ACU staff contribute over 300 days for good of community

Since the launch of the Community Engagement Time Release (CETR) Policy in 2019, ACU staff members nationally have accessed over 1900 hours of time release to support community initiatives. This equates to roughly 300 days of ACU staff working with community organisations to address concerns such as food security, domestic violence and homelessness, amongst many others.

ACU staff are afforded up to five days per year to make a contribution through the policy. CETR is easy to apply for and can even be accessed as a team or group. Engaging with communities experiencing disadvantage is not only a great example of activating ACU's mission, but it's also a rewarding experience.

Co-Lab Project Coordinator Gina D’Albora recently utilised time release to assist with a diving certification course with Sargood, an organisation supporting people living with spinal cord injuries. The course ran from Monday to Friday, and Gina was able to access 35 hours of CETR to meet this commitment.

“The policy enabled me to do this at the time that worked for this organisation. It’s a win-win for staff to be able to give back to the community and do something that is personally fulfilling,” Gina said.

The CETR policy also allows for flexibility in how the hours are divided. Lecturer (Acute Care/Critical Care Nursing) Kate Robinson has been volunteering with The Community Pantry in her personal time for many years. Since the policy commenced in 2019, Kate has been able to use a few hours of CETR each week to support her ongoing commitment to the organisation.

As a musician, Kate is able to perform for those accessing the meals service, while also engaging in meaningful conversation to find out what kind of support they may need.

“The CETR hours mean I can leave early on a Wednesday to meet my commitment, with the support of the university,” she said.

Ready to make an impact in your community? Read more about volunteering opportunities available near your campus.

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