ACU (Australian Catholic University)

ACU Alum

Issue 5, Spring 2013


Finalists of two prestigious painting prizes

ACU academic, Prudence Flint, was announced finalist of two of the most prestigious painting prizes in Australia:

The Sir John Sulman Prize and The Archibald Prize. The Sir John Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist. The Archibald Prize, which usually depicts a notable person in the arts, science or politics, is awarded annually to the best portrait.

Ms Flint, who is a sessional lecturer in 2D Studies at ACU’s Melbourne Campus, approaches her paintings in an open-ended way. Her works Ukulele, which was a finalist in the Archibald Prize, and Queen Anne mirror, which was selected as a finalist for the Sulman Prize, are part of an ongoing series of paintings of women playing musical instruments in front of mirrors.

“I like the way this creates an active private world,” she said.

“I chose to compose the figure in this way because a certain proximity and intimacy needed to be maintained between the figure, the objects on the table and the space of the room. You are lured into the painting on its own terms – I don’t want the paint strokes to create any pointless drama. I want the tension to be between the things that are open and free, and the things that are closed and held. The objects on the table make a kind of metaphoric sense to me.”

Ms Flint won the 2009 Portia Geach Memorial Award, was a finalist in the 2006 Archibald Prize and in 2004 won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. Her 12th solo show will take place in October 2013, exhibiting in Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart.

Gold medal win at world uni games

ACU student Madison Wilson has entered the senior international swimming ranks after winning gold at the 27th Universiade in Kazan, Russia. Madison, who won the women’s 200-metre backstroke, studies a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) at the University’s Brisbane Campus.

The 19-year-old Queenslander beat her previous personal best by almost four seconds, hitting the wall in 2:09.22 to steal the win ahead of rivals Daryna Zavina (Ukraine) and Australian teammate Hayley White. Madison’s win was the first gold medal won by an ACU student at Universiade, and it placed her fourth for all time best 200-metre time by an Australian, and fifth Australian to swim under the 2.10 minute mark for this event.

She also won a bronze medal in the women’s 100-metre backstroke and women’s 50-metre backstroke. Madison’s first international competition was at the 2005 Pacific School Games in Melbourne. In 2010, she won the National Age Group Championships in the 100-metre backstroke and picked up two relay gold medals in the Youth Olympics.

Madison is currently training at St Peter’s Western Swim Club in Brisbane and is coached by Michael Bohl, an internationally renowned swim coach. She aspires to make her first Commonwealth Games team in Glasgow next year. ACU had two other students competing in Kazan – Keiran Qaium in swimming and Amanda Holt in sport shooting.

Amanda, studying a Bachelor of Nursing at ACU’s Ballarat Campus, finished 18th in the women’s trap, and Keiran, studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at ACU’s North Sydney Campus, made it to the semi-finals of the men’s 200-metre butterfly.

The David Malouf Symposium 

ACU partnered with the Association for the Study of Australian Literature to present a day devoted to the celebration of David Malouf and his writing.

The event – a precursor to the artist’s 80th birthday in 2014 – was held at ACU’s North Sydney Campus in May and attracted more than 100 attendees.

Papers covered a range of aspects in Malouf’s work including his juvenilia (Dr Yvonne Smith), his early poetry (Associate Professor James Tulip), the role of the suburb in Johnno (Dr Brigid Rooney) and the characteristics in Malouf’s work that set him apart from other writers (Professor Nicholas Jose).

The conference papers will be included in an edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL), to be edited by Michael Griffith and Elaine Lindsay (co-organisers of the Symposium). The Symposium had an international aspect with a tribute from noted literary theorist and author, Ihab Hassan, and a Skype interview with Irish writer Colm Tóibín, recorded with Michael Griffith.

Malouf was present throughout the day, conversing with speakers and registrants alike.

The afternoon ended with the author reading a selection of his poetry and responding to the papers in a wide-ranging conversation with Professor Ivor Indyk and the audience.

The David Malouf Symposium offered readers, academics, teachers and students a unique opportunity to spend a day in the company of one of Australia’s foremost authors, discussing his work and realising, as Dr Smith subsequently noted, “a better sense of researching in a broader community”

A celebration of faith in South America 

From beautiful beaches to spectacular mountains, from the remains of lost civilisations to endless jungles – South America is a continent brimming with beauty and deep faith. Interested ACU students were invited to discover and celebrate the continent on a recent pilgrimage through Peru, Brazil and Chile.

The pilgrimage, which took place over 23 days, started in Peru where 42 students and staff participated in building projects in the shanty towns of the capital Lima. Moving on to Rio, celebration was in the air while the students participated in World Youth Day’s Week of Faith.

The event concluded with a retreat in Chile. Some students found the journey humbling. Speaking about the mission projects undertaken in Lima, Bachelor of Education student Amelia Lai, explained that even though children go without a lot of basic necessities, they have amazing spirit.

“The children all want to help, everyone is really involved and there is a lot of community spirit here,” she said.

“It’s really beautiful to see that because some places in Australia you don’t really see that often. They make the most of everything through hard work and a positive attitude.”

“The way that the people are here is such an eye-opening experience, because they’ve got nothing yet they’re so willing to help,” said another Education student, Greg Sciortino.

“It really touches you and it makes you realise how lucky you are.”

To read about the students’ experiences, visit ACU’s WYD blog.

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