ACU Thai-Burma program receives prestigious award
ACU’s Thai-Burma Program was recently awarded the Mutual Development through Relationship Award at the Palms Australia 2nd Annual Solidarity Awards – held at Lachlan’s Old Government House in Sydney.
For more than 10 years, ACU has been offering tertiary education to Burmese refugees and migrants through the establishment of a study centre, incorporating computer and internet access, accommodation and food for camp-based refugees on the Thai-Burma border.
ACU has also developed a Diploma in Liberal Studies with input from refugees and local leaders, resulting in a good overall academic education for refugee and migrant communities whose intellectual capital has been compromised through resettlement.
ACU’s Thai-Burma Program qualified for the award as it demonstrates sustainable development to build the skills and abilities of individuals and organisations through long-term relationships.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Head of School Professor Jan Seruga accepted the award on behalf of the program.
Palms Australia was established in 1961 by recruiting volunteers in Papua New Guinea. Palms provides volunteers cooperating across cultures to achieve a just, inter-dependant, sustainable and peaceful world free of poverty.
FAS lecturer Duncan MacLaren was a keynote speaker for the event. He has served as Secretary General for Caritas Internationalis, the world's most extensive aid and development network, in Rome.
Mr MacLaren coordinates ACU’s Refugee Program on the Thai-Burma border, which is assisted by Palms volunteers.