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Students head to East Timor

Exercise science student Nathan Mclean departed for East Timor last week as part of a university community engagement initiative.

The 20-year old from the University’s Melbourne Campus will join students from other ACU campuses in Baucau, where they will spend a month teaching local club representatives how to play soccer.

Nathan McleanNathan Mclean

These representatives can then in turn engage local children in the game and give them an alternative to crime and street gangs.

Nathan said he was extremely excited about the opportunity.

“I can’t imagine what it will be like in East Timor,” he said. “Outside of Australia, I’ve only ever travelled to New Zealand, so I think this will be a massive eye-opener and learning experience for me.”

While imparting invaluable skills to the East Timorese and providing an important service to the community, Nathan and his classmates will at the same time be improving their interpersonal skills, putting into practice what they have learnt in the classroom, and reflecting on their personal and career interests.

Most importantly, they will witness firsthand how social participation and actions make a difference to people’s lives.

Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor of ACU, said community engagement is an integral part of a student’s education at Australian Catholic University.

“In all faculties and courses at ACU, students and staff are engaging with their communities,” he said. “This is particularly relevant to the students of a Catholic university, where social and personal change and the education of the ‘whole’ person are very much a part of the journey.”