Australian Catholic University (ACU) has begun its search for its next Vice-Chancellor and President. Professor Greg Craven AO, GCSG, who has led ACU through a period of great transformation and growth, will retire in January 2021. We’re looking for an inspiring and innovative leader to continue ACU’s progress as a high performing higher education provider.

Chancellor’s message

Chancellor John Fahey reappointed for a second term The desire to empower our students to make a real impact in the lives of others, combined with our Catholic identity and mission, informs everything we do at ACU.

We are a young and innovative institution, one of the world’s leading Catholic universities, and a distinctive presence on Australia’s higher education landscape. Under the leadership of Professor Greg Craven, our retiring Vice-Chancellor and President, we have enjoyed a period of great transformation and growth. We’ve become a truly national university, with a global presence, growing our student numbers and improving our standing by staying true to our mission, and to the core values of truth, academic excellence and service.

As we have grown, we have affirmed our identity as a Catholic university open to all, putting us in a unique position to produce outcomes that other universities cannot replicate. Across our campuses, we offer world-class courses and state-of-the-art learning facilities that rival Australia’s biggest and best universities. We have bolstered our credentials in teaching and research by engaging some of the world’s leading scholars in a vast array of academic disciplines. Most important of all, we are focused squarely on standing up for people in need, and for causes that matter.

Our leaders need to hold these same values.

Our next Vice-Chancellor and President needs to believe that universities like ours serve chiefly to make a difference to people’s lives. They need to see the value in our global presence, while also recognising the importance of acting locally. And they need to be able to take our university into a new phase of development, with a focus on leading in a manner that is forward thinking, dynamic, effective and impactful.

Leadership in any role is an engaging, challenging and rewarding experience, and we look forward to recruiting a Vice-Chancellor with fresh insights and perspectives to lead ACU.

The Hon John Fahey AC GCSG

The role

the role

As the next Vice-Chancellor and President of ACU, you will be innovative, agile and strategic, with the ability to inspire staff and students. You will continue to lead the transformation of the university and continue ACU’s progress as a high performing higher education provider. In doing so, you will promote and embody the university’s authentically Catholic character and mission and ensure a safe place of work and learning.

In leading by example, you are authentic, collaborative, personable and pastoral - yet firm and decisive as the situation requires. You understand you are part of a team, empowering and supporting others to deliver outcomes and pursue excellence in all areas of the university.

You will be commercially savvy, actively seeking and using data to support decisions and balancing educational, financial and cultural outcomes. As the leader of the university, you will embrace and capitalise on opportunities for change, communicating effectively to influence others and drive innovation.

You will act with courage and with empathy and support the university’s ambition to make an impact and stand up for people in need and causes that matter.

For key responsibilities, selection criteria and conditions of employment, please download our candidate information pack.

How to apply

The university has appointed executive search consultants, Heidrick & Struggles to advise on the appointment. For a confidential discussion contact Bill Kett at Heidrick & Struggles on +61 3 9012 3043 or via email at

Applications close Friday 22 May 2020.

Download candidate information pack

ACU Mission

Great leadership starts with self-knowledge. As a Catholic university, we’re guided by our clear mission, strong sense of identity and firm set of values. All three influence the decisions we make as an institute of higher education, and guide our staff and students in their day-to-day lives.


Our mission statement

Within the Catholic intellectual tradition and acting in Truth and Love, Australian Catholic University is committed to the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good.

About ACU

While we share the essential characteristics of universities around the world – teaching, learning and research – it is our focus that makes us unique. Our spotlight is on people, and the central human questions of meaning, purpose and value.

We pride ourselves on offering a welcoming environment for everyone. At the same time, we are a university committed to standing for something clear. We stand up for people in need and causes that matter. Our students want to make an impact, and we’re giving them the skills to succeed.

We now have eight campuses around Australia, and a campus in Rome, Italy. In 2021, we’ll open our newest campus in Blacktown, Western Sydney. We’re closely integrated into our communities and industries, working with them to answer the big questions, and to create tangible results.

Our research intensification strategy has sought to achieve excellence by focusing on areas of strategic priority, all of which support our overarching commitment to social justice and the common good. These areas of research priority—education, health, and theology and philosophy—align strongly with our mission as a leading Catholic university and with the distinctive profile of our institution.

Internationally, our relationships with more than 200 universities and educational institutions around the world support education abroad, staff mobility, collaborative research, articulation and shared community engagement activities.

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A growing reputation

We’re young, but we’re making our mark on the world stage.

Top 2 % of all universities worldwide
Top 10 Catholic universities
Top 80 Asia-Pacific universities
ACU rankings

Key statistics

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Annual Reports

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Our campuses

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Mission, identity and values

As a Catholic university, we’re guided by our clear mission, strong sense of identity and firm set of values.

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Organisational leadership

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Strategic Plan 2023

Strategic Plan 2023

Our strategic plan introduces a new set of strategic priorities which offer an attuned reflection of our mission and direction.

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