Our vision is for mission-driven engagement to be embedded into every facet of ACU; in how we teach, in how our students learn, in how and what we research, and how we interact with the world. 

Our work is to facilitate, communicate, collaborate and celebrate community engagement and research engagement at ACU. We function as a centre of expertise that works with internal and external stakeholders to build and support the University’s community engagement and research engagement programs and culture within the communities we are located. Through this work we affirm human dignity and pursue social justice, all in advancement of the common good.

Read the ACU Engagement Strategy 2021-2024


How we're working toward our vision

Community engagement

We are committed to ensuring that all ACU students and staff have the opportunity to make a contribution to their community that is feasible and meaningful to them, and that meets community needs in a way that is valuable and respectful.

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Research engagement

We develop policies and strategies to increase research engagement and impact and work with Faculties and Institutes to encourage, facilitate and promote research engagement and impact outcomes. We also collect and report engagement and impact data.

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Community giving

Community giving is more than charity. It allows us to contribute to the common good through building ongoing relationships with external organisations that work with those experiencing disadvantage or marginalisation.

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Community-initiated research

Through the facilitation of community-initiated research projects, the Stakeholder Engaged scholarship Unit provides scholarly expertise and research assistance to organisations working in areas that are central to ACU’s Mission and ethos.

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Empowerment through education

Clemente Australia offers an academically approved university course for Australians who would otherwise be excluded from tertiary education opportunities, with the aim of breaking down cycles of poverty, inequality and injustice.

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Exploring community engagement

In 2019 ACU and DePaul University came together to celebrate the significant achievements that stem from partnerships between university and community and explore some of the contemporary challenges of university-community engagement.

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Community Engagement

Partner with us

ACU has a nationwide network of over 35,000 people that could bring capacity to your organisation. We invite community organisations supporting those experiencing disadvantage or marginalisation to consider a partnership with us.

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Meet the ACU Engagement team

Our passionate team has a presence on all campuses and works to facilitate, communicate, collaborate and celebrate community engagement and research engagement at ACU.


Professor Sandra Jones

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) - Melbourne

Professor Sandra Jones is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) at ACU. Her role provides leadership, advice and support for our community engagement strategy – including strategic frameworks that implement the new measurement of research engagement and impact.

Prior to her current appointment Sandra was the Director of ACU’s Centre for Health and Social Research (CHaSR), a research centre focused on social marketing and community-based research.

Sandra joined ACU in 2014 after more than a decade as the Founding Director of Australia’s largest social marketing research group at the University of Wollongong. Her research foci are: public understanding and acceptance of autism, and autistic people’s lived experiences of inclusion and exclusion; and the development and delivery of community-based health and social programs.


Lisa Lavey

National Operations Manager - Melbourne

Lisa joined ACU Engagement on the Melbourne campus in June 2019. She has extensive administration management and executive support experience in universities and other organisations and enjoys working in an environment where she can make a difference Lisa comes to us from Monash University School of Rural Health, located in Bendigo, Victoria where she was Research Administration Manager for the past 14 years.



Josh Beard

Senior Designer - Melbourne

Josh joined ACU in 2014 developing materials for the Centre for Health and Social Research across numerous social marketing and community engagement projects. Having previously worked in a similar capacity for University of Wollongong’s Centre for Health Initiatives, he has experience in design for both community and research engagement. With a wide design scope Josh creates effective communication channels between communities and researchers to facilitate collaborative knowledge transfer.



Felicity Rose

Administration and Project Officer - Melbourne

Felicity Rose joined ACU Engagement in June 2018, having worked as an Executive Officer in the Office of the Provost at ACU since July 2013. She has a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy and an Advanced Diploma of Business (Legal Practice) and has worked in a variety of roles in the legal, environment and tertiary education sectors for over 20 years.

She has a strong desire to use her skills to help address disadvantage in society, and enjoys being part of a team which makes a meaningful difference to the world in which we live.


Dr Matthew Pink

National Community Engagement Manager - Brisbane

Dr Matthew Pink is the National Community Engagement Manager, ACU Engagement. Matthew's areas of interest include the transformational, logistical, and reciprocal processes of university-community engagement, and the pairing of sport/exercise with educational opportunities for groups who have experienced disadvantage or marginalisation. Matthew has worked with ACU since 2011 in various academic and community engagement roles and received his doctorate from ACU in 2016.



Dr Jen Azordegan

Evaluation and Strategic Projects Manager - Brisbane

Jen joined ACU in 2019 with over a decade of experience in teaching, research and project roles in Australian higher education, particularly in the area of teacher education. She previously was an education policy researcher in the US and trained as a primary school teacher. She completed her PhD at QUT in 2019, which explored the complexities of school-family relationships with parents from a refugee background.

Jen is passionate about the role of educational institutions in building social cohesion and fostering greater inclusion of children, youth and families from diverse and marginalised communities in the educational process.



Dr Chloe Gordon

Research Associate - Melbourne

Dr Chloe Gordon is a Research Associate at the Melbourne Campus. She is a qualified teacher and holds a PhD in Education/Public Health from the University of Wollongong.

Chloe joined ACU in 2014 as a casual professional within the Centre for Health and Social Research. She is passionate about using research to improve the health, education and social outcomes of vulnerable populations. Chloe is particularly interested in child and adolescent health and wellbeing.



Miranda Bush

Senior Community Engagement Officer - North Sydney  (on Maternity Leave until January 2022)

Miranda joined ACU Engagement on the North Sydney Campus in 2018, coming to ACU from the not-for-profit sector, having worked in community-focused organisations for the past 10 years. Miranda is passionate about education and social impact initiatives and enjoys being part of a team that strives to have a positive impact on the lives of others.



Patricia Garcia

Senior Community Engagement Officer - Strathfield

Patricia joined ACU Engagement in 2020, she highly values education, equity and community. Having worked in Widening Participation in the tertiary sector for over 8 years, Patricia has extensive knowledge on the diversity of her student cohort and the differing needs of individuals and their communities. With a Social Work background, Patricia is dedicated to exposing structural barriers that hinder individuals and communities thriving.



Lisa Carzino

Senior Community Engagement Officer - Melbourne

Lisa Carzino is the Senior Community Engagement Officer at Melbourne campus. She has over ten years’ experience across the education sector in a variety of student services, communications and administration roles. Most recently, she worked at Deakin University in the School of Psychology where she held roles in HDR student coordination, and project and executive support.

Lisa is passionate about education which engages students in their learning and connects with our broader community.



Caroline Allen

Senior Community Engagement Officer - Blacktown

Caroline joined ACU Engagement in 2020 working at the Blacktown campus. Originally from the UK, she is passionate about community engagement and the impact that working with community has on students. Caroline spent seven years at Western Sydney University working for The Academy program and most recently in community engagement. Prior to that, she worked for over a decade in marketing and program management for the State Government. She graduated with a Masters of Education (Social Ecology) in 2019.



Kimberley Fort

Senior Community Engagement Officer - Brisbane

Kimberley joins ACU Engagement with a background in youth mental health, tertiary institutions and teaching. In her previous role, working with the Student Enrichment team, she had the opportunity to nurture and build strong community partnerships with a wide range of staff, students and external groups.

Kimberley has a passion for connecting young people with services that bring social change and positive impact.



Alicia Bettles

Senior Community Engagement Officer – Brisbane

Alicia has joined the Brisbane ACU Engagement team after working across the university and vocational sector in QLD and NSW. In previously expanding pathways from school to further education and delivering a range of projects within student support and community development, she is now excited to connect this work to ACU’s agenda of social justice. Alicia is passionate about creating spaces that invite participatory engagement and support the empowerment and well-being of individuals and their broader communities.



Nicola Tait

Senior Community Engagement Officer – Canberra

Nicola joined ACU Engagement in 2018 as the Senior Community Engagement Officer at the Canberra campus. She has a strong background in accessibility and inclusion for tertiary students, including the role of Disability Advisor at ACU where she was able to build relationships with students, staff and the community.

Nicola is passionate about supporting people experiencing marginalisation and disadvantage and enthusiastic to connect staff and students with engagement opportunities in the local community.



Bree Seamer

Senior Community Engagement Officer - Ballarat

Bree joins us after many years as a community engagement officer at local Government in the western suburbs of Melbourne. She has a background in community development, focusing on inclusion for people who have a disability, as well social services in various roles, including volunteer and recruitment management, home care and case management both in Australia and the UK and writing social policy.

Bree is passionate about bringing people together to promote opportunities for others and achieve great community outcomes.



Eleanor Duggan

Community Engagement Officer - Melbourne

Eleanor joined the ACU Engagement team in Melbourne during July 2019 from the education sector. She is an accomplished educational program manager with over ten years of experience. Eleanor is driven to empower our young (and the ‘young at heart’!) to reach their potential through the provision of educational programs and pathways. Working in community engagement, Eleanor will be putting her passion into practice by supporting programs and placements for both staff and students of ACU.



Annie Dunn

Community Engagement Administration Officer – Brisbane

Annie joined ACU Engagement in 2020 and brings with her a background in working with young people and families in schools and community-based organisations. Having worked in the not-for-profit sector for a number of years Annie is passionate about organisations working together to build strong and thriving communities. Annie will be supporting the Community Engagement team in Brisbane.

Jeanine Parsons

Jeanine Parsons

Research Engagement Manager - North Sydney

Jeanine is the Research Engagement Manager. Her role provides leadership, advice and support to ACU’s research engagement strategy; she also has oversight of the Stakeholder Engaged Scholarship Unit. She worked for ACU Research between 2014 and 2018—most recently as Senior Manager, Research Services—and has over 20 years’ experience in higher education administration. Jeanine is committed to growing and promoting the impact that ACU’s research has on society.


Vivien Cinque

Manager, Stakeholder Engaged Scholarship Unit - North Sydney

Vivien Cinque is the Manager of the Stakeholder Engaged Scholarship Unit (SESU) and is based at ACU’s North Sydney Campus. Vivien works closely with the Research Engagement Manager to oversee the work of the SESU and ensure strategic and operational activities are appropriately planned, resourced and implemented. Vivien has six years of experience in the tertiary education sector and has been with the ACU Engagement Team since 2018. Vivien is committed to the establishment of mutually-beneficial partnerships that achieve important social, cultural and economic impacts.


Jillian Cox

Dr Jillian Cox

Administration and Research Officer - Melbourne

Jillian Cox is the Administration and Research Officer to the Stakeholder Engaged Scholarship Unit (SESU). She holds a PhD in Theology from Monash University and brings to ACU eight years of experience in research, teaching and administrative roles in the tertiary education sector.

With a background in the humanities and social sciences, Jillian is passionate about research that engages the big questions of our time and produces outcomes that create fullness of life for communities experiencing disadvantage.

Jillian is committed to working with new and existing partners on projects that make a measurable impact to communities and address the most pressing social, cultural and economic challenges.

Office locations

Visit us today to learn more about how we can help you connect with your community or improve your research engagement and impact outcomes.

1200 Mair Street, Ballarat (114.G.06)

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22 Main Street, Blacktown NSW

1100 Nudgee Road, Banyo (200.1.05)

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223 Antill Street, Watson, ACT, 2602 (302.2.23)

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Level 2, 340 Albert St, East Melbourne (462.2.01)

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Level 8, 23 Berry Street, North Sydney (530.8.06)

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Level 1, Edmund Rice Building, 25A Barker Rd, Strathfield (600.1.12)

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Our commitment to reconciliation

ACU Engagement is committed to implementing, promoting and ensuring the success of ACU’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Our Unit Implementation Plan will ensure our team remains committed to the RAP and that our contribution is tangible.

Read the ACU Engagement RAP Unit Implementation Plan

For more information, please contact us.

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