ACU (Australian Catholic University)

ACU Alum

Issue 4, Autumn 2013

Faculty round up


The Faculty of Education is responsive to the needs of our Education community, often working closely with external agencies to develop courses that provide substantial professional development opportunities in specific areas of need.

In 2013 ACU Education (QLD) will again be providing its Return to Teaching in Schools (RTTS) program. The program, designed by ACU in conjunction with Brisbane Catholic Education, meets the RTTS condition set by the Queensland College of Teachers for those who are returning to the classroom or who have had limited recent experience.

Suitable for fully registered teachers from Early Childhood through to Secondary the program covers the key areas of:

Returning to the Profession

  • Effective Teaching
  • Effective Learning
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Classroom Management
  • The Legal Context.

Past participants of the program have been very positive about how valuable their participation has been in easing their transition back into the classroom with evaluation comments including:

"I am pleased that I have done this course because there have been significant changes in education during the past six years, while I have been living and working overseas. I feel more confident in applying for work with this new knowledge and having had the opportunity to reflect on my teaching."

"The classroom management module made me realise why I struggle with classroom management doing relief teaching, and has made me rethink my approach."

Our next Return to Teaching in Schools course begins on 24 June, 2013. For more information about the course please

visit the course website


In response to feedback from the Catholic Education Office Sydney, ACU Education (NSW & ACT) will be offering a fully online Postgraduate Certificate in Education tailored to meet a growing need for professional development in the area of Special Education.

The course allows teachers interested in working with students with diverse learning needs to complete four advanced units of study in Special Education:

  • Contextual Issues for Inclusive Learning
  • Assessment in Inclusive Education
  • Inclusive Teaching Practices
  • Inclusive School Community Practice.

Students will develop specialised knowledge, skills and values in catering for a diverse range of needs. The course links theory, practice and education research to inclusive practices.

For more information about the Postgraduate Certificate in Education please contact Mick Ryan on


Law Induction Week has been a huge success for our inaugural class of 2013 in the Faculty of Law. First-year student and recipient of the ACU Executive Dean of Law Scholarship, Carly Prescott, shares her experience.

Full name:Carly Rebekah Prescott


Degree program:Bachelor of Law/ Bachelor of Arts

High school:Ringwood Secondary College, Victoria

Why did you chose to study law?

"After being introduced to legal issues through year 12 legal studies, I chose to pursue law at a tertiary level, believing it would be a good career path and would broaden my opportunities later in life."

Why did you choose to study at ACU?

"There were a number of factors that influenced my decision to study law at ACU. The relatively small intake of first year students, and aim for a more intimate teaching style appealed to me not only as an effective learning environment, but also as a way to develop solid friendships with my peers. Furthermore, I feel that the university's focus on ethics and morals, together with its strong community focus and emphasis on pro bono work, will prepare me to build my own career upon positive, community-focused values."

What would you like to do when you graduate?

"When I graduate, I hope to work in areas of human rights, perhaps advocating the importance of justice, and the accessibility of law in  remote Indigenous communities. I also hope to teach at some stage down the track, preferably at a VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) level."

What was the best part of Law Induction Week and why?

"I would say that the most exciting part of Law Induction Week was meeting so many new people, including both the academic staff and my peers for the next five years. I was able to connect with a number of my fellow students, and have already developed friendships that I feel will grow throughout the course, which makes officially beginning my university studies much less daunting."

Law Induction Week offers students a unique introduction to the study of law at ACU and is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge essential to their studies and future careers. All students participated in an intensive week of introductory subjects to the study of law, which included statutory interpretation, the development of case law and the doctrine of precedent.

Run for the first time in early 2013, Executive Dean, Professor Brian Fitzgerald was proud of the event's impact.

"It was fantastic to see the students participate with such enthusiasm making it a great experience for all involved," he said.

"Law Induction Week has been a great way of bringing students together and will provide them with enhanced skills and knowledge before they begin the semester."


The 11th Motor Control and Human Skill Conference will be held at ACU's Melbourne Campus in November. The conference, which is hosted by the School of Psychology,  will bring together Australian and international researchers involved in the study of motor control and human skill.

Covering a diverse range of disciplines, the conference attracts researchers studying psychology, electrical and mechanical engineering, human movement studies, occupational and physiotherapy, neurology and kinesiology.

The 2013 Motor Control and Human Skill Conference will include presentations from keynote speakers Professor Rich Masters, Assistant Director of the Institute of Human Performance at the University of Hong Kong, and Professor Bert Steenbergen, Directing Member of the Behavioural Science Institute at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

A selection of oral papers will be published in a special issue of the Human Movement Science Journal. The Denis Glencross Student Prize for the best student poster, in association with Curtin University, will also be offered at the ACU hosted event.

Contributors submitting an abstract for the conference should designate which category (oral or poster) is preferred. Abstracts should not exceed 400 words, should include sub-headings (Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion), and be in 12-point font. They should include the title of the presentation, author(s), author affiliation, postal and email address, telephone and fax numbers. ACU alumni with an interest in the scientific study of motor control and skill are encouraged to attend the full three day conference or attend a single day.

Founded in 1991, The Motor Control and Human Skill Conference was established by the late Professor Denis Glencross, whose vision was for new and established researchers in the area of motor control to gather and discuss their common research interests. The biennial event has grown to be recognised as an excellent forum for cutting edge research, attracting researchers both local and international.

For more information and to register for the Conference please visit motorcontrolandhumanskillconference.


ACU's MBA program has been awarded Top 10 status in CEO Magazine's Australian MBA rankings.

Ranked seventh place, The International Graduate Forum's (IGF) CEO Magazine placed ACU's MBA in the top 20 programs reviewed in 2012.

"IGF wanted to develop a set of MBA rankings for CEO Magazine that truly reflect the qualities and values that students seek in a business school," said Victor Callender, CEO of International Graduate Forum and CEO Magazine.

"Based on research conducted with past and present students, two key areas came to the fore – the quality of the in-class experience and the quality of the teaching faculty.

"Metrics such as smaller class sizes, student work experience, international diversity within the classroom, faculty-to-student ratio, and faculty qualifications, both academically and professionally, are given considerable weighting.

"With competition between business schools continuing to increase, it is important for schools to understand what students really want. The schools that have been ranked highly by the IGF in CEO Magazine have been successful in this goal. "Our aim is to highlight the schools that offer exceptional value and increase choice for our readers when facing the important decision of where to study their MBA."

The IGF has been designed to give high potential managers a 360-degree view of the world's leading business schools. The IGF's MBA rankings are an integral component in the decision-making process for high-potential and future managers, providing an important, independent benchmark of performance. Schools selected for inclusion have demonstrated  high level of innovation and thought leadership and offer significant value to students.

ACU scored particularly well in areas relating to MBA cohorts (class size, male-to-female ratio, international diversity and work experience) and the quality of the faculty.

The ACU MBA program aims to challenge, empower and inspire graduates to make a positive difference for self and society, and is focused on developing responsible, ethical and sustainable business programs for leaders of the future. Scholarships for ACU's MBA program are available, with eligibility considered on the grounds of academic achievement, professional experience and a commitment to making a positive contribution to self and society.

Alumni are welcome to apply and personal consultations are available on your local campus or at your premises. Prospective students are asked to contact our MBA Client Service Office on 1300 615 511 or email


The Faculty of Health Sciences is adding weight to its reputation as a provider of applied sports science programs in 2014 with the introduction of a suite of programs in High Performance Sport*.

These programs – Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of High Performance Sport – aim to help students develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance the conditioning of high performance athletes in order to optimise individual and team performance. The programs do so in an ethical manner characterised by a concern for respect, equity and social justice. Offered over one, two and three semesters (full-time or part-time equivalent) the courses will run at ACU's Brisbane, Melbourne and Strathfield campuses.

The majority of content is delivered online making these new programs particularly suitable for people already in the workforce. They include the opportunity for an industry-based project or internship, and are designed to accommodate specific career, industry and vocational needs of the individual student.

ACU's latest offerings in High Performance Sport address leadership and ethical practice within the culture of high performance sport as critical to developing professionals in the industry. With a focus on world's best practice in sports science and cross-discipline exchange of knowledge, these programs deliver contemporary theory and practice relevant to athletic conditioning, sports performance, and the reduction of injury and illness. Leading-edge sports technology combined with advanced research and data analysis techniques provide the working practitioner with the skills to collect and accurately interpret competition and training information, as well as being a pathway to further research study.

For students interested in following a more clinical-based program, the Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology provides students with training and clinical experience in exercise prescription and rehabilitation to follow a career as a clinical exercise physiologist. For the first time, this year the School of Exercise Science is able to offer Commonwealth Supported Places for its Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology course which is offered in Melbourne and Strathfield.

Additionally the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine has this year introduced a revised suite of postgraduate courses for graduates of a health discipline or equivalent. The School now offers Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Master courses in Clinical Education, Clinical Nursing and Health Administration.

ACU domestic alumni are eligible for a 10 per cent discount in postgraduate studies if they enrol in any of these courses.

For further information visit

the Faculty's postgraduate courses website

or email:

*Subject to course approval.


Being Christian in a Christian minority World

Asia has emerged as a model for learning to live as a Christian in a multi-religious world. Dr Gemma Tulud Cruz and Dr Edmund Chia travel to India and find, when it comes to religious differences, people are learning to get along.

In the past decades Asia has emerged in Christian circles as a locus or model for learning to live as a Christian in a multireligious world. Nowhere is this more clearly the case than in India.

Not only is India home to the many religions of the world, it is also the womb from which they arose. While the headlines have focused on the country's interreligious conflicts, what does not get reported is that India is also a place where one learns to live in harmony with peoples of other religions.

We travelled to India for lectures at two Protestant seminaries. At Assam in northeast India we were at a college where more than 250 mostly tribal students from Nagaland are studying.

While it is striking to see something akin to a mission compound, what is even more striking is that this "Christian village" is in the middle of a larger village which is predominantly Hindu and Muslim. Ninety per cent of the seminary's non-academic staff are not Christian. A spouse of one of the ministers teaches at the neighbourhood Catholic school, where only a handful of the students are Christian, the rest being mainly children of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and peoples of the indigenous traditions.

Kolkata, our next stop, presents a starker picture of an interreligious way of life.  

Everyone in India knows Mother Teresa as Mother and her tomb is a place of pilgrimage for hundreds on a daily basis. At the Missionaries of Charity's motherhouse we overheard a gentleman attired in the Muslim jubba and skull-cap say to the Sister-on-duty, "I am only a servant of Allah, but Mother is a saint". The entrance to the Sisters' convent had a "Do not spit, holy place" sign, indicating the city and the community's recognition and respect for Mother Teresa and charitable work continues to inspire even after 60 years.

At noontime we heard the bells of the convent toll and witnessed the nuns stopping their work to pray the Angelus. Almost in unison the sound of the Muslim azhan or call to prayer came piercing through the Kolkata air.

As we sat there reflecting on the symphony of the prayers the experience was, quite frankly, profound. There is a sense of the sacred as well s power and beauty in joining and hearing people pray in unison, especially when it is literally in different tongues and through diverse religious ways. The fact that all this is happening amid the din and commotion of the city's traders peddling their goods, cars and rickshaw horns, crying children, and drums from wedding processions, shows the sacred is intermingling with the mundane and the profane to produce a harmonious rhythm of life in a city where the Ganges flows.

In Kolkata – a city of 14 million people – Mother Teresa's community highlights not only the Church's teaching on preferential option for the poor but also the respect for peoples of other religions. In the words of Mother herself: "God created us all to love and be loved . . . we are all His children – Hindu, Muslim, or Christian."

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