Australian Catholic University
|Australian Catholic University|
Signadou Campus of the Australian Catholic University in Watson, ACT
|Latin: Australiana Catholica Universitas|
|Chancellor||General Peter Cosgrove ACMC|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Greg Craven|
|Location||Brisbane, Sydney (Strathfield and North Sydney), Canberra, Ballarat and Melbourne, Australia|
|Campus||Urban, Suburban, rural|
|Affiliations||Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee, Association of Commonwealth Universities, International Federation of Catholic Universities, New Generation Universities|
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2013)|
Australian Catholic University (ACU) is a national public university. It has six campuses and offers programs in six faculties throughout Australia.
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.
Organisational structure 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2008)|
The Vice-Chancellor as the chief executive officer of ACU is responsible for representing the university both nationally and internationally and for providing strategic leadership and management of the university.
Deputy-Chancellors have delegated responsibility for assigned areas of policy. Associate Vice-Chancellors are based in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. They act as the Vice-Chancellor's representative in their local region, as are the Campus Deans at Ballarat and Canberra.
Each campus has a Student Representative Council and there is a national student body, ACUNSA  (Australian Catholic University National Students’ Association).
ACU has six campuses located in the state capital cities of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, the national capital, Canberra, and the regional centre of Ballarat.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
ACU has 17,508 total students, with 14,490 undergraduates and 3,018 postgraduate students. The student body is 73.90% female and 26.10% male. ACU has more than 15,081 local students - out of which there are 291 Indigenous students - and 2,427 international students.
ACU has 734 academic staff and 647 general staff members.
Australian Catholic University achieved a number of coveted 'five-star' performance ratings in the 2010 edition of The Good Universities Guide.
The university performed particularly well in the area of indigenous participation, with four out of the six campuses receiving the highest ratings in their individual states for this category. Similarly, the university performed strongly in the areas of access and equity and proportion given credit for TAFE studies.
The most recent 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 
Student life 
- The Australian Catholic University National Students’ Association  (ACUNSA) supports the six individual Student Associations to ensure that each campus has a vibrant student life.
- ACUNSA works on a national level to ensure that students have a voice on issues that affect them, and drives a number of projects that improve student life and satisfaction.
- ACUNSA works closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning & Teaching) and the Executive Manager of the Office of Student Success in continuing to improve student services and support.
- Each year ACUNSA organises a national event - in the past these have included: The Big Event, ACU Alive and ACU Games.
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.
Community engagement 
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.
Notable faculty 
- Frank Brennan SJ, AO, professor of law, Institute of Legal Studies and Living National Treasure.
- Raimond Gaita, professor of philosophy at ACU National and King's College London and author of Romulus, My Father.
Notable alumni 
Notable alumni of ACU and its predecessor colleges include:
- Matthew Burke, Australian rugby union player 
- Des Hasler, former rugby league player and coach of Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 
- Justin Madden, former AFL player and Victorian state minister 
- Melina Marchetta, bestselling author of Looking for Alibrandi 
- Morris West, Australian writer 
- Alan Whiticker, published author and rugby league historian
See also 
- "Brisbane Campus - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Archived from the original on 31 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "North Sydney Campus - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Strathfield Campus - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Canberra Campus - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Ballarat Campus - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Archived from the original on 24 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Melbourne Campus - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "a star performer in universities guide - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "AUQA Audit finds ACU National inclusive and pursuing excellence - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Research - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Archived from the original on 19 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Early Christian Studies - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Institute of Child Protection Studies - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Mathematics and Literacy Education Research - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "National Centre for Clinical Outcomes Research - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Asia-Pacific Centre for Inter-Religious Dialogue - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "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.
- "Plunkett Centre for Ethics - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "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.
- "Student Support and Admin - ACU (Australian Catholic University)". ACU. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "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.
- "School of Exercise Science NSW". ACU. Archived from the original on 2006-02-19. Retrieved 2006-06-11.
- "Reflections of Mount St Mary Strathfield". Br Andrew Simpson. Retrieved 2006-06-11.
- "Parliamentary Handbook". Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 2006-06-11.[dead link]
- "The girl most unlikely to...". Sydney Morning Herald. 2003-04-05. Archived from the original on 24 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-15.
- "Mount Royal to Mount Saint Mary". ??. Retrieved 2006-06-11.
- ACU National Handbook
- Australian Higher Education Mergers and Amalgamations 1987-2004