from NSW Dept of Health
Dear ,

I received a phone call and subsequent email from the NSW Department of Health yesterday, the summary of the email is as follows:

'Dear Graeme
Thanks for your time on the phone. Dr Kerry Chant has noted your concerns. I have discussed the current NSW Health advice on overnight school activities and residential camps with our senior medical advisors. At present, NSW Health is not able to provide an update on whether overnight school camps can resume in Term 4. 
As discussed, camp centres can take bookings from individual families to send children to camp centres during the school holidays. Dr Chant’s advice applied to overnight school activities.'

Therefore, any camp, with the exception of school camps, are still allowed to continue. I remind you that the Department of Education's current advice remains in effect - school camps can still be planned for 'late Term 4 and for early 2021'.

Thus, any school holiday program planned can continue, remembering that all camps must adhere to the appropriate COVID Safety plans. Due to the varied nature of the services and activities we offer, it is likely that a variety of COVID Safety Plans will need to be implemented.

I was also informed that this advice around school activities, including overnight camps, is being reviewed weekly. We have been reassured that Dr Chant is well aware of the significant impact the current advice is having on our sector, as well as the associated impact on the school communities. Praise God for this breakthrough!

Our specific industry COVID Safety Plan continues to be reviewed by the Department of Health. I have yet to be given any clear advice as to whether this plan is likely to be accepted, in either its original or modified form. The Department of Health expressed both an understanding of the need for such a plan, whilst also expressing an overall desire to avoid approving so many plans that the administration of them becomes untenable.

Overall, I believe this latest communication is a genuine acknowledgement of our sector and, whilst not yet giving school camps the approval, is positive news. We can confidently say our plight is now being considered by the decision makers within the Department of Health.


Graeme Janes
Chief Executive Officer