ACU launches prestigious internship at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

The Roman Curia will open its doors to Australian Catholic University students following a new formal agreement with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

ACU and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life have recently signed an internship agreement that would offer students a chance to work closely with the Dicastery’s officials in the Vatican promoting the advancement of youth, family and elderly ministry, bioethics, sport, and supporting the development of the life and apostolate of the lay faithful.

The unique professional placement will give students a chance to support the Dicastery’s events, participate in significant research, and support their communications channels while gaining a rare insight into the work of the Roman Curia for between eight and 24 weeks.

ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis said the internship continued ACU’s commitment to working closely with significant institutions within the Catholic Church.

“Following on from our historic partnership with the Australian Embassy to the Holy See earlier this year, this new agreement with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life will give our students more opportunities to work inside the administrative offices that support the Pope’s governance of the Church,” Professor Skrbis said.

“Our students will undoubtedly come away from their internship experience with a level of understanding of local customs, culture and ways of working, as well as an appreciation of the complex nature of the Catholic Church.

“ACU is once again committed to finding more ways to strengthen our identity and connection to the Eternal City.”

ACU already has significant connections with the Dicastery: Malcolm Hart of the National Centre for Evangelisation is a consultor of the Dicastery and holds a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture from ACU. ACU Blacktown’s pastoral associate (students) Madeline Forde is also the Australian representative of the Dicastery’s international youth advisory body.

Pope Francis established the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in 2016 to take over the responsibilities of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family.

The Dicastery is responsible for the advancement of vocations, the mission of the faithful lay in the Church, the pastoral care of young people and families, and the development and protection of human life.

One of the Dicastery’s major undertakings is the World Youth Day, the largest Catholic youth festival in the world held every two to three years, including in Sydney in 2008 and next year in Lisbon. Other World Days organised by the Dicastery are the World Meeting of Families, being held in Rome this month, and the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in July.

The Dicastery’s Vatican officials, including Prefect Cardinal Kevin Farrell, will welcome the first ACU student intern in Semester 2, 2022.

For more information about the ACU Rome Internship at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, contact ACU Study Abroad and Exchange on 02 9739 2074 or email

More information about the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life can be found at the website

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs