Update from the Provost Portfolio

Photo of ACU Provost, Professor Pauline Nugent.

A message from the Provost, Professor Pauline Nugent:

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you some recent highlights from my Portfolio:

Winter 2017 Term in Rome

Our Rome Campus had a very hectic schedule of academic and research activities during the Winter 2017 term. A total of seven academic intensive units ran from June to July with 141 students and 14 academic staff participating. The Campus also hosted two research seminars organised by the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry, attracting some 30 experts from the US, UK, and Australia.

Highlights include the second iteration of FEA’s Catholic Education: Mission, Culture and Spirituality, Rome Campus (26 June – 9 July 2016). Eighteen participants, including eight primary school principals sponsored by Catholic Education Melbourne, completed a program of lectures and site visits. Our Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Craven addressed the group and joined them for dinner one evening. Other engagements included official meetings with the Congregation of Catholic Education, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and the group attended a general papal audience. Feedback on the program was very positive, with one participant noting, “It has been a privilege to learn from people within the various religious orders who have shared their knowledge in such a generous and authentic way.”

Planning for next year’s academic offerings at the Rome Campus is now underway via the ACU Rome Campus Academic Sub-committee. I am pleased with the growth of activities in Rome and the increasing number of students who have the opportunity to participate in a rich international and cross-cultural study experience.

Image of participants at Domus Australia.

Participants of the 'Catholic Education: Mission, Culture and Spirituality, Rome Campus' program at Domus Australia.

Safeguarding Children and Young People

The Provost-led ACU Safeguarding Children and Young People Working Group established earlier this year has made significant progress over the last few months in coordinating and developing academic activities across the University relating to safeguarding children and young people. Key initiatives include:

  • Development of a new capability/skills framework to support and guide practice and underpinning all future ACU offerings (now available).
  • Expansion and refinement of the Graduate Certificate in Safeguarding Children for Catholic and not for profit agencies ie beyond education (to be available August 2017).
  • Professional development/training modules for services and parishes to cater for needs beyond leadership levels, including service roles, volunteers, short course needs etc (September/October 2017).
  • Through Curriculum Review further strengthening of ACU undergraduate and postgraduate courses linked to capabilities and prevention, to enhance graduate skill-sets including teachers, nurses and social workers.
  • Continued roll-out of governance/management offerings to address broader people management, supervision/HR issues, risk management and implementing change.

ACU’s Strategic Partnerships directorate and the Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) are also working with Dioceses and Catholic organisations to organise a Specialist Workers Session to share research, learnings and practice relevant in their safeguarding children and building safe cultures work. It will also provide ACU an opportunity to present our expertise and capability in this area among key partners. The first specialist session will be held on 27 September 2017 at the Catholic Leadership Centre in Melbourne.

FEA Strengthening Plan

The Faculty of Education and Arts Strengthening Plan is progressing well with a recruitment process currently ongoing to support the targeted development in teaching and research resources of key discipline areas within the Faculty. Funding has also been provided for the development of new products and strengthening of existing offerings.

I will be providing more updates regarding this Vice-Chancellor priority project in future communications.

Professor Pauline Nugent


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