ACU National Update is produced fortnightly for staff, students and friends of Australian Catholic University (ACU National). To submit a news article or event, please email or call 07 3623 7491.

Vice-Chancellor hosts dinner for school principals

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven recently hosted a dinner for school principals on the Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo).

Professor Craven took the opportunity to share his views on the current state of higher education in Australia, and the progress and expansion of ACU National’s Brisbane Campus.

The evening established and strengthened relationships between school principals and ACU National heads of school, teaching staff, Professor Craven, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Quality and Engagement) Professor John O’Gorman and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Professor Gabrielle McMullen.

VC Dinner Grace Lutheran College Dean of Studies Cheryl Budd is joined by St Joseph's Nudgee College Principal Mr Daryl Hanly and St Laurence's College Principal Mr Ian McDonald for the Vice-Chancellor's Principal Dinner on the Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo)
VC Dinner table

Market-Friendly Website Redesign

As part of the Vice-Chancellor’s 2008 initiatives, he has requested that the University undertakes a Market-Friendly Website Redesign Project to update the University’s current website to be more appealing to prospective and current students.

The website is a critical marketing tool for the University. Current and future students’ experience of the website informs their perceptions of the University and their decisions about where to study, therefore the website content and visual component are being reviewed and redeveloped to focus on appealing to the student market.

The first phase of the project is scheduled for release in late 2008 and early 2009. The vision for the first phase of the project is for the development and implementation of a website that provides:

  • A contemporary and appealing image of the University to current and future students
  • Information that is accurate, accessible and relevant.

The website’s current homepage will be completely redesigned, with new links to content pages. Visit to view a copy of the new Information Architecture, navigation links from the homepage.

Please email the project manager at to raise any issues or queries about the project.

International Voice sings out

The latest edition of ACU National’s International Student Newspaper, The Voice¸ is available to view online.

This edition features an article from Joel Veling, currently studying at Ruprecht Karls University in Germany, and a feature from Canadian student Nicole Badry, who studied at ACU National last semester.

Please visit to find out more about exchange experiences.

Liberating education forum

The Strathfield Campus (Mount Saint Mary) will host a forum, Liberating education: A right for people communities and nations, on Wednesday 26 November.

The forum will feature speakers on topics including the right to education, the global status of education and Indigenous and life-long learning.

The forum will begin at 6pm in the Jack Gleeson Auditorium, with a second event to be held at Loyola Senior High School in Mt Druitt on Monday 8 December.

Breakfast with the stars

The School of Nursing (NSW) sponsored Sydney Schoolgirls’ Breakfast with the Stars which took place recently at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.

The morning featured more than 60 Women Sports Stars including beach volleyball champion Kerri Pottharst OAM, swimmer Elka Whalan (nee Graham), and athlete Amy Winters OAM, along with almost 1,000 Sydney high school students.

The schoolgirls were officially welcomed to the breakfast by ACU National senior nursing lecturer Dr Imke Fischer, who is also the President of Womensport & Recreation NSW.

The 2008 Sue Fear Award for Courage and Achievement in Sport was awarded to squash player Carin Clonda at the breakfast, which was also attended by The Hon Kevin Greene MP.

Please visit for more information about Womensport and Recreation NSW.

Breakfast 1 Kerri Pottharst OAM with students from Cecil Hills High School
Breakfast 2 Nominees for the Sue Fear ‘Courage and Achievement in Sport’ Award Dr Imke Fischer and members of Sue Fear’s family

Fabiola Oration celebration

Final-year nursing students celebrated the completion of their degrees at the recent School of Nursing and Midwifery (QLD) Fabiola Oration.

The oration on nursing care, Moving feast or sure foundation, was delivered by the Honorary Secretary of the Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses Ms Pixie Annat.

A number of students were awarded prizes, including Bachelor of Nursing Year Awards which went to Stephen Matela Winani from first year, Mikaela Wallace from second year and Ben Sidebottom from third year, and the Royal College of Nursing High Achiever Award, presented to Ashlee Rosenow.

Fabiola Oration Ms Sue De Vries presents the Royal College of Nursing High Achiever Award to Ashlee Rosenow

Great Bed Race for charity

The School of Nursing and Midwifery (QLD) recently hosted the fourth annual Great Bed Race at the Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo) to raise funds for Hannah’s Chance Foundation.

Costumed teams raced nursing beds up the main driveway of the campus, with the McAuley Mongrels taking out the race for the fourth year in a row.

This year’s event raised more than $1,000 for Hannah’s Chance Foundation, established by the father and husband of Hannah Ciobo, the daughter of Australian swimming great Tracey Wickham, who died in October 2007 following a battle with sarcoma, a rare form of aggressive cancer.

The event is a staff-student initiative, organised this year by students Debbie Harrison, Bonnie-Anne Stuart and Krimesh Shukla, and nursing lecturer Keith Skelton, who worked tirelessly to promote and organise the race.

The Great Bed Race is also dependent on local sponsorship and would not be possible without the support of the Banyo Post Office, Banyo Hardware, Tide Inn, Banyo Pharmacy, Carpet Court, Battery Works, PC Star, Mediserve Agency, Makin Mattresses, Autobahn Virginia, Harrison Interiors and the State Member for Nudgee the Honourable Neil Roberts MP.

Trails of Recovery Exhibition

The School of Arts and Sciences (QLD) celebrated an art exhibition based on the theme Trails of Recovery earlier this month, featuring collaborative works from therapeutic, educational and spiritual communities.

The exhibition, opened by Rev Wally Dethlefs, includes portraits, interactive teaching resources and paintings illustrating community stories.

The exhibition was curated by Our Lady’s Catholic College campus minister Ms Joy Murphy, who also works as an art teacher and therapist in a number of communities including the Wacol Women’s Prison and Lucinda House for women in rehabilitation.

“The Trails of Recovery exhibition was designed to highlight the cycle of disadvantage that addiction can cause, and to focus on a community resolution to this problem,” said Ms Murphy.

“The first step is to acknowledge the problem and then to focus on and highlight the community solution to this disadvantage. The exhibition was a celebration of the work we all do right throughout the system to support people who may experience difficulties of various kinds,” she said.

Ms Murphy also explained that the concept for Trails of Recovery came into being after taking women from Lucinda House to the Andy Warhol Exhibition earlier this year, where the group noticed the lack of constructive educational material centred on aspects of community addiction.

“We talked over the idea for an exhibition directly inspired by Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes, and the ideas flowed from there,” said Ms Murphy.

Poet awarded for manuscript

Ballarat Campus (Aquinas) education lecturer and contemporary poet Dr Anne Gleeson has been awarded an Interactive Press Award for Best First Book in 2008.

The collection of contemporary poetry, In between the dancing, will be launched on Saturday 29 November at the Old Colonist Club, Lydiard Street, Ballarat.

Compiled over the past 10 years, Dr Gleeson’s work draws on various themes including love, history and humour. Ballarat’s local landscapes feature in the work including Mount Buninyong and Canadian Creek.

“My inspiration for writing comes from the small moments in life, the big dramas in life, people’s stories and quirky events. It can be as simple as walking by the Canadian Creek and noticing the water running over rocks,” she said.

Celebrated in America, Ireland and Europe, Dr Gleeson has won many acclaimed awards including the Henry Kendall Poetry Award, the John Shaw Neilson Poetry Award and the ABC Poetry Award.

Renowned for her performances as a featured reader at the Australian National Poetry Festival, the Ex Libris Book Fair and the Words in Winter Festival, Dr Gleeson described poetry as “an absolute passion”.

“I started writing in the early 90s and I very quickly received a series of awards and was published.,” she said. “It was exciting. I just love it, I love writing and I love being part of the poetry world.”

Visit for more information about the book, published by Interactive Press.

The poetry publication launch will be held from 1.30pm to 3.30pm on Saturday 29 December, at 16 to 24 Lydiard Street, Ballarat. Please RSVP to Dr Gleeson at or on (03) 5330 2236.

Theological journey into spacetime

The Institute of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education (ITPR) hosted the recent launch of Spacetime and Theology in Dialogue, a publication by Associate Professor Gideon Goosen.

The book, launched by Bishop Kevin Manning from the Catholic diocese of Parramatta, is a study of the impact of modern scientific notions of “spacetime” on theology.

In his address, Bishop Manning noted that on beginning the book he was “launched on a journey through spacetime, a journey whose trajectory brought me to places unknown, or spaces hitherto uninhabited by me”.

“For this adventure, I have to thank you, Gideon,” he continued, referring to the book as a “brave step into faith and space”.

Book launch Professor Neil Ormerod, Bishop Kevin Manning and Associate Professor Gideon Goosen at the launch of Spacetime and Theology in Dialogue

Bollywood Night at Strathfield

Staff and students from the Strathfield Campus (Mount Saint Mary) celebrated everything Bollywood on Friday 17 October.

Many participants wore traditional Indian outfits and enjoyed a night of alfresco dining in the Quad, followed by popcorn and Indian sweets in the movie theatre while enjoying Bride and Prejudice, a romantic musical comedy.

The Student Association, Counselling, Mission Engagement and the International Education Office were well represented.

Bollywood 1
Bollywood 2

Study tour to Israel in 2009

School of Theology (National) Associate Professor Dr Mary Coloe, in conjunction with Associate Professor Jamie McLaren, will be leading a study tour of Israel in December 2009.

Students interested in the tour are encouraged to contact Dr Coloe on, or visit for further information.

The site will be updated with additional information regarding the tour and costs in the coming weeks.

Award for quality of contribution

School of Education (NSW) Staffing and Course Establishment Officer Deborah Fang was recently awarded a Strathfield Rotary Pride of Workmanship Award for her outstanding contribution to coordinating the school’s course information, timetable requests and contracts.

Ms Fang was acknowledged for her diligence, skill, expert eye for detail and particularly her commitment and generosity to staff.

The citation listed Ms Fang as an essential and highly valued member of the school by both academic and administrative staff.

Rotary pride Ms Deborah Fang receiving her award for Strathfield Rotary President Grahame True