ACU announces funding for seven community research projects

Seven community-initiated research projects to improve safety, education and employment will receive funding from ACU’s Stakeholder Engaged Scholarship Unit (SESU).

The projects were chosen following a competitive selection process, and represent different areas of need across Australia. The funding will enable university-community partnerships on short-term collaborative research, with measurable impacts for the partners as well as the communities they serve.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Sandra Jones said that the SESU was striving to have impact through empathy by addressing key areas of need in the community.

“We are aware that 2020 and 2021 have been especially difficult for social service providers, who have pivoted to new forms of service delivery, and for their clients who are experiencing new challenges due to COVID-19.

“We are pleased that ACU is able to provide opportunities for organisations to collaborate on projects that will inform and improve their programs and services, especially for communities experiencing disadvantage”, Professor Jones said.

Catholic responses to family violence

Bringing together Caritas Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia and Catholic Health Australia, this project will map the unique work of Catholic agencies in responding to and preventing family violence.

Digital teaching strategies for adult learners at beginner-level English

Carringbush Adult Education’s project seeks to develop and implement digital learning and teaching strategies to support their English language programs for adult learners who are from refugee, migrant and low socio-economic backgrounds and adjusting to digital learning environments.

Domus Links: Modern anti-slavery training for the future workforce

Initiated by the Archdiocese of Sydney’s Anti-Slavery Taskforce, this project will produce training resources to enable future professionals to identify and respond to modern slavery in the workforce. The efficacy of the modules will be measured through a pilot with ACU students enrolled in undergraduate courses.

Impact of a peer-group program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mums

Gunawirra’s project will assess the mid- to long-term impact of their peer group program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their children. The project will also make recommendations for the program’s future operation and expansion.

Impact of employment-focused interventions for people from a refugee or migrant background and for people living with a disability

SydWest Multicultural Services is evaluating the employment services delivered through their Settlement Engagement and Transition Support program. The project will assess how the program helps their clients become more employable and will make recommendations for future program improvement.

Implementing a trauma-informed model of care in the Emergency Department

St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s project will support hospital staff to develop and implement a trauma-informed model of care that prioritises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander understandings of health and aims to prevent re-traumatisation of patients and their families in the hospital setting.

Xavier School of Preaching for the Church of the 21st century

The Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn seeks to raise up a new generation of preachers in the mission of the Australian Catholic Church. The project will pilot and evaluate innovative face-to-face and online training for ministers, priests and laypeople to better support their ministry in parishes, communities and schools.

The projects will be complete within the next 12 to 18 months, and their impact will be measured to ensure they deliver benefits for our communities.

Read more about the SESU online. Questions should be forwarded to

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