Clemente Australia: Support in lockdown

The recent lockdowns have led to several changes to Clemente Australia, not dissimilar to the wider ACU community. Clemente’s students and staff in NSW, ACT and Vic have moved to online Zoom classes. These classes have created small online learning environments, whereby students, program advisors and volunteer learning partners can connect during what can be a difficult and isolating time.

Clemente provides university-level humanities education within community to individuals experiencing disadvantage. The Certificate of Liberal Arts provides students with an opportunity for personal growth, increased self-esteem and confidence for further tertiary study and employment.

Colleen Malone, Program Advisor (Mount Druitt and Macarthur), asked students from Western Sydney what Clemente meant to them during lockdown.

Margaret* said, “It has provided me with a sense of structure and purpose in my day, a wonderful opportunity to learn and keep my mind active and engaged, and a feeling of inclusion and socialisation whilst in isolation.”

Ansir* explained, “Clemente means a world to me. A ray of hope when you don’t see the light at all. Due to the lack of self-confidence and academic skills, I could not get into the academic world for the last 10 years. Clemente has activated my intelligence, fostered my skills and kindled my confidence. Now I am confident that I can achieve my academic goals and make my future better.”

Clemente will continue teaching online during lockdown, and we look forward to seeing all our students back in the classroom soon.

*Only first names have been used to protect program participants’ anonymity.

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