Want to learn more about Global Justice? – Caritas Australia workshop
ACU staff members passionate about global justice and wanting to learn more about Catholic perspectives and advocacy for community development will benefit from this Caritas Australia short course.
Staff involved in student community engagement may also wish to recommend this course to their students.
Caritas Australia, in partnership with ACU Engagement, invites you to register for this unique opportunity to learn about community development advocacy and collaborate with a leading Catholic global development agency.
This three-module course delivered over three evenings at St Patrick’s Campus in Melbourne will introduce staff to the Integral Human Development approach to addressing poverty and disadvantage.
Caritas Australia is the Aid and Development agency of the Catholic Church in Australia. Caritas Australia supports humanitarian aid responses and long-term development projects for communities across 27 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific as well as Indigenous communities in Australia. Learn how Caritas Australia accompanies vulnerable and marginalised communities to use their strengths to affirm their human dignity and overcome poverty.
When: 5pm to 9pm, 28 August, 4 September and 11 September (Tuesdays)
Where: St Patrick’s Campus (Melbourne)
Course fee: Full cost is $250. ACU Engagement will provide a 60% subsidy for ACU staff and students who register by Friday 17 August (you only pay $100). Costs include course modules and catering.
Last week ACU Engagement held a stall at Orientation Days in Brisbane, Melbourne, Strathfield and North Sydney. Our staff were available to answer students’ community engagement questions and hand out information about how to get started and how to succeed in community engagement.
In order to encourage the students to start thinking about what kinds of placements they would like to be involved in, we asked them to write down a social issue they cared about and display it on our stall. This also helped us to identify what incoming ACU students are passionate about and what kinds of community engagement placements we should source to meet these interests. The most commonly identified social issues of interest were:
We are looking forward to interacting with more students at ACU’s upcoming Market and Open Days.
A deep connection with Deepmala, Nepal
Written by Annie – ACU Bachelor of Primary School Education Student
My community engagement placement took place in Nepal, Kathmandu at a low socio-economic school called Deepmala. I volunteered with a company named Projects Abroad, which links volunteers to third world countries.
The first time I travelled to Nepal was in 2016 for a holiday and some pre-experience before beginning my Bachelor of Primary School Education. I absolutely fell in love with the country and Deepmala. Leaving was one of the hardest goodbyes, which is why I decided to go back and volunteer again this year. I felt as though I could make a larger difference and positively affect the community.
The Nepalese culture is almost a polar opposite to Australian culture. I did my best to immerse, understand and respect their culture, but at times found it incredibly difficult. My personal and emotional beliefs, values, and morals were challenged immensely, and at times I was disputed and brutally confronted. I struggled to earn the children’s respect, as they knew I would not hit them. Corporal punishment is permitted and used as a major strategy in behaviour management. There was also a large language barrier, which made it very challenging and frustrating for me to teach. I often had to abandon my planned lessons and improvise.
I wish I was prepared for how difficult it was going to be, however I have come out a lot stronger because of it. Students should be open minded and not go into community engagement with any expectations. It is important that students do not judge and leave behind their stigmas and stereotypes.
What I previously believed to be important and necessary, I now realise is not. These children have next to nothing, yet during my time at Deepmala school I never heard one child complain or cry. They are consistently smiling, and the simplest things in their life make them so incredibly happy. I now realise that I do not need materialistic items to live contently. What is essentially important are the things in life that come free.
Volunteering at Deepmala school has majorly influenced my own teaching philosophy. I now have an understanding of low socio-economic homes and EAL/D students, how to support, encourage and educate them. Being exposed to these students has challenged my original idea of my ‘ideal student’. I initially imagined my ideal classroom to consist of students coming from an established or mobile middle social class. After completing my community service, I now realise that class does not define who you are and how you act, these students come from nothing yet, they are so loving and sympathetic.
I will remember their love for life and how the simplest and smallest things provide them with so much joy. Watching the children’s skills, abilities and talents develop and excel, because of the impact of my teaching, it has completely changed my perspective of life and I will always remember the feeling of gratitude Nepal has given me.
Because of my community engagement and the courses I underwent this semester, I was inspired to volunteer within my own community. I now volunteer at North Ainslie School in the Introductory English centre as part of the Vinnies Migrant and Refugee Program. I work one on one with kindergarten/new students to improve their literacy skills.
I would encourage students to not complete a placement that does not challenge them, because they will not learn anything from it. I recommend students to step outside of their comfort zone and experience a life/community outside of their norms.
Community engagement opportunities for staff
ACU Engagement is committed to ensuring that all ACU staff and students have the opportunity to make a contribution to their community that is feasible and meaningful to them, whilst meeting community needs in a way that is valuable and respectful. For a full list of community engagement opportunities for staff you can visit our Workplace group. Be sure to become a member to stay up to date with future opportunities.
For more information, to register your interest for an opportunity, or if you are aware of more opportunities you think we should know about, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.