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Australian Catholic University annual review 2008

Public forums

Most of the following engagements with the community, consistent with the University’s Mission, were initiatives of the two driving forces of the Goals Committee and the Institute for Advancing Community Engagement (IACE), which inspired willing participation by ACU staff, students and the wider world.


  • Dare to Make a Difference social justice forums presented by Adjunct Professor Robert Fitzgerald on all campuses, as a response to the Catholic Bishops Social Justice Statement of 2008
  • Transforming Education: a right for people, communities and nations public forums to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


  • How have the anti-terrorism laws impacted on human rights in Australia? coordinated by the University’s Institute of Legal Studies and Students for Awareness, with keynote addresses by Julian Burnside QC and Phoebe Knowles
  • Childhood Rediscovered, an historical studies conference organised by Professor Margot Hillel OAM and Professor Shurlee Swain
  • Conscientious Objection symposium, providing an opportunity for reasoned discussion of the Victorian Government’s Abortion Law Reform Bill
  • VII International Abraham Conference, a collaborative conference organised by the University’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue, together with the Australian Inter-cultural Society, the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University and its Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology, and the Ecumenical Interfaith Commission.


  • Globalisation for the Common Good, with Oxford founder of the initiative, Dr Kamran Mofid, world-renowned globalisation, economics and interfaith specialist, and representatives of a number of inter-faith, Islamic and Columban Mission centres
  • children’s literature conference hosted in partnership with the Edmund Rice Centre, centring on the values of literature that ”speaks of justice”, and involving award-winning Australian authors, ACU students and more than 120 visiting school teachers, librarians and academics
  • first international youth forum for the Maronite Church, with 100 global visitors including the Maronite Patriarch and bishops
  • seventh annual Colloquium of the Golding Centre for Women’s History, Theology and Spirituality
  • Young Muslims Leadership Program
  • Forum Calling for Climate Justice, where Indigenous peoples of Pacific Islands spoke publicly on their experience with rising sea levels, hosted by the University’s Institute for Advancing Community Engagement, part of the Pacific Island Partnership, an initiative of the Edmund Rice Centre.


  • Social Justice Youth Forum for senior secondary school students, with keynote speaker Father Chris Riley of the Youth off the Streets program
  • One God in a Divided World,a series of public lectures presented by ACU with Catenians, and international fraternity of Catholic laity, to discuss the road to goodwill from different religious perspectives.

Download full section on the University's Mission and Identity (PDF, 189kb)