SYN Media COVID vaccination update
What is SYN’s stance on COVID vaccines?
As restrictions begin to ease in Melbourne and we set our sights on reopening our offices and studios once more, the SYN Board would like to encourage all staff and volunteers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 where it is reasonable and safe to do so.
While the legal requirements of who must receive a vaccine continues to change, we know that SYN staff, volunteers and board members have made the decision to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
SYN as an organisation owes a duty of care to its employees, its volunteers and to the wider community. We need to provide a safe environment for everyone and have a duty to not endanger the wellbeing of those around us. The best way for us to achieve this is through ensuring high levels of vaccination against coronavirus at SYN.
Do I have to get a COVID vaccine before coming back into the studio?
The laws related to who must get vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly. In Victoria a public health order has been issued by the state government that includes directives that all media workers who work onsite will need to have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine by 15th October and two doses by the 26th of November. The same directive applies to volunteers who need to work on site. At this stage it does not impact any SYN staff or volunteers directly as all work and content is being created remotely, no one is currently required to come into SYN.
We are hyper aware that these mandates and roadmaps tend to change at the drop of a hat! Please keep that front of mind when we do begin to share more info on what returning to SYN’s studios look like. We will endeavor to make sure SYN is providing its community the most up to date info when we can confirm it, as we know things will likely change again as the state continues to open up.
The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia has a fact sheet that you can read for a bit more info on how the regulations across the country impact community broadcastings and vaccines, linked here.
SYN is still in the process of understanding what this directive means for our employees and volunteers and the practical implications of them. What we do know is that SYN has a duty of care to all staff, volunteers and community members who use our premises. SYN supports and encourages all members of our community to get vaccinated and will work very closely with the university to implement government mandates and requirements as we plan a return to campus.
What if I can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine because of health issues?
There are members of our SYN community who are immunocompromised or have other conditions that mean receiving a vaccine is dangerous to their health. SYN are thinking of these members of our community and want to ensure that they are just as critical to our broadcast and community’s voice.
If you are unable to be vaccinated due to health reasons, we encourage you to speak to SYN management about how we can support your continued engagement at SYN when we have more info on what our return to campus process looks like. The current government mandate reflects that any authorised workers with medical exemptions can continue to participate in any authorised work on site if they’re unable to be vaccinated.
Can I talk about COVID-19 vaccinations on my show at SYN?
We support SYN volunteers to talk about COVID-19 vaccinations on their shows!
SYN has joined the #GetVaxxed4Vic campaign by Music Victoria. If you would like to participate, check out their website for ways to get involved and promote the campaign on your socials, email and on air!
SYN volunteers must ensure they do not promote misinformation on their shows or social media platforms. For further resources on accurate reporting check out the list of resources developed by SYN’s Content Coordinator. As with any content, SYN volunteers must broadcast within legal and ethical guidelines.
Whenever we broadcast, we need to keep in mind the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice, which you would have learned about briefly in your SYN Induction training (SYN’s Golden Rules). Read them in detail here, Code 3 (General Programming) is of particular use to us in these circumstances.
Your statements and opinions should always be informed by factual evidence from reputable sources. We have a responsibility to support and promote the best interests of the public in a safe and ethical manner. This means presenting information and commentary about COVID-19 and the vaccine in an truthful way, avoiding potentially inflammatory remarks.
What if I still don’t feel comfortable coming into the studios?
There is no pressure to come into the SYN studios when we do reopen, the date is still pending in line with the University’s guidelines, and we will update volunteers when we have a clear timeline asap. SYN has been really proud of the phenomenal content our volunteers have been able to produce from home and we see remote broadcasting as a key part of our long-term future even when long term studio access does return.
Where can I get more information?
For up to date and relevant information for young people about the vaccine, check out Youth Affairs Council of Victoria’s website where you can get support on how to have these conversations with your community.
For further information on COVID-19 vaccinations, we encourage you to speak with your doctor.
Thank you so much, please let us know if you have any more important questions for the community, see you at SYN’s Annual General Meeting on the 27th of October!