A new year and new opportunities

A message from the Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven: The new year is well underway, and we look forward to another year of working together to advance our mission and achieve our goals.

ACU supports bushfire appeal

While December and January are normally a restful time, the past few months have been extremely challenging for many due to the devastating impact of the recent bushfires.

It has been an extremely difficult time for communities across Australia. However, it has been heartening to see the university come together to support those affected by the bushfires through fundraising initiatives across our campuses.

We’ll be continuing these efforts at the upcoming Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Talks. Each campus will be hosting a morning or afternoon tea (or breakfast/lunch on selected campuses) alongside the Staff Talks, which all staff are invited to attend in exchange for a gold coin donation towards the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal.

A new year and new opportunities

We are also looking forward to welcoming students to our campuses when Semester 1 begins next week. Orientation is underway this week and many staff have been involved in welcoming our new cohort of students.

In 2020 we mark the first year of our new Strategic Plan 2020-2023. We also celebrate ACU’s 30th anniversary, a worthy opportunity to reflect on the critical role we’ve played in Catholic higher education over the last three decades.

Looking ahead

I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with Minister for Education Dan Tehan on education policy this year, as one of the five-member Vice-Chancellor advisory group he consults with.

In October, ACU will also be involved in the first Plenary Council to be held since the second Vatican council. The Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of local churches in the country and will focus on the future of the Church in Australia.

Innovation will continue to be a key focus for the entire university this year. We’ll also continue our focus on research and will work to identify further opportunities for meaningful scholarship and inquiry for all our academic staff.

Construction of the university’s largest building project to date also continues in Melbourne this year. The Saint Teresa of Kolkata building will feature new learning and teaching spaces and improved student amenities. 

We’re also continuing our work to establish a new ACU campus in Blacktown. We’ll open a student information centre this year and undergraduate, postgraduate and pathway courses will commence in Blacktown in 2021.

Our vision under the new strategic plan is ‘hope, faith and reason through opportunity, innovation and ethics’. I wish all of you a prosperous year ahead as we work together to further our mission, achieve our vision and progress our strategic priorities.

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