A time for hope and optimism

A message from Campus Dean (Strathfield) Associate Professor Miriam Tanti.

This new normal sure doesn’t feel normal. We’re no longer going in to work. We’re not visiting our parents, children and grandchildren. We’re not praying together. And we’re not hugging.

Of the many challenges of the pandemic, this is one of the most difficult to accept. Especially in a time when all we want is to be close to those we care most about.

But there is a reason for hope and optimism. The ACU community is much more than individuals sharing a common space. I would describe us as a thriving, lively community full of shared humanity, vision and aspiration - soulful. We are a community, which means that we don’t have to brave the uncertainty ourselves, we can still look after each other, despite social and physical distancing. Being part of this community means giving and receiving help, which is clearer than ever in a time like this.

Thanks to digital technologies, we continue to maintain and grow the bonds of community among us. Last week staff came together online for morning prayer, 'Stitches and Stories' and virtual morning and afternoon tea. Each experience is a privilege and honour to be part of, as colleagues welcomed us warmly into their homes. We explored realms beyond the professional as we talked about personal interests and hobbies and met family members for the first time (pets included) - engaging in ways that will only work to further strengthen our community once this is all over.

Our students too, a vital part of the ACU community, now more than ever recognise the immense value that each of you bring to their lives and the important work you do. The extraordinary efforts and acts of empathy and kindness you showed as we transitioned to remote learning and teaching resulted in many students taking time to acknowledge these efforts via email. I share with you the School of Education Thank you Bulletin Board because each note of appreciation received is an acknowledgment of our collective efforts, from faculty members, teaching staff, learning and teaching, Campus Ministry, information technology services, professional staff through to Properties and Facilities management – we did this together.    

I’ve seen many an article comparing this pandemic to a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. This is our opportunity to tread lightly into a new world, taking with us only that which we value. And whilst there is no doubt we are living in times of hardship, uncertainty and fear, we can take comfort in our community, in the gestures of kindness, empathy and solidarity, knowing that we will emerge from this experience collectively stronger.

Pictured below:  Strathfield staff virtual morning tea.

Strathfield Morning Tea

 


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