people (who aren’t attached to the person following or harrassing you) and let them know about the situation. Or maybe you need to walk into a shop and tell the person behind the counter, or tell a busdriver or police officer (if one is around). There is safety in numbers, so alert others to your predicament.


Things have happened in the past to Crawford PhD students and they will happen again in the future. Do not become complacent where your personal safety and security are concerned.


Firstly, let’s just clear things up and say that an emergency constitutes more than just fire: an emergency constitutes any situation in which your health, safety, or security is under threat. This includes medical crises and threats to your personal safety and security. When your health, safety, or security is compromised, you should immediately exit the building you are in. Trust your instincts, and if something feels wrong, then it probably is: get out of there straight away.

Please note, however, that not all the exits in the Crawford buildings have ‘press to exit’ buttons on them. This means that when the doors are locked (for example, after hours) you can only exit using your student card. This is a safety and security risk if you are in the building and you experience a personal security threat or medical problem after hours and you do not have your student card on your person and readily accessible. You will, however, be able to exit a door if you break the glass on an emergency exit button that sits to the side of a door. NEVER be afraid of breaking the glass if you feel your safety and security are under threat.

You should thus familiarise yourself with alternative exits in the buildings.


During any emergency or fire drill, follow the directions of the Fire Wardens who will be wearing either a white, yellow, or red helmet, as well as a fluoro vest. Please familiarise yourself with the emergency exits in the JG Crawford Building, the Stanner Building, and Old Canberra House. Keep essential items such as your house keys, car keys, phone, and wallet with you at all times, as it may not be possible to return to the building to retrieve these for some time after an emergency.

Do not fall victim to normalcy bias, where, when you hear a fire alarm, you first check with your mates to see if there really is a fire and what should you do about it. A fire alarm is a no-brainier and does not require discussion: you get out of there and you don’t have a jolly conversation first. Just because it hasn’t happened to you before, doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen: grab your keys, phone, wallet, and sunglasses (that’s all), close (don’t lock) your door, and exit the building, telling any normalcy-bias-affected people to exit, also. If they refuse to exit, they are not your problem.


ANU has an emergency SMS broadcast system that allows you to receive an SMS message in the case of an emergency. The system is an opt-in one.

In order to receive the Emergency SMS Broadcast, you will need to have registered your mobile phone number in ISIS. The number entered must be in the format 04XXXXXXXX, eg, 0401234567. The system does not accept local numbers or numbers with international or state area codes. Once registered it is important that you keep your emergency contact details up to date so the Uni has the right number to contact you should the need arise.

To update your details go to ISIS> Personal Information > Phone Numbers > Add a Phone Number > select ‘Emergency Mobile’.

If you are unable to access any of these systems and feel that you should be registered or feel that you have received the SMS in error please log a job with the ANU’s IT Service Desk for further assistance.


There is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED — aka ‘defibrillator’ or ‘heart start machine’) located near Crawford Main Reception. Anyone can use the AED: you do not have to be trained in its use. In fact, these things are designed so that schoolchildren can use them. Remove the AED from the AED cabinet on the wall and follow the written and spoken instructions. If you do not feel comfortable using the AED, find someone who is.


Crawford has designated first aid officers who have undergone first aid training. The list of first aid officers is put up on the walls around Stanner and Crawford building.There is a sick bay located in Room 2.66 on Level 2 of the Crawford Building. The sick bay is open from 9 am to 5 pm during the week, but you should still request access via the main reception.


You must report any dangerous incident via the online Figtree workplace safety incident & hazard reporting tool, including

  • The death of a person

  • A serious injury or illness of a person – a dangerous incident

  • A radiation accident

  • Mental stress

  • Harassment

  • Bullying

  • Violence

  • Near misses/dangerous occurrences

To report a dangerous occurrence use the online reporting tool (you will have to log in). Hazards should be reported to CAP Facilities via the email address View the ANU’s health and safety webpage.


The University Health Service has both male and female General Practitioners and Registered Nurses who are also available for health advice and assistance. Students with a current student ID and Australian Medicare card are bulk-billed; students with a current student ID and OSHC Worldcare are direct billed to the insurance company; students with a current student ID and other overseas insurance cover pay their fee on attendance and claim the rebate from their insurance provider. Spouses and children of International Students are also eligible for bulk-billed services under OSHC and spouses and children of Australian students or staff who share a Health Care Card with the student are also eligible for bulk-billing.

Appointments with doctors and nurses at the University Health Centre can be made by calling 6125 3598. The University Health Centre is located at Building 18, North Road on the ANU Campus.

Other health services are listed on the ACT Government’s Find a health service and Your health options webpages.


The ANU Counselling Centre offers a free and confidential counselling service to all current ANU students. Counselling services to students are provided by counsellors in the Counselling Centre, which also provides group programs for common issues, public seminars, and a paired walking program called ‘Get Up and Go’. Also check out The Desk, a free online service providing Australian tertiary students with strategies and skills for success and wellbeing. Seeking counselling can be an excellent step if you need to talk to a professional about something that is worrying you. The University Counselling Centre is located at Building 18, North Road on the ANU Campus.

If you require urgent help, contact the relevant service below:


Other useful services include:


Don’t just be passive in your approach to your own workplace health and safety: take time to stretch. If you are located in the Stanner Building, you should use the Stretchy Gym in the PhD Common Room for ten minutes twice a day. This can help mitigate against the back, neck, and shoulder problems that come about through sitting down all day.

If that doesn’t suit you, then ride your bike, go for a swim (there are lots of good pools in Canberra … and then there’s Civic Pool …), go for a walk, play badminton, do yoga, whatever. ANU Sport has lots of programs available to students. Check them out. Your mum used to tell you to go outside and play because it was good for you — and it still is. You will work more efficiently and effectively on the PhD if you are also physically fit; not to mention that being active will put you in a good mood and help you better deal mentally and emotionally with the ups and downs of the PhD. And if your mum were with you right now, she’d also tell you that your productivity, well-being, and relationships will also improve if you

  • Eat properly

  • Get enough sleep

  • Spend time with friends and loved ones

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve in a single day

  • Stop taking things so seriously all the time


If someone skites that they are working 14 or 15 hours a day, and don’t need sleep or exercise, then they are either 1) lying, 2) not working efficiently or effectively, or 3) deluding themselves that they need to do this in order to finish.


Please note that there is an acceptable standard of hygiene and cleanliness for offices at Crawford PhD. Your office should be kept neat and tidy as a courtesy to other users, but you should also pay attention to the sanitary conditions in your room. In particular, please

  • Store only clean cutlery and crockery in your office. Wash and dry such items in the kitchen before taking them back to your office. Any unwashed cutlery and crockery found either in your office or in the Common Room will be thrown in the bin on health and sanitation grounds.

  • Keep your desk free of food fragments and crumbs. They attract vermin.

  • Clean up any spills immediately. Kitchen towel is available in the Common Room.

  • Store food correctly. Perishables should be stored in the fridge upstairs and should be eaten within a week. Food (and the container it is stored in) that has been in the fridges for 10 days or more will be thrown out. Non-perishables can be stored in your office but they must be stored in air-tight containers, again to prevent vermin from being attracted to your food. Any food that has gone off can be thrown out by anyone as it represents an occupational health and safety hazard. If you find any food that has gone off, please throw it out.

  • Do not bring bedding into your office and do not sleep in your office. If you have any bedding in your office (pillows, quilts, etc.) please remove it immediately. If you are suffering housing stress, please let us know so we can try to help.


If you need to borrow any cleaning equipment (rags, vacuum, etc.) or products, please talk to a Crawford PhD staff member and they will try to provide you with what you need. The cleaners can be expected to vacuum the floors, empty the bins, and do the dusting if they have time — let us know if you have any problems with any of this not being done in your office.


Do not come into uni when you are sick. You will only spread your germs to everyone else, and that is really bad manners, actually. Your work is not so important that it is worth making other people sick over. So, stay at home and rest. Your body is telling you something, just as we are telling you that we don’t want you in the office when you are ill. If you come into the office and you are clearly ill, we will ask you — on work health and safety grounds — to go home. By the same token, do not bring your sick child into uni because they have been excluded from childcare: they have been excluded from childcare so they don’t make others sick. Please show some restraint when it comes to spreading your illnesses around.


Ensuring your workstation is suitably adjusted to support good working posture is an essential part of reducing the risk of injury. A workstation assessment should be done at commencement of the PhD, after desk relocation, and at the onset of any symptoms of injury. There are three options for checking on your workstation set up:

  1. Do a self-check. Guidelines for setting up your workstation will help. This is suitable in the absence of any injury.

  2. Request an Occupational Strains Liaison Officer (OSLO) assessment. This is suitable If you are a new student or do not have an injury. Workstation assessments take about 15 minutes or so and you’ll be provided with an assessment report and stretch guides. If you don’t know who the OSLO is in your area, ask around.

  3. Assessment by a health professional. This should occur if you have an injury or are experiencing any painful symptoms. Submit a workplace safety incident & hazard form and an assessment time will be arranged. Following the assessment a report will be sent to you and your supervisor.


To get a sit-stand desk, you will need to undergo a workstation assessment and have a sit-stand desk recommended for you. Talk to the PhD Academic and Research Skills Advisor in the first instance.


Some workstations have a sit-stand desk — an expensive asset that requires careful use if it is not to be damaged. If you are at a sit-stand desk that is operated by a motor (rather than by hand, although the guidelines here apply to hand-operated desks, also), please note that nothing must impede the smooth raising and lowering of the desk. This means that nothing must be placed above, below, or on the desk that interferes with the movement of the desk. In particular,

  • You must not have any furniture or items underneath the desk that stop the desk from lowering. You must remove all filing cabinets, drawer cabinets, boxes and similar from underneath the desk. These can be placed by the side of the desk or, if you do not need them, we can remove them for you. Just let me know.

  • You must not have the desk placed in such a position that wall-mounted items stop the desk from raising. The desk’s movement must not be impeded by whiteboards, shelving, and the like. If you need us to re-position your desk, let me know.

  • You must not over-load your desk in such a way that the weight on the desk prevents the motor from working. In other words, do not put heavy things on your desk.


If the motor on your desk is struggling, press the stop button immediately and try to figure out why it is struggling. Do not continue to press the button and thereby either burn out the motor or strip the cogs of their teeth. This will damage the desk and it will have to be replaced. If you cannot identify the problem, contact CAP Facilities, Cc’ing the PhD Academic and Research Skills Advisor into your message if you want, and we will try to sort things out for you. Please let us know if you need a demonstration of how your desk works.


ANU has policies against bullying, but that doesn’t always stop people from being bullies or being bullied: rather, it is a sad fact that some people still feel the need to intimidate and and be hostile towards others, even though they are well into adulthood and should be past the juvenile stage of their emotional, spiritual, and intellectual development. Bullying behaviour, although childish, pathetic, feeble, and pitiful, is nevertheless extremely distressing for victims.

Shaheen Shariff tells us that there is always a power imbalance when it comes to bullying, which makes students especially vulnerable to bullying by academics and other staff; and if you haven’t figured out why, then realise it’s because you are at the bottom of the research and scholarship pile. If you become a victim of bullying, tell someone who will tell someone who will do something about it. You are not being cool or tough or manly if you make yourself a martyr to bullying. Bullying behaviour needs to be taken down immediately, so don’t you, either, be a bystander. If you see someone being bullied then step in and stop it, because the research shows that having people stick up for each other is the quickest way to circumvent bullying. The key thing, though, is tell someone, whether you are a victim or witness.

Finally, for all the victims of bullying out there, there must also be the bullies themselves. So, don’t be a bully. We simply won’t tolerate it.


All the electrical items in the PhD offices are periodically inspected for electrical safety, a process known as 'testing and tagging'. You must not bring electrical items in from home without their first being tested and tagged at your own cost. The possible consequences of using unsafe, untested, and untagged equipment are fire hazard as well as fines: if inspected and caught by COMCARE, the penalty is around $18,000 for the regulations violating body corporate (i.e., the Crawford School) and around $3,600 for an individual. That ain't chicken-feed. See the Electrical Safety Management Procedure for more information. If you have any questions, ask. For more information about testing and tagging, contact CAP Facilities and Cc the PhD Academic and Research Skills Advisor.

Electrical safety 'do nots' are:

    DO NOT use discoloured or visibly damaged mains cords
    DO NOT use extension cords as a permanent connection
    DO NOT overload outlet sockets
    DO NOT use double adaptors
    DO NOT attempt to repair or modify electrical equipment
    DO NOT try to free jammed food in a toaster without unplugging it first

Electrical safety 'dos' are:

    DO inspect the equipment before connecting to a power outlet
    DO use extension cords carefully and as a temporary solution only
    DO use power boards with overload protection
    DO position equipment where it will not create a hazard
    DO buy equipment with an authorised approval mark
    DO unplug equipment before cleaning it


Bike safety is important in Canberra. Really, really, really important. Canberra drivers are famously and provably bad, and they are not looking out for you on your bike — or for much else, come to that matter. Furthermore, if you come from a place where the traffic is crazy but slow and where people do look out for you (for example, just about anywhere in South-East Asia), then you need to remember that Australian traffic is faster than it is in many other countries because 1) the roads are so good here and people can go fast, and 2) Australians ‘on the whole’ stick to some semblance of the road rules. This means that virtually everyone behind a car wheel in Canberra is going too fast whilst simultaneously not looking out for you!

So, please, the safety message for all road users is:

  • Be visible.

  • Be predictible.

  • Signal your intentions. Clearly. With great big ‘I’m a dork’ signals, not little ‘I’m too cool’ ones.

  • Know the road rules.

  • If you cycle, you must wear a helmet. It’s the law. And it’s sensible. There is no exemption for being on campus. It is a requirement that you wear an approved bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle on campus as the ANU Parking and Traffic Statute 2007 encompasses the Australian Road Rules Act 2000.

  • Don’t clip your bike helmet to your handlebars or put it in your bike basket just in case you need it. Think about that one.

  • Do not do dumb stuff, such as use your mobile whilst driving. It is illegal. And it’s dumb.

  • Sound is important in helping you react to danger so never drive or ride whilst wearing earbuds and listening to music. It’s dumb.

  • Don’t tailgate. It’s dumb.

  • Cyclists MUST have a white headlight and red tail-light if cycling in low-light conditions. Spares can be had if you ask around or can be purchased from any bike shop and most supermarkets. Megan also has some old crappy ones you can have for free, or you can buy ‘flashers’ from her for $10 each.


And here are Megan’s Top 9 reasons for wearing a helmet:

  1. You might need it. It protects your brain and proves you have one. Don’t attach your helmet to your handlebars, or stick it in your basket, just in case you need it (think about that one for a second) — this, I really don’t get.

  2. It’s mandatory. If you do not wear a helmet in the ACT, you risk a $118 fine. The ANU campus is not exempt. I don’t know about you, but even on my salary I don’t want to throw away that kind of money. And you aren’t earning anywhere near as much as me. And if this is a libertarian issue for you, then remember, you are quite at liberty to wear a helmet for your own reasons, (i.e., because it protects your head), and not for reasons imposed by government.

  3. Your mum. Your mum knew you where you were little. To her, you are still little, and she loves you. Your mum is not here right now, but if I phoned her and told her that you were not wearing a helmet, she would be very cross. Very cross, indeed. And she would also be a little bit sad. So, do it for your mum.

  4. If not your mum, then someone else. Think of someone who knows and loves you and who would prefer that you would wear a helmet. Then wear your helmet for them.

  5. Plastic surgery. It’s pretty advanced these days, I’m sure. But when you come off your bike, there’s a good chance that you could slide along the asphalt and lose your ears, cheeks, chin, or nose to the gravel on the road. I’m sure that a plastic surgeon could do a pretty good job of reconstructing your face and scalp, but such surgery involves pain and cost and skin grafts and I’m not real sure what the success rate is with rebuilding cartilage. Further, while the plastic surgeon is doing surgery on you, they don’t have time to conduct surgery on people who couldn’t help being in the situation they are in, such as children with cleft palates or burns victims.

  6. Canberra drivers. As stated earlier, they are famously and provably bad and often they are unsure of the road rules as they pertain to cyclists. In some cases, they simply hate cyclists and don’t think cyclists should be on the road, and so they abuse you or pass too close, both of which can cause you to get a fright and then fall under the next car’s wheels. So, wear a helmet.

  7. Post-crash embarrassment. The first thing someone will ask you after you tell them you fell off and injured yourself while riding your bike is, “Were you wearing your helmet?” They don’t ask this out of spite or anything; they ask it because they’re kinda expecting you to say, “Of course I was wearing a helmet!” After which, they expect to say, “Well, thank goodness!” Trust me, you are going to feel like a fool when you answer, “No, I wasn’t wearing my helmet because my hair” (that’s a direct quote, btw).

  8. Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Apart from meaning that your children, partner, and parents might have to visit you in an aged care facility for the rest of your life, an ABI means that someone in your family will have to explain to younger members of your family why mummy or daddy or auntie or uncle or big sister or big brother is being fed from a tube and can’t go to the toilet on their own anymore. And that’s because you weren’t wearing a helmet.

  9. Your skills. Are not brilliant. I often see you as you ride your bike into Crawford and park it in the bike rack and, frankly, some of your skills are very poor. Very poor indeed. You may wobble about, have dubious control of your own momentum, and then ride down the road GOING THE WRONG WAY. It’s pretty embarrassing. If you ride like this, then you definitely need to wear a helmet.



At Crawford PhD we encourage students to get out of their offices, off campus, and into Canberra’s wonderful natural surroundings. But before you go on any bushwalk — whether alone or in a group, whether for a day or for a week — be sure to do the following:

  • Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Tell them that if you do not return within a reasonable period, then they should contact the police.

  • Make sure you know where you are going — plan your route and take a map of it. Don’t change your plans without telling anyone.

  • Walk in groups of at least three persons.

  • Make sure you are certain of your skill and fitness levels: do not attempt anything beyond your capacities and capabilities.

  • Wear appropriate clothing and closed-toe footwear. Remember that the weather in the mountains around Canberra can change quickly, so if you are walking there, always take a windproof and waterproof jacket, just in case.

  • Take a first aid kit.

  • Take water and food. The water in most Australian creeks and rivers is undrinkable. And Adelaide tap water pretty much falls into that category, too. hahaha!

  • Check in when you return.


For more tips and warnings, talk to a local.

Any long weekend sees an exodus of people from Canberra as they head down to the coast to any place that is Not Canberra. At some point, you will be one of these people (and quite frequently, if you are as desperate to get out of our nation’s capital as our public servants seem to be).

Any beach can be dangerous, no matter how calm things look (in fact, seemingly calm water can sometimes be an indicator of a dangerous rip), so when swimming at Australian beaches, always observe the following:

  • Never swim alone.

  • Swim between the red and yellow flags, if possible (red and yellow flags indicate that the beach is patrolled between the flags). Swimming out side the flags can be dangerous.

  • Know how to spot a rip.

  • Swim within your capacities and capabilities.

  • Don’t drink alcohol and then go swimming.


On any beach trip, take plenty of water and make sure you wear plenty of sun protection (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, t-shirts or rashies) as you can obtain severe sunburn in only 15 minutes in the middle of summer. has lots of good beach information, Australia-wide, including lots of information on beach education.


It can sometimes get quite hot in Canberra in summer, and we sometimes achieve temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius or more. Even though you might come from a hot country, please be aware that your experience of the heat in Australia can be quite different from that back home.

You can minimise your chance of heat exhaustion and heat stroke by doing the following:

  • Drink lots of water. Have a water bottle with you at all times and make sure you keep it filled up and drink from it. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

  • Plan and limit your physical activity. Do not undertake exercise or physical activity in the hottest part of the day. If you must be out during the day, then plan to be out in the early morning or in the evening when it is cooler and the heat and sun are not as strong.

  • Cover up. No matter your skin type, you can easily get burnt in the Australian sun. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves. Wear a hat. Put on sunscreen (sunscreen is available for use at the Student Services desk at Crawford). UV alerts are normally in place between around 8.30 am and 6 pm. That’s a long time to get burnt. Being sunburnt in Australia is an experience you will never forget.

  • Cool your skin. Use wet towels or a water mist on the skin to aid in cooling, and/or sit in front of a fan.


Symptoms of dehydration

If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink some water immediately. Symptoms of dehydration are

  • Nausea

  • Headache

  • Dry skin

  • Feeling faint or dizzy

  • Increased thirst

  • Dry mouth

  • Feeling tired or sleepy

  • Decreased urine output

  • Urine is low volume and more yellowish than normal


Although health warnings normally state that young children, babies, and the elderly are most at risk (which is true), the heat can affect anyone of any age and any fitness level.


The Australian National University maintains a smoke-free campus, with the exception of ANU student and staff residences and ANU licensed bars.

Safety on campus
Personal safety in the Crawford PhD buildings
Exiting the Crawford PhD buildings in a fire, medical, or personal security emergency
Emergency procedures
SMS emergency messages
Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
First aid and sick bay
Incident and hazard notification
University Health Centre
Mental health
Physical fitness and general well-being
Standards of office cleanliness
Staying home when you are sick
Workstation assessment
Sit-stand desks
Electrical safety
Beach safety
Bush safety
Hot weather advice
Bicycle safety
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