Innovation and growth

A message from the Interim Executive Dean of Education and Arts, Professor Stephen Tobias:

World Teachers’ Day 2021 on 5 October embraced the international theme ‘Teachers: Leading in crisis, re-imagining the future’. This theme resonated with me as many of our colleagues have needed to not only adjust their pedagogical approaches at short notice, but rapidly develop new skills in online teaching. After two years, we are more expert at online teaching than we could have ever imagined. We have needed to adapt quickly, be innovative and creative in new online learning environments, as well as engage remotely with our students and colleagues. It has been an experience, to say the least.

As we move to a COVID-normal space, we can reflect on what we have achieved both personally and professionally, as learners and as teachers. Things are unlikely to return to how they were, but challenging times provide a golden opportunity to re-jig our thinking and re-imagine the future.

Thank you to all academic and professional colleagues for being wonderful, caring educators and truly supportive staff. We appreciate how you have all endured and seamlessly fulfilled your roles. And thank you to the teachers among you: we recognise and celebrate the incredible contributions you make to society.

In our faculty

I am very proud of the innovative responses by our staff to the pandemic. One such opportunity is our overseas embedded teacher education program in the Solomon Islands. Normally, around 30 ACU pre-service teachers visit the Solomon Islands for a four-week teaching placement. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the program had to run online this year, a shift that not only introduced the Solomon Islands school to the power of technology but also broadened the range of ACU students who were able to be part of the program.

Other opportunities have included an online workshop with teachers in Malaysia on interpreting and creating digital stories for promoting environmental action and health literacies, online alumni career panels for our Arts students, and online art exhibitions and shows. Our academics have also engaged in conversations on how to better support our students, parents and teachers post-pandemic. An extension of recess and lunch breaks is one of many initiatives that have come out of the faculty to help students re-engage with their school friends and build social skills when they return to school.

New courses in 2022

In 2022, we will be introducing a new major to our Bachelor of Arts offering. Dedicated to the archaeology, history and languages of Ancient Israel, the Archaeology major will be delivered fully online and available for on-campus study. Students will have the opportunity to participate in an archaeological dig in Israel as part of their study. This program will be Australia’s only dedicated academic program of this kind, and it is funded by generous philanthropic donations from the Education Heritage Foundation, the Henroth Foundation, and the Sir Asher and Lady Joel Foundation.

The Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation)/Bachelor of Laws is a rigorous and stimulating intellectual program also being introduced next year. It will allow students to combine professional legal education with a liberal arts degree in Western Civilisation, providing opportunities for them to explore the past, present and future of Western intellectual life and to expand knowledge and skills drawn from the humanities, arts and social sciences. Collectively with the Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation), launched earlier this year, our Western Civilisation courses provide eligible students with scholarships valued from $90,000 to $150,000, generously funded by the Ramsay Centre.

We will also launch two new postgraduate courses: the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health for Teachers and Educators, and the Graduate Diploma in Design and Technologies Education.

Looking forward to 2022

The Faculty of Education and Arts and the Provost’s Office are working closely with colleagues in the National School of Arts to look at reinvigorating our courses and future opportunities. The Provost has hosted several town hall and workshop meetings to gather input from staff.

In the National School of Education, there are also some exciting developments as the school develops closer relationships with regional Victorian and ACT/NSW schools. This endeavour has been encouraged by the university as we attempt to address teacher shortages in regional areas. In the first instance, this project will focus on the Ballarat and Canberra/southern NSW regions. Consequently, stronger partnerships are envisaged between ACU, local schools and the Diocese. These mutually beneficial relationships will be supported through professional development, postgraduate studies and research, as well as by providing teaching students with practicum placements and recruitment opportunities.

In the new year, we will introduce new faculty scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The initiative has been developed to support the ACU Strategic Plan, the Vice-Chancellor’s priorities, the Belonging Strategy, and the Reconciliation Action Plan. These scholarships will provide financial support for First Nations students to undertake postgraduate studies in one of the faculty’s Master of Teaching programs. There is also an ongoing focus on the recruitment of Indigenous staff members as a key objective for the faculty.

Keep in touch

If you would like to know more about our courses and developments, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our faculty office by emailing

The following slideshow controls change the content above and below. Information is displayed below the controls while video content plays above the video controls.

Service Central

Visit Service Central to access Corporate Services.

Other service contacts

Learning and Teaching
Request Something

Make a request for services provided by Corporate Services.

Request something
Knowledge base

Find answers to frequently asked questions 24/7.

See Knowledge Base