Lecturers value what Clemente students bring to their classes and subjects.
All lecturers dream of a class who come because they want to and have done all the reading and are excited and ready to talk about it. In Clemente, you meet such students every week. You come away knowing you're very lucky and with your sense of vocation restored. Sometimes, the sense of a shared purpose is so strong that it seems more like a feeling: like intense contentment or deep joy.
Dr Caroline Masel
Lecturer (Literature)
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Clemente Australia is one of the very best things sponsored by the Australian Catholic University. Students usually come to tertiary education with many advantages – health, training, finely honed social skills, immense support from family and friends – but those who labour under disadvantages can benefit as much, if not more, when brought into a university community.

Professor Kevin Hart 

...These were adult learners, highly intelligent, motivated, and rich in life experience. The atmosphere in the class was generally excellent, students were appreciative and supportive of my work and each other. I found that as the semester went on I realised that at the beginning of each Monday I was really looking forward to the Clemente class. I found myself thinking aha, this is why I like teaching! I enjoyed seeing the group when they came to ACU on Thursday night for their Learning Partner sessions; the students were warm, interesting, engaging people, some of whom needed to move mountains to be there. 

Dr Sue Rechter

Clemente has been, and continues to be, a great privilege for me as an academic and as a person. I didn’t come to uni through a traditional path so I can empathise with many of the struggles that Clemente students have during their journey. I was supported by some academics during my journey and this is a way I can give back. Clemente is a great program that inspires both student and academic. 

It reminds me that each student is on a journey-both seen and unseen-and we need to be mindful of this as we teach. We also need to start seeing small things as achievement markers so that we can engage students to do well in their lives. I am humbled by the students’ trust and their engagement in class encourages me to help mainstream students connect with the units I teach more strongly.
Naomi Wolfe
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One of the most striking things about teaching in Clemente is how eager all the continuing students have been to learn. The students are real life-long learners! So, for me as a person, the students have taught me to always keep learning. As an academic, the students have taught me to engage more with real-world experience. This is not meant to sound trite or patronizing, but more that I need to listen more closely to the way non-sociologists narrate sociology.

Dr Ian Flaherty

One of the best days when teaching a Clemente course is usually the first. Bright eyes, smiles, hands raised, people almost jumping out of their seats. These students want to learn. They have ideas. They have rich life experiences. True, there are interruptions. Yes, attendance and attention can sometimes be patchy and unfortunately poor health, undeveloped academic experience and skill, the responsibilities of daily life or just lack of personal confidence can make it impossible for students to complete a course. But the great thing for the teacher and the students as a whole is the sense of excitement, joy in learning and willingness to embrace the opportunities offered by this course.

Dr Charlotte Clutterbuck

My teaching has been turned on its head. What has thrilled me is the skills and experience Clemente students have. To take part, they have to be able to read a newspaper, but these people have the skills and the language to write a newspaper, to write anything.  It is a privilege to be able to work with our collaborators, learning partners and these students, to be part of something so positive.

Mr Michael Foley

When we enter the Clemente program we enter as strangers., all of us on our own journey, all of us with our own story. Over the course of the program we meet many people from all walks of life, as we get to know them we realise they are now a part of our own journey. Together as we learn, we laugh, we cry and we support each other, soon the strangers that entered are now not only classmates, not only friends but family, the Clemente family, a family I am proud to be part of. 

Many Clemente students bring with them a storehouse of rich life experience, wisdom and understanding that help to deepen the response of those around them.  On-campus students who have the good fortune to interact with Clemente graduates often say how their own understanding of literature and life is truly deepened by the opportunity to work with those who have had to struggle to get there.  

Clemente has taught me to reach for levels of understanding that reach out more widely to people’s feelings, emotions and sensitivities; it has taught me to ensure that what I have to say is understood and felt; it has taught me to be to be much more open to the voices, the contributions, of those on the margins.
Associate Professor Michael Griffith
Lecturer, Literature & Language
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