Support for staff

A message from Interim Provost Professor Meg Stuart: Tomorrow is R U OK Day? - an important reminder to reach out and check in with the people in our lives. As ACU passes through this time of organisational change, it’s also important to be kind to ourselves and to others, and to access more support when needed. I’d like to share some practises with you that I’ve found helpful in coping with times of change and challenge.

As we mark R U OK Day? on Thursday 14 September, I encourage us all to reach out to others with this question and offer support – as well as to check in with ourselves.
Times of change and challenge often mean we need to move further out of our comfort zone than we’d like. Organisational change can be confronting. I want to acknowledge that it can be upsetting to work through uncertainties, learn new ways of working and re-form professional relationships. 

I’d also like to acknowledge the efforts of each staff member that has supported the work of ACU through the extra uncertainties of the pandemic years. I thank you for continuing to engage during this difficult time, providing feedback on the necessary changes that will bear ACU sustainably into the future - and will continue to provide our students with a pathway to their futures.

As part of the ACU community, it is very evident that each of us invest in doing a good job and delivering something we’re proud of. Organisational changes can challenge our sense of identity and contribution at work. It is also evident that our ACU community is all about the people - and it can be particularly distressing when change affects people that you know well and care about. I encourage us all to be gentle with ourselves during these times.


Caring for ourselves can help us build the resilience needed to face challenges, and to ensure we have enough ‘energy in the tank’ to support others. Self-compassion practices can help us to accept the range of thoughts and feelings that arise. I invite you to learn more about how you can use the three elements of self-compassion.

If worries are weighing on your mind, another practice that can help is to focus on your circles of influence and control in thinking about what actions you could take. 

Kindness and care for others

Turning to the people around us and asking R U OK? is something we can all do. This simple act can help remind someone who is struggling that they are connected to people who care about them. Often the most valuable thing you can offer to someone who is having a bad time is a listening ear. Follow these simple steps on how to foster a supportive conversation.

Support is available

ACU staff have access to free professional counselling services and I encourage you to reach out if you’d like more support. I personally have used the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) on a number of occasions and have found the counsellors to be a wonderful support.

I want to acknowledge that ACU managers have a particularly important and challenging role in helping their people to navigate change. EAP also provide a Manager and Supervisor Support service, which I highly recommend to managers for advice on navigating people matters and supporting their team. I have found their tailored coaching on how to have difficult conversations to be extremely helpful.

You can make an appointment via EAP by calling 1800 818 728.

ACU Campus Ministry is also available to staff to provide a listening ear or pastoral care.

Kind regards,
Professor Meg Stuart
Interim Provost

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