Inclusiveness and equity

A message from Vice President Fr Anthony Casamento csma:

Let us start the year reflecting on inclusiveness and equity at ACU.

Like many Catholic universities, ACU is committed to promoting equity and inclusion as part of the fabric of who we are. In fact, our mission statement is explicit in reminding us of this very fact:

“Within the Catholic intellectual tradition and acting in Truth and Love, Australian Catholic University is committed to the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good.”

Equity and widening participation are critical to how we live out our mission, and so this is foundational in planning across the university.

But what does this mean in practice? While I was reflecting on this recently, I pondered on the fact that it is our collective responsibility to support our commitment to widening participation at ACU.

Widening participation in higher education for students from low SES, regional and rural areas and for Indigenous students and students on the margins is grounded in our core values. This means that every area of the university takes responsibility and puts in place practices and processes that will enable us to widen participation.

This year ACU is embarking on important work to develop an implementation plan to embed our Widening Participation Strategy.

This work is critical to ensuring we make the ACU educational experience accessible to as many people as possible. We want ACU to reflect the rich, vibrant diversity of our community, and we want to give those on the margins of our society the opportunity to empower themselves to become agents of change through an ACU education.

To achieve this, we must work to nurture an inclusive and welcoming community in which everyone is able to express themselves fully and where all are supported to realise their full potential. Broadening the opportunity to access and obtain an education is integral to our shared work of fostering an equitable society.

The rich heritage of our Catholic faith informs and transforms our search for truth and our understanding of contemporary challenges in access to higher education for all.

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