Australian Catholic University
|Australian Catholic University|
Signadou Campus of the Australian Catholic University in Watson, ACT
|Latin: Australiana Catholica Universitas|
|Chancellor||presently vacant (2014)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Greg Craven|
Sydney, NSW (Strathfield and North Sydney)
Ballarat & Melbourne, VIC
|Campus||Urban, suburban, rural|
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (March 2013)|
The Australian Catholic University (ACU) is a national public university. It has seven campuses and offers programs in four faculties throughout Australia.
The Australian Catholic University was opened on 1 January 1991 following the amalgamation of four Catholic tertiary institutions in eastern Australia - the Catholic College of Education Sydney in New South Wales, the Institute of Catholic Education in Victoria, McAuley College of Queensland, and Signadou College of Education in the Australian Capital Territory.
The institutions that merged to form the university had their origins in the mid-19th century, when religious orders and institutes became involved in preparing teachers for Catholic schools and, later, nurses for Catholic hospitals. Through a series of amalgamations, relocations, transfers of responsibilities and diocesan initiatives, more than 20 historical entities have contributed to the creation of the university.
The university operates as a company limited by guarantee, under the Companies (Victoria) Code and has a constitution which identifies its objects in education, scholarship and research as part of the mission of the Catholic Church.
The university is a member of the publicly funded national system of Australian universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the International Federation of Catholic Universities. The university's Vice-Chancellor is a member of the Universities Australia and its Board of Directors.
The Vice-Chancellor is the chief executive officer of ACU and is responsible for representing the University both nationally and internationally and for providing strategic leadership and management of the University.
Deputy Vice-Chancellors have delegated responsibility for assigned areas of policy. These areas are Academic; Administration and Resources; Research and Students, Learning and Teaching. Associate Vice-Chancellors are based in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. They act as the Vice-Chancellor's representative in their local region, as do the Campus Deans at Ballarat and Canberra. The Vice-Chancellor is also assisted by the Faculty Executive Deans, the Academic Registrar and Directors with national portfolios.
Each faculty is headed by an Executive Dean and supported by a number of Associate Deans and Heads of Schools. Each campus has a Student Representative Council and there is a national student body, ACUNSA  (Australian Catholic University National Students’ Association).
ACU has seven campuses located in the state capital cities of Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, and in the regional centre of Ballarat.
The Adelaide Campus was established when ACU and the Archdiocese of Adelaide entered a partnership in 2013 to deliver theological education in South Australia. The Catholic Theological College (Adelaide) was absorbed into ACU's Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.
The Ballarat Campus (Aquinas) is set in the historic gardens of Carn Brea, formerly the property of Cornish miner Cyrus Retallac. The Ballarat Campus had its beginnings in the establishment of the Aquinas Training College by the Ballarat East Sisters of Mercy in 1909. The property was later purchased by the Diocese of Ballarat and from 1974 became the new site of the Catholic teachers' college, which was initially known as Aquinas College. In March 1974, the authorities controlling the Victorian Catholic teachers' colleges relinquished their control to the Institute of Catholic Education. In December 1974, the institute was admitted as a constituent member of the State College of Victoria. At the end of 1990 the institute formally handed responsibility for the Institute and its operations to ACU.
The Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo) commenced in 2003, replacing the former Brisbane Campus at Mitchelton. The 40-hectare site was formerly the Pius XII Provincial Seminary, with a history extending back to 1863. Formed in 1955 as McAuley College by the Sisters of Mercy for the preparation of Sisters of Mercy to teach in Catholic schools, the college soon extended its mission to include members of other religious orders. This mission was further extended in 1973 when lay-students were admitted to the college. At the end of 1990, the Council of McAuley College formally handed responsibility for the college and its operations to ACU.
In response to the invitation of the Catholic Bishops, the Dominican Sisters came to Australia from Ireland and England in 1867 and established their first teacher training school in Maitland, New South Wales. After the devastating Hunter Valley floods of 1955, the college was relocated to Sydney, and then to Canberra – where it was opened by the then Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies on 24 March 1963. At the end of 1990 the Signadou Dominican College of Education formally handed responsibility for the College and its operations to ACU, and it is now known as Signadou.
The Melbourne Campus (St Patrick's) at Fitzroy, incorporating Central Hall, was established in 2000 after ACU's existing two Melbourne campuses (Mercy and Christ) were formally amalgamated. Mercy and Christ had both been colleges of the Victorian Institute of Catholic Education between 1975 and 1990. At the heart of the Fitzroy neighbourhood stands historic Central Hall, previously known as Cathedral Hall, which has stood at 20 Brunswick Street, near the Victoria Parade corner, since 1904. Central Hall was showing signs of wear and tear when custodianship was handed to ACU six years ago but it gained state heritage listing in February 2002. From that point, the university embarked on a restoration program to return the Central Hall complex back to its former glory, and it reopened in October 2007.
Mary MacKillop founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph in South Australia in 1866 and moved to a cottage in Mount Street, North Sydney, in the 1880s.In 1913, the Sisters established a training school at North Sydney for the teacher training of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. In 1958, lay students were admitted to the College which in 1971 became the Catholic Teachers' College. In 1982, this College became part of Catholic College of Education. It was at this stage that the name MacKillop was given to this campus to identify it as a discrete part of the College and to recognise the ongoing support of the Sisters of St Joseph. At the end of 1990, the Catholic College of Education Sydney formally handed over responsibility for the College and its operations, which now rests with ACU. The North Sydney Campus is still known as MacKillop.
The Strathfield Campus (Mount Saint Mary) was once the home of Australia’s fourth Prime Minister, Sir George Houston Reid, before it was purchased by the Congregation of Christian Brothers in 1907. The Brothers originally used the site as a provincial headquarters and as a centre for trainee Brothers. Lay male students were admitted in the 1970s and female students were admitted in the 1980s. In 1981, the Federal Government required specified colleges in each State to amalgamate, and in 1982 Mount Saint Mary College joined in the amalgamation to become the Catholic College of Education Sydney. At the end of 1990, the Catholic College of Education Sydney formally handed responsibility for the college and its operations to ACU.
ACU has four faculties:
Education and Arts
Areas include education, arts and humanities, global studies and international development studies, media communications, social science, youth work, and creative arts, visual arts and design.
Areas include counselling, environmental science, exercise physiology, exercise science, mental health, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, paramedicine, physiotherapy, public health, psychology, social work and speech pathology.
Law and Business
Areas include commerce, business administration, accounting and finance, information technology, human resource management, law, marketing, supply chain management, occupational health and safety, and sustainability.
Theology and Philosophy
Disciplines encourage students to search for wisdom, knowledge and truth.
Australian Catholic University received four stars for success in getting a job, graduate starting salary, and positive graduate outcomes in the Good Universities Guide 2014.
A report by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA), commended ACU for its highly supportive student environment, the outcomes it has achieved for Indigenous students and its positive engagement with the community. It is ranked as one of the best Universities for business in the world.
The university has a strategy of research concentration in four areas: Theology and Philosophy; Health; Education; and the Common Good and Social Justice. The university has six University Priority Research Centres, and other centres and institutes. In addition, the university has a network of collaborative institutions, nationally and internationally.
University Priority Research Centres - Centre for Early Christian Studies - Centre for Creative and Authentic Leadership - Institute of Child Protection Studies - Mathematics and Literacy Education Research Centre - National Centre for Clinical Outcomes Research - Quality of Life and Social Justice Research Centre
Centres - Centre for Indigenous Education and Research - Asia-Pacific Centre for Inter-Religious Dialogue - Centre for Learning and Teaching - Centre of Physical Activity Across the Lifespan - Centre for Ethics and Decision-Making in Organisations - Golding Centre for Women’s History, Theology and Spirituality - Plunkett Centre for Ethics
Faculty of Business The Faculty of Business offers business related studies at the bachelors, masters (both coursework and research degrees) and doctoral level.
The Australian Catholic University National Student Association  (ACUNSA) is the peak student organisation at the University, led by the ACUNSA President who is also the Student Senator. It also includes each local campus-based Student Association President and the Postgraduate Student Association President.
ACUNSA is funded by the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).
Students at ACU have access to a range of student services such as counseling, academic skills development, career development, equity and disability support and campus ministry.
ACU has three on-campus Indigenous Education Units - Jim-baa-yer in Vic, Weemala in Qld and Yalbalinga in NSW. The staff of these units are indigenous people, offering a range of services to help indigenous students achieve their goals.
Clubs and societies
Students at ACU have access to a range of clubs and societies across various interests. Students are also able to set up new clubs.
ACU offers university-managed accommodation on the Sydney, Canberra and Ballarat campuses. Students also have a number of alternative options, including private accommodation or living with a host family.
The Institute for Advancing Community Engagement (IACE) was established by ACU to advance the development of mutually beneficial and sustainable community engagement in three ways:
Beyond Disadvantage - Reaching out to people marginalised in society.
Beyond Borders - Reaching out beyond national borders to those communities most in need – focusing specifically on education and health.
Beyond Differences- Addressing the need for engagements across faith traditions, cultures, gender and age.
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- "National Centre for Clinical Outcomes Research - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.[dead link]
- "Asia-Pacific Centre for Inter-Religious Dialogue - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.[dead link]
- "Learning and Teaching Centre - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Centre of Physical Activity Across the Lifespan - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.[dead link]
- "Plunkett Centre for Ethics - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.[dead link]
- "Institute for Advancing Community Engagement - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Archived from the original on 4 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Public Policy Institute - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.[dead link]
- Australian Catholic University
- "Student Support and Admin - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.[dead link]
- "Beyond Disadvantage - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Beyond Borders - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Archived from the original on 4 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Beyond Differences - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Archived from the original on 4 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- ACU National Handbook
- Australian Higher Education Mergers and Amalgamations 1987-2004