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
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