ACU Update is produced fortnightly for staff, students and friends of Australian Catholic University (ACU). To submit a news article or event, please email or call 02 9739 2514.

ACU welcomes legislative recognition in Queensland

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan AO has commended the Queensland Government for passing legislation to formally recognise the University in the State.

Professor Sheehan said the passing of the Act was an acknowledgement by the State Government that ACU is an integral and valued contributor to the higher education sector in Queensland.

“ACU’s staff, stakeholders and community – both here and interstate – are delighted that the Queensland Government has taken this significant step in formally acknowledging ACU as a university in its own right,” Professor Sheehan said.

“This new legislation further consolidates the position of ACU as a University with a distinctive Mission and a commitment to the academic, social and spiritual education of the Queensland community.

“It places the University’s Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo) on an equal footing with its counterparts in Victoria and New South Wales, which have been formally recognised in State Government legislation for some years.”

Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo)

Art and love

Artworks in the Clancy Prize for Religious Art from Sydney secondary schools are on show at the ACU Gallery at the Strathfield Campus (Mount Saint Mary) at 25A Barker Rd Strathfield daily from 11am - 4pm until Friday 31 March.

The theme for this eighth annual exhibition is “Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another” (Jn 13:43).

Catholic Education Office Sydney Head of Curriculum Seamus O’Grady Launching the Clancy Prize for Religious Art

Quality teaching and learning in focus

Following a successful pilot study, ACU’s Institute for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (IATL) has introduced a questionnaire for students so that evidence may be collected on the quality of the University’s teaching.

The questionnaire, developed by the Teaching and Learning Evaluation Committee following extensive research, focuses on the quality of teaching as perceived by students, Unit Evaluation Program Coordinator Dr Shukri Sanber said.

Core and optional questions assess clarity of presentation, stimulation of student learning, enthusiasm for teaching, learning and subject matter, responsiveness to student learning needs, active engagement of the learners and approachability.

Lecturers may request the questionnaire to be administered at any time during the semester. For more information, contact Dr Sanber on (02) 9701 4194 or at

AusAID Fellowships in educational leadership

ACU’s Flagship for Creative and Authentic Leadership has won a $423,500 grant from the Australian Government through AusAID’s Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships program.

The Flagship’s program is Mastering the new basics in educational leadership: A professional development program in capacity strengthening for educational leaders.

Eleven Fellows from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and East Timor will attend the program at the Strathfield Campus (Mount Saint Mary) from July.

Flagship Director Professor Patrick Duignan said the program would provide a blend of theory and practice and take into account cross-cultural leadership issues and challenges in the Australian and Asia-Pacific region. It is also expected to allow for a dynamic exchange of information and professional reflection and involve contact with selected school principals or educational administrators.

Cool change

While we cannot control change, we can control our responses to change, participants heard at a recent community seminar on surviving organisational change, hosted by the School of Social Work at the Strathfield Campus (Mount Saint Mary).

Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney Executive Director of Operations Philip Cornish said people facing change needed to find positive roles for themselves and to always remember to communicate with others. While agreeing with  Philip’s view, AASW NSW Branch Vice President Annie Crowe added that sometimes it was important to resist change processes.

Space appreciated

A group of academics visiting from St Paul University in the Philippines recently visited the Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo). The group praised the spacious grounds and facilities at the Campus.

Academics from St Paul University in the Philippines recieved a tour of the Brisbane Campus with from Shawn Walker, University Relations (back,second from left).

Graduate’s ‘dream’ job with AFL

ACU graduate Daniel Lowrey’s work as assistant coach with the Kangaroos AFL team is “a dream come true”, according to a report in Catholic Education Today.

Daniel graduated from the Melbourne Campus (St Patrick’s) in 2005 with a Bachelor of Exercise Science degree and Graduate Diploma in Applied Exercise Science.

“In November last year, I started helping out in the Kangaroos gym as a volunteer,” he was quoted in the February 2007 issue. “However, once I began working with some of the players, I developed a lot of ideas as to how they could better protect themselves against injury. I approached one of the coaches about my ideas and he offered me a job.”

The School of Exercise Science works closely with elite athletes and offers industry experience, and a personalised learning environment. “You can ask questions and you’re not treated like another number,” he said.

Dealing with stress and seeking help

Staff and students are invited to view tips for managing stress via Webct. Click on ACUonline on the ACU website, log in and go to “Special Project – Student Counselling Resources”.

Students who may need some assisstance with stress or managing a crisis can access a list of resources on the myACU Counselling Service pages.

Students needing appointments for counselling can book online.
North Sydney students can make an appointment online at ttp:// Brisbane students can make an appointment online at: Strathfield students can make an appointment online at: ttp:// 

Students at Ballarat, Melbourne and Canberra can make appointments by contacting Student Services on their respective Campus.

For more information, telephone Counselling Service Manager Carolyn Toonen on (07) 3623 7377.

Vinnies Kids Camp - Ballarat

A group of Ballarat Campus (Aquinas) students have taken children from the local community on a fun-filled charity camp.

Held this past weekend at Pax Hill, just outside Ballarat, the camp was coordinated by Bachelor of Education students Maree Smith and Jess Tovey, and included a mine tour, creative art, games, cooking and dance.

Vinnies Kids Camps are run for children and teenagers from low-income backgrounds, and provide them with experiences that other families take for granted. For many children these camps are their only chance for a holiday during the year.

The camp is sponsored by Ballarat United Way Community Fund and the St Vincent de Paul Society, and is cost-free for the children and leaders.

ACU students (left to right) Jacinta Reidy, Samantha Cramer, Nicole Coates and Ashlea Timmins-Hughes helping out at the Vinnies Kids Camp


ACU students from the Ballarat Campus Glenn Firth (left) with Andrew Johnston (right) helping out at the Vinnies Kids Camp

Catholic Education Week research seminar

The Faculty of Education marked Catholic Education Week with a research seminar at the Melbourne Campus (St Patrick’s) on subjects as diverse as human rights education, ecological literacy, the moral bases of teachers’ planning and practice, pupils mentoring their teachers in IT skills, and much more.

The seminar was attended by staff and postgraduate students in the Faculty of Education and was opened by Dr Teresa Angelico of the Catholic Education Commission, Victoria. For more information, please contact Associate Professor Kath Engebretson on (03) 9953 3292.

Effective social work

Visiting UK social work academic and practitioner Pamela Trevithick will explore the knowledge and skills social workers need to be effective when she gives the next Rosegarden Seminar at the Canberra Campus (Signadou) at 223 Antill St, Watson, on Monday 2 April from 5pm to 6pm.

Pamela, from the University of Gloucestershire, is the author of Social Work Skills: A Practice Handbook published by Open University Press, the co-editor of the journal Groupwork and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Social Work Practice and Communities, Children and Families Australia.

Rosegarden Seminars are a joint venture between the Australian Association of Social Workers ACT Branch, ACT Health and the ACU School of Social Work. Parking is available off Antill St in the church car park and on Phillip Avenue.

To book, please email

A close shave

More than $500 was raised for the Leukaemia Foundation by the North Sydney Campus (MacKillop) Student Association during the recent World's Greatest Shave.

For more information or to contribute, visit

Sandy Lim from Just Cut North Sydney (left) with nursing graduate Paul Tran and Student Association Vice-President and second-year business and information systems student Yasmin Rumjahn

Mission and identity

ACU’s Melbourne Campus (St Patrick’s) will host a colloquium on ‘Mission and identity in Church-based organisations’ from April 11-13.

Catholic agencies across all sectors (education, health and welfare) are facing increasing scrutiny about the nature of their Catholic identity. This colloquium will offer participants from these sectors a unique opportunity to discuss and debate issues of mission and identity, with presentations from ACU’s Professor Neil Ormerod and ABC broadcaster Margaret Coffey also a feature of the event.

For more information, please contact Joan Manshon on (03) 9953 3553 or

Celebrating interfaith life

Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship winner Chantelle Ogilvie will speak on “Interfaith and Life: sharing, working, celebrating” at a public talk at the Canberra Campus (Signadou) hosted by the Office for the Participation of Women and

The talk, on Tuesday 3 April, will run from 6pm to 7pm at the Blackfriars Building in Phillip Ave, Watson, ACT, and will be followed by refreshments.

Women’s spirituality

International Spirituality Theology specialist Professor Donna Orsuto will speak on Women’s Spirituality at a meeting of the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga Inc on Sunday 15 April at 3pm at the Christ Lecture Theatre at the Melbourne Campus (St Patrick’s).

Professor Orsuto is the founder and Director of the Lay Center at Foyer Unitias in Rome, Director of the Vincent Pallotti Insititute in Rome, and a Professor of Spiritual Theology at the Institute for Spirituality, Pontifical Gregorian University. Among other roles, she specialises in lay spirituality and women’s religious experience form the Middle Ages through to the modern period.

To book, please telephone (03) 9401 4639 before Wednesday 11 April.

Upcoming Events

• Friday 30 March - Canberra Graduation
• Friday 31 March - Clancy Prize for Religious Art Strathfield Campus (Mount Saint Mary)
• Monday 2 April - Rosegarden Seminar Canberra Campus (Signadou)
• Monday 2 April - Book Launch in memory of John Paul 11
• Wednesday 11 April - Brisbane Graduation
• Thursday 12 - 15 April - ACU Games (Canberra)
• Saturday 5 May - Ballarat Graduation
• Tuesday 8 May - Sydney Graduation
• Tuesday 28 - 29 May - Melbourne Graduation

Details on these and other upcoming events can be found at

Promote your event by listing it on the myACU events section and by emailing details to