Grounded in mission

A message from the Vice President, Father Anthony Casamento CSMA:

As we all know, these past few months of pandemic have forced us to come up with new and innovative ways to undertake business continuity at the university. With this in mind, the team from Identity and Mission have worked closely with Human Resources to adapt the delivery of the mission component of ACU’s induction program. 

Induction is an important building block to assist new staff in understanding how to perform their jobs effectively, safely and enjoyably. The process covers the usual things you would expect at any workplace, such as health and safety, employment conditions, policies, etc. However, central to any new staff member’s induction at ACU is the introduction to our Catholic mission and identity. As a Catholic university, we are committed not just to the intellectual pursuits, but also to upholding the dignity of the human person and contributing to the common good. Given that our number one strategic priority is to ensure that all our endeavours are grounded in mission, it was important to find a meaningful and engaging way of delivering, in an online format, the U@ACU Mission induction to new staff.

Eleven online sessions were held from 6 May. A total of 165 new staff members attended, with an average of 15 new staff members at each session. The sessions were jointly presented by team members of the Directorate of Identity and Mission within my portfolio. Mr Mark Lysaght, the Associate Director Identity and Mission, and Ms Natalie Linder, the Project Officer for Catholic Program, using material jointly developed by Associate Professor Fr Jamie Calder SJ, Academic Coordinator Catholic programs, and Natalie. I am pleased to note that staff feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

A majority of participants (54%) reported that the session was “very” or “extremely useful” to help them to relate the mission to their new roles at ACU. In addition, HR advised that feedback from participants was some of the most engaged of any sessions they have run in recent times. Participants variously reported that the induction sessions validated their positive impression of ACU, made them feel valued as a staff member, and helped them to think how they could contribute to ACU’s mission through their specific roles. Among the new cohort of staff members, it was apparent there was a thirst for knowledge about the mission, and a genuine desire to live and apply the mission in their new work.

It was encouraging to see that even in the difficult circumstances of Covid-19 and the move to online inductions, the centrality and relevance of our shared mission is being adopted by new staff members across all of our campuses.

Those wanting to learn more about how they can develop their understanding of mission are invited to contact my office.

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