ACU Engagement update – 30 May

The Big Issue on sale at the Melbourne Campus from tomorrow!

A quick reminder that vendor Phil will be returning to the Mary Glowrey Building to sell copies of The Big Issue magazine tomorrow (Thursday 31 May).

Phil will be selling fortnightly on Thursdays from 8:30am at the Mary Glowrey Building, 115 Victoria Parade. Visit the ACU Engagement Workplace group for more information about Phil. For $7 per magazine, you get a great read and support a fantastic social enterprise which cares for the homeless and disadvantaged vendors, who are working to improve their lives.

Vendors will be starting on other campuses in the coming weeks so watch this space for updates.

International students getting ‘Active Together’ in Brisbane

During Semester 1, 2018, the Active Together community engagement project in Brisbane completed its second iteration. Originally a partnership between Virginia Mitchell of Exercise Science, Matthew Pink of ACU Engagement, and Kate D’Orazio, Donna Cook, and Michelle Miles of ACU International, this semester saw students from the School of Social Work and McCauley United take leadership of the program.

Active Together aims to engage international students in positive physical and social activities on the Brisbane Campus. International students can often experience a sense of isolation while studying in Australia. Active Together aims to help to address this issue.

Meeting weekly, students give feedback on the types of activities they would like to engage in and program facilitators draw on ACU resources to make these activities happen. Activities this semester have included Volley Ball, Nepalese Dance, Zumba, and Basketball.

Active Together receives support from ACU Engagement and ACU International, however it has been the hard work of social work students Brianna Weir and Sandra Jonah, and McCauley United president Haruna Taguchi that has taken the program from strength to strength. During Semester 1 up to 20 students have engaged in each of these activities, creating a sense of community. While most of the participants so far have been young women who are international students, the program is open to all.

Photo of Active Together participants.

Active Together has also been an important learning experience for the students from the School of Social Work.

Social work student Brianna Weir stated: "I have learned about the purpose of community development, and bringing people together. I had previously underestimated the importance of empowerment of individuals in being given a space to share their story with others that have also experienced similar experiences in studying as an international student."

Photo of Active Together participants.

It is hoped that Active Together continues each year as a mutually beneficial learning and leadership experience for our international students and social work students.

ACU Engagement commends all who have been involved with this program.

Meet Professor Sandra Jones

As the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement at ACU my role provides leadership, advice and support for ACU’s community engagement strategy – including strategic frameworks that implement the new measurement of research engagement and impact.

Some of you will know me from my previous role as the Director of ACU’s Centre for Health and Social Research (CHaSR), a research centre focused on community-based research and whole-of-community interventions.

After almost 20 years as a researcher, with a focus on community-based research and whole-of-community interventions, I was delighted to move into my new role leading the ACU Engagement team. While I do occasionally miss the cut-and-thrust of grant writing and journal submissions, I am challenged and excited by the opportunity to expand community engagement at ACU. My mission, and that of my team, is to ensure that all ACU staff and students have the opportunity to make a contribution to their community that is feasible and meaningful to them, and that meets community needs in a way that is valuable and respectful.

I am excited about expanding the footprint of community engagement at ACU, and continuing to work with ACU students, staff, community partners to advance knowledge, human dignity and the common good.

Community engagement opportunities for staff

ACU Engagement is committed to ensuring that all ACU staff and students have the opportunity to make a contribution to their community that is feasible and meaningful to them, whilst meeting community needs in a way that is valuable and respectful. For a full list of community engagement opportunities for staff you can visit our Workplace group. Be sure to become a member to stay up to date with future opportunities.

For more information, to register your interest for an opportunity, or if you are aware of more opportunities you think we should know about, please email us at

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