ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis delivered his inaugural lecture, The Purpose of an Australian Catholic University on Thursday 22 April 2021.

Addressing an audience at the ACU Campus in Melbourne and via a livestream, Professor Skrbis picked up on the theme of the idea of an Australian Catholic university proposed by his predecessor Professor Greg Craven, and advanced the concept of the purpose of an Australian Catholic university.

Exploring the practical role of a Catholic university, he said that in order to remain faithful to the fundamental tenets of its mission and be relevant in the current environment, it was necessary to harness its skills and nurture its capabilities in three key areas:

  • In the approach to scholarship and academic pursuit – consistent with the Catholic intellectual tradition.
  • In the capacity to teach and practice global responsibility and global citizenship.
  • And, via a commitment to serve and lead in a manner which facilitates the transformation of others.

Arriving in Australia as an international student in 1991 to do a PhD– the same year that ACU was created as a public university – Professor Skrbis touched on the importance of the migrant experience. This had a clear impact on his academic career, the value of scholarship, his desire to encourage and mentor other international students, and his approach to a modern, Catholic university.

Professor Skrbis was formally installed as ACU’s fourth Vice-Chancellor and President in Sydney on 26 March 2021. 

Transcript: The Purpose of An Australian Catholic University

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