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Community debateACU staff members Letcicia Medwell (left) and Joanne Rix participate in the World Cafe Forum.

Community education through World Cafe Forum Ballarat Campus’

(Aquinas) Clemente students hosted a World Cafe Forum, inviting members of the community to participate in an open debate on Australian Politics. 

Discussions focussed on three key questions: 1) What is Democracy? 2) Who is running the country?  And, 3) What does it mean to be an Australian citizen?

Over 60 community members participated in the forum, including the Ballarat City Council Mayor, Judy Verlin, Telstra Area General Manager, Bill Mundy, and representatives from United Way Ballarat, The Smith Family Victoria and ACU.

ACU lecturer and Ballarat Clemente course coordinator, Dr Ann Gervasoni, said the Clemente students engaged the whole community in their learning experience, through sharing opinions and passing on knowledge.

“The forum provided a platform for Ballarat residents to discuss views of Australian politics in a friendly environment that honoured diversity of opinion and values community collaboration,” said Dr Gervasoni.

The Ballarat Clemente program was formed in 2008 as a joint initiative between ACU and The Smith Family and has been supported by many Ballarat community organisations.