At ACU, our values are guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church, strengthened by the Catholic intellectual tradition, and inspired by our mission. They very carefully articulate our place in Australian society, and among Catholic universities globally.
Adhering to our core values allows us to provide students and staff with an education and professional development opportunities that lead to a life of service. Our graduates go on to contribute to their communities, our wider society and the common good.
Our core values
Our university is founded on a long history of commitment to truth, academic excellence and service, all within the framework of the Catholic intellectual tradition. These are the core values that guide our actions in living out our mission and realising our vision.
We’re committed to the lifelong pursuit of knowledge, freely seeking truth through research, critical enquiry and active discovery.
This is not a solo endeavour. We share our search for truth with our students and the broader community through teaching, scholarship and community engagement, and by contributing to the growth and betterment of society.
Our pursuit of excellence in teaching and research underpins our approach to learning, scholarship and teaching. We’re dedicated to providing world-leading intellectual and educational experiences, enhanced by innovation and creativity.
Learn more about our approach to learning and teaching
ACU is a university of service. We seek to serve the wider community through education, community engagement and research, especially by providing opportunities to those in need and by educating our students to be socially and morally responsible individuals.
We’re committed to serving the common good and upholding the sacredness of life. We respect and welcome all faith traditions and uphold the dignity of all human beings.
To ensure staff and students of all backgrounds and beliefs enjoy a safe and welcoming learning environment, we support the Australian Human Rights Commission’s campaign ‘Racism. It stops with me.’
Read more about the Racism. It stops with me campaign
Beyond the core
A number of other important values allow us to take our mission further and represent who we are as a community.
These include, but aren’t limited to, the following values.
At ACU, we recognise the structural, systemic and historical inequalities within society that present barriers to higher education for students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, students living in regional and rural Australia, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Equity in education matters. Equity is about just and fair inclusion and creating conditions in which everyone can participate and reach their full academic potential.
We work with schools, parents and caregivers, and communities to widen participation and reduce higher educational outcome disparities. Our widening participation programs aim to enable equitable access, participation and success in higher education for all students.
Find out more about our widening participation programs
We welcome students and staff from all walks of life to our campuses to learn, teach and work. One way we do this is by ensuring all staff, regardless of gender, race or ability, develop in their careers and reach their potential. Another way is through providing disability services to students.
Other initiatives to promote diversity at ACU include our Veteran Entry Program and Student Veteran Support Program, Autism at Uni, the ACU Ally Network and the ACU Refugee Scholarship.
Each campus also has an Indigenous Higher Education Unit, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can meet in a culturally safe, supportive place. Specialist staff at these hubs are available to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students advice on academic, cultural and personal matters.
Discover what we offer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
University life has enough challenges without access being one of them. We strive to ensure our students and staff can participate fully in the ACU experience, and we’re committed to embedding equal opportunity for people with disability into our policies and practices.
If you are a student with disability or a chronic health condition, or you’re a carer, our Access and Disability Service can work with you to coordinate a range of adjustments to ensure your learning environment works for you, from assistive technology to alternate course materials.
Explore the disability services we provide
A long-running program that aims to improve accessibility is Clemente Australia. This academically approved university course is for Australians who, due to their life circumstances, would otherwise be excluded from tertiary education opportunities.
Read about Clemente Australia
We’re not just here to develop our staff and students’ academic interests. That is a big part of what we do but, when we talk about the dignity of the human person in our mission, we’re talking about the whole person.
Your wellbeing matters to us. On each of our campuses, we run fitness classes to get your body moving and you can also join our university sports teams.
Learn more about sports and fitness
We also have on-campus counsellors, career advisors, academic skills development officers, disability advisors and Indigenous service officers. And in line with our mission and identity as a Catholic university, we offer staff and students pastoral care and support through our network of campus pastoral associates and chaplains.
Browse our range of student services
Our earth and all life on it are gifts, and we take our stewardship of these gifts very seriously. Sustainability is a value that guides our actions within our lecture theatres, in our staff offices and across each of our campuses.
Among other actions, we’ve actively increased our energy efficiency across our campuses and reduced our water consumption. We’re also constantly looking at ways to improve the sustainability of our campuses, whether that means designing and building new garden projects, designing new buildings to meet Australian best practice, or encouraging staff to make small changes like turning off lights in meeting rooms when they’re not in use.
Learn about sustainability at ACU