ACU (Australian Catholic University)

ACU Alum

Issue 2, Winter 2012


VC appointed Deputy Chairman of COAG Reform Council

ACU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Craven, has been appointed Deputy Chairman of the COAG Reform Council.

The group aims to assist the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to drive its reform agenda by strengthening public accountability of governments through independent and evidence-based assessment and performance reporting.

Professor Craven was appointed as a highly regarded authority on federalism, government, public policy, and constitutional law and history. He replaces the former Deputy Chairman, Professor Geoff Gallop.

ACU and OBI to establish joint biotech centre

ACU and the O’Brien Institute (OBI) have signed an agreement to establish the joint Centre for Regenerative Wound Healing.

The O’Brien Institute was established more than 40 years ago to promote research and training in microsurgery. It has since made headlines with operations such as Australia’s first hand transplant, the reattachment of a woman's face and the growing of a new ear.

The new Centre, based at St Vincent’s Hospital in Fitzroy, Melbourne, will focus on research, new technologies and health care initiatives in the areas of wound healing and tissue engineering.

Head of the O’Brien Institute, Professor Wayne Morrison, said the presence of ACU allied health professionals and students at St Vincent’s Hospital align perfectly with OBI’s role of translating their research into clinical applications.

Professor Thomas Martin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at ACU, said the agreement would also provide both higher education career pathways and unique research training opportunities for nursing and other allied health students and professionals.

Cardinal Pell blesses Tenison Woods House

His Eminence George Cardinal Pell DD AC and the Honourable Joe Hockey MP blessed and opened ACU's newest acquisition in North Sydney recently.

Mr Hockey said he had been great beneficiary of Catholic education, as had his family.

“This University is a proud part of the North Sydney landscape, it adds so much to my electorate… students here represent an opportunity to provide growth in the community… and energy in the community.”

The building at 8–20 Napier Street has been renamed Tenison Woods House in honour of Father Julian Edmund Tenison Woods. Together with Blessed Mary MacKillop, he founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1866. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven welcomed members of the Tenison Woods family, and said ACU was now the largest English-speaking Catholic university in the world.

“This building gives us a unique opportunity to recognise one of the greatest figures in the history of the Australian Catholic Church and indeed in Australia itself.

“The range of Tenison Woods’ academic work is such that he would, were he alive today, walk into a chair at any university in Australia. 

The University purchased the tower building last year to support its growth plan and expansion of the North Sydney Campus and course offerings.

ACU and Georgetown sign nursing exchange agreement

As of this year, nursing students from ACU will have the opportunity to study at the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven met with Georgetown School of Nursing & Health Studies Dean Martin Iguchi to sign during his recent visit to the United States.

He said the student exchange agreement was a coup for students at both universities, which share a similar Mission and ethos.

“Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, and the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States,” Professor Craven said.

“One of the most obvious similarities between our universities is the correlation between things like social justice and the dignity of the human person.”

“We have common assumptions. If you have common assumptions and different applications, that seems to provide the most fruitful possibilities for collaboration.”

Nursing students from ACU’s North Sydney Campus will have the opportunity to undertake the student exchange semester at Georgetown. The University is also looking at options for other ACU campuses.

Professor Brian Fitzgerald to head new law faculty

Professor Brian Fitzgerald, well-known Intellectual Property and Information Technology lawyer, has been appointed Executive Dean of ACU’s new Faculty of Law.

Professor Fitzgerald joins ACU from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), where he was a specialist Research Professor in Intellectual Property and Innovation, and a pioneer in Internet and Cyber Law.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Griffith University, a Bachelor of Law from QUT, and postgraduate degrees in law from Oxford University and Harvard University.

Professor Fitzgerald said it was an exciting time to be joining a dynamic university.

“The core goals of ACU - commitment to human dignity and respect, social justice, ethical practice and public service – are what will make this a tremendous laboratory for legal education.”

Law degrees will commence at the Melbourne Campus in 2013, and in Sydney in 2014.

ACU academic named Smithsonian Scholar 

Associate Professor Lindsay Farrell, Head of the School of Arts and Sciences (QLD), has been awarded a Smithsonian Scholar position at the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Selected from hundreds of international proposals, Associate Professor Farrell’s study The Museums on the Margins will investigate art as a means of social inclusion and wellbeing for the marginalised.

He said the three-month research would also examine the Smithsonian’s social inclusion perspectives, policies and practices.

“For years I have worked with art in prisons, hospitals and marginalised communities, and have developed approaches for evaluating art as a means of social inclusion and wellbeing,” Associate Professor Farrell said. “Museums are also challenged with providing contexts for a range of people, including the marginalised, to engage with ‘life world values’ through art.”

“Art is an important contributor to the wellbeing of the community, and internationally there is general consensus about the importance of art as a means of learning and community engagement.”

“This research will significantly advance knowledge in the development of methods to measure the way art helps with social inclusion and wellbeing on a national and international scale.”

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