A message from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Teaching & Learning) Professor Anne Cummins: During January 2017, I had the great pleasure to deliver the Core Curriculum unit UNCC300 to ACU students in Rome and London.
At the Rome Centre, students enthusiastically engaged with lectures by Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor and President, Fr Anthony Casamento, Director Identity and Mission and myself. Professor Craven spoke on the topic of Human Dignity and the Law and challenged students to consider understandings of human dignity that also had to confront challenges to definitions of Human Rights and Freedom of Speech. Throughout their classes, students considered various questions on human existence, dignity, meaning and purpose within the contemporary world. Students were required to put into practice their newfound learnings and knowledge by assisting the Community of Sant’ Egidio with their food distribution to the homeless, as well as visiting camps in the local area where immigrants and gypsies reside.
In London, I was joined by Ms Evelyn Picot, Director, Office of Student Success to deliver the Core program at Heythrop College, London. Guest lectures were presented by Mgr Roger Reader and Richard Wealleans . Mgr Reader is the current Catholic Bishops’ Prison Advisor and provides pastoral and spiritual support to prisoners in England and Wales. Richard Wealleans has worked with homeless people for over 20 years and currently manages the Employment Training and Welfare Team at The Passage.
Students were highly engaged, committed and active in their studies and their practical experiences working with local religious communities to serve the underprivileged. Students visited the Catholic Worker Farm which provides accommodation, food, English lessons and counselling for female asylum seekers and their children with the aim to live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ.
Throughout their experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, students brought their own views and experience to tackle complex ideas and contemporary social issues. In Latin, cor means ‘heart.’ At ACU we firmly believe that education is as much about your heart as your head and I look forward to seeing the continuing success of the Core Curriculum program in years to come.