A foundation to build students’ dreams

Foundation launch BODY Cardinal George Pell and Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven with ACU Foundation staff

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven announced support for student scholarships and educational projects for students of disadvantage through the ACU Foundation at a launch event recently.

The Foundation develops partnerships between ACU and corporations, community groups and alumni, assisting the university in its mission for justice, equity and the dignity of all humans. It has three focus areas:

  1. Scholarships: ACU offers more than 50 scholarships and bursaries to students.  Many are for students with an Indigenous background, from rural areas or for those requiring financial support to realise their academic dreams
  2. ACU Refugee Program on the Thai Burma border: led by Duncan MacLaren the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has offered tertiary education to Burmese refugees since 2004 through two study centres on the border. The program provides a platform for graduates to pursue a further degree in higher education or work in a non-government or community-based organisation. The Diploma in Liberal Studies is recognised globally
  3. Future in Youth Program in East Timor: Since 2010 academics and students from the School of Exercise Science have run the Future in Youth Program, which teaches leadership, health and life skills to Timorese youth

In launching the program Professor Craven thanked donors for their generous and compassionate support.

“Such generous contributions assist in broadening the character and discipline of many young students from disadvantaged backgrounds which will be invaluable not only to their campus life but also to their future endeavours. Without the support of Foundation donors, we will not be able to reach our goals.”

One exceptional feature of the ACU Foundation is the commitment to directing 100 per cent of all funds raised to student programs.

“Every option, every focus about philanthropy is going to be very much about not bringing money into the university, but bringing money around the university and putting that money to where it is the best used,” said Professor Craven.

“That is an approach to philanthropy that is unique in Australian universities.”