Building and establishing relationships

A message from the Executive Dean of Education and Arts, Professor Mary Ryan:

Over the years, The Faculty of Education and Arts has enjoyed strong and highly valued relationships with our external industry partners. Since joining ACU in February, I have had the opportunity to see how these relationships have enabled us as a faculty to respond to our partners’ needs and the sector as a whole.

As an example, we have been working proactively in education to provide solutions to the acute teacher shortage that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are current working with the National Catholic Education Council (NCEC) who have been at the forefront of the industry’s response.

Working together with NCEC we have been able to set up and establish a paraprofessional program in NSW/ACT with our fourth year education students who obtain valuable practical experience while filling crucial roles within schools. Initial feedback from school principals has been highly favourable. We are rolling out the program across other states/territories. I would like to acknowledge the incredible effort, adaptability and commitment shown by our staff to our students and to this program.

We are continuing to work with our partners in the Catholic Education Offices around Australia to ensure we are providing teacher education courses that are both relevant and attractive to potential teachers. We are also working with them to provide professional learning opportunities for current teachers and principals within their schools.

Our suite of graduate diploma and certificate courses covering mid-career progression into teaching, leadership for teachers, and pathway programs into education careers are examples of recent programs that have stemmed from requests from our Catholic partners.

Some of these programs include:

Within the Arts, we continue to explore and identify new opportunities with our partners to provide relevant and exciting programs across the university, ensuring our students not only flourish but are constantly challenged in their thinking.

Most recently, the Ancient Israel program was officially launched by ACU Chancellor, the Honourable Martin Daubney AM,  who also honoured the founding donors. This is a really exciting opportunity for ACU and our students in the area of archaeology, history and languages of ancient Israel. We look forward to securing additional funding to expand the program in due course.

Since joining ACU I have also had the great privilege of meeting with the Archbishops of Sydney and Melbourne. It is this congenial working relationship and the development of future collaborations with the Archdioceses which cement our commitment to the ACU mission and our growth as a Catholic university.

I am strong believer in building and establishing relationships as they are key to success. In the faculty we have taken steps towards this success with the recent appointment of our Associate Dean, Partnerships and we are currently recruiting for a Partnerships Operations Manager. Both roles are pivotal in operationalising our commitment to our valued partners.

I look forward to updating you as we make headway in this space over the coming months.


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