Today marks the end of Lent 2018 (the 40 days of Lent commenced on Wednesday 14 February). Lent is a period for reflecting on our faith and our relationship with God; fasting, albeit in our own small way by giving up something like alcohol, chocolate or even Facebook; and giving to those less fortunate than ourselves.
During Lent, the ACU community found a variety of ways to reflect, fast and give. Many of our staff and students participated in ‘40 things for 40 days’, an initiative of Campus Ministry which encourages us to give one thing each day to those in need.
On the St Patrick’s Campus for instance, staff donated household items for those newly arrived in Australia to help them set up homes and, importantly, experience a warm welcome from the ACU community. Our staff and students, individually and collectively, participated in Caritas’ Project Compassion Appeal, raising much-needed funds to help the world’s poorest communities. Some of us had the great privilege of speaking to communities around Melbourne to share the great stories of the work done by Caritas with the funds raised by this collective effort across Australia. Many more of the ACU family made their own contributions of money, resources, time and compassion in their local communities.
ACU Engagement, together with our colleagues at Campus Ministry, would like to thank our staff and students for all you have done to support others during the Lenten season. We hope that you will feel inspired to continue to find ways to make a contribution to improving the lives of those around you – both spiritually and physically – and that you will enjoy participating in the range of activities that we are planning for the remainder of 2018.
For those who didn’t find an opportunity to give during Lent, and those who feel inspired to keep giving, it is never too late. In fact, daylight savings ends at 2am on Easter Sunday so all of us in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT will have an extra hour to fill on Sunday. Perhaps we could use that extra hour to do something to help others and to keep the spirit of last week’s Random Acts of Kindness Day alive? The smallest gesture can make a difference to those who we reach out to – take a box of chocolates to someone who is home alone at Easter, have a conversation with someone you usually walk past in a hurry, offer to help someone with a difficult task.
If you or your team would like to be involved in a project to help others in our community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a story to tell?
ACU Engagement doesn’t own community engagement. Our role is to support, facilitate and celebrate the community engagement activities of all ACU students and staff. If you have a story to tell about a community engagement activity that you, your staff, or your students have participated in, please contact us on email@example.com. We would love to help you share your stories with the ACU community.
ACU Community Impact Network
The ACU Community Impact Network (ACU CIN) meets quarterly to discuss community engagement initiatives and how the initiative could be coordinated nationally to enable all ACU staff the opportunity to contribute or get involved. The ACU CIN are looking for an ACU staff member with a passion for grassroots community engagement initiatives located on the Ballarat Campus and North Sydney campuses to join the team.
To express your interest in joining the network, get in touch with Nicole Murphy Nicole.Murphy@acu.edu.au, Research Engagement/Grants Officer, ACU Engagement.
Meet Penny Daly
Hi ACU. I am the Senior Community Engagement Officer for ACU Engagement. My role involves looking at best practice standards to formulate policies and procedures to support ACU Engagement. New to this role, though I am not new to ACU. I completed my first degree at ACU back when the Melbourne Campus was in the carpark of Chadstone Shopping Centre! I have been an active Alumni ever since and it is great to see the University growing so much.
I come from the not-for-profit community sector, with some time in Government thrown in. My work has been focused on youth and families. I started working in the disability field and for the last decade have worked in Australia and overseas with asylum seekers. Most recently I have been working in the alcohol and other drug sector and at Justice Health in strategy and policy roles.
I look forward to assisting ACU Engagement give staff, student and Alumni authentic opportunities to make a difference to those in need.
Opportunities to make a difference
ACU Engagement is committed to ensuring that all ACU staff and students have the opportunity to make a contribution to their community that is feasible and meaningful to them, whilst meeting community needs in a way that is valuable and respectful. We encourage you to find a current opportunity from the list below and make a difference in your community!
Donation Opportunity - Melbourne Campus In the spirit of giving, Campus Ministry and ACU Engagement are hosting a sharing activity until Easter. Thank you to everyone who has kindly donated their household items over the past few weeks. If you have any items to donate, please take them to the Mezzanine area over the chapel just outside Campus Ministry Melbourne so they can be made available to newly-arriving students and staff. Please bring items such as manchester (e.g. blankets, bedroom linen, pillows, towels) or kitchen items (e.g. cutlery, crockery, cups, mugs, serving ware). No electrical items accepted.
Donation Opportunity - Ballarat Campus A reminder to bring your good quality clothing items (and particularly new socks) to the pop-up shop for the homeless. You can find the collection point at the Concierge desk.
Volunteer Opportunity - Foodbank (NSW) Foodbank NSW is reliant on volunteers to help fight hunger, so your time volunteering will make a huge difference.
Volunteer Opportunity - Conversation Club (NSW) The Strathfield Conversation Club Program is a weekly program aimed at reducing social isolation and building confidence in conversational English for adults from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Volunteer Opportunity - Chatterbox Café (NSW) Chatterbox Café is a weekly program for adults looking to improve their English language skills.
For more information, to register your interest for any of these opportunities, or if you are aware of more opportunities you think we should know about, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org