February 17, 2015

Australian Catholic University - Australia


ACU SET TO OPEN CENTRE IN ROME 

Professor Greg Craven is pleased to announce that Australian Catholic University (ACU), together with The Catholic University of America (CUA),  will open a new study centre in Rome  in September 2015. The two universities recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the new centre within a short distance of the Vatican. Bringing together students and academics from both universities, the new centre will offer opportunities for study and research that are grounded in a commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition. 
Situated on Janiculum Hill, the new centre will offer living quarters for undergraduates, a wing for postgraduate students, apartments for visiting faculty, a chapel, garden and other amenities. As ACU’s first overseas centre, it also marks a significant milestone in the University’s proud 25-year history. The joint operation of the Rome Centre will be the second collaborative venture between the two universities. Since 2009 the CUA School of Nursing has had a reciprocal student exchange with the  ACU School of Nursing, Midwifery and  Paramedicine in Melbourne. 

THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP (ISS) – DON’T MISS OUT

International students,  please don’t miss out on the chance to receive ACU’s International Student Scholarship (ISS). Applications for the ISS (Semester 2) are open from the 1st to the 31th of March. Students must hold a letter of offer from ACU before they can apply for the scholarship. As it may take 2-3 weeks for ACU program applications to be processed, ACU strongly recommend applications be submitted as soon as possible to obtain a letter of offer by March. ACU offers the ISS up to 20 international students starting undergraduate or postgraduate courses each year. These scholarships cover 50% of the recipients’ fulltime tuition fees. ACU also offers full tuition scholarships for up to two international students starting research degrees each year. These scholarships are awarded to students who can demonstrate academic excellence, including an average result of at least 80% in their prior studies. 
To be eligible for the ISS, a prospective student must:
  • be an international student with a citizenship from a country other than Australia or New Zealand
  • hold an offer for a place in an undergraduate or postgraduate program at ACU
  • be willing to enrol at ACU as a  full-time student upon accepting  the scholarship. You must be enrolled full time to continue receiving the scholarship
  • not have received another scholarship or award
  • not be an ACU Study Abroad or Exchange student

AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY CEO MAGAZINE’S 2015 MBA RANKINGS 

The Australian Catholic University received a Tier One ranking for its Master of Business Administration Executive and a Tier One and number 7 ranking for its Master of Business Administration in CEO Magazine’s 2015 MBA Rankings. 
CEO Magazine’s new annual MBA rankings have been compiled based upon key performance indicators considered to be of interest and value to potential students; international diversity, class sizes, student work experience, faculty-to-student ratios, and faculty qualifications – both academic and professional – have been given considerable weight.

NEW PARTNERSHIP  IN ADELAIDE 

Prospective business students at Australian Catholic University now have the option of studying in a new location- the beautiful city of Adelaide. 
Australian Catholic University is now in partnership with The William Light Institute in Adelaide. The William Light Institute will commence teaching Australian Catholic University courses in March 2015 with the Master of Business Administration. Further program launches will be made in business accounting and information technology from July 2015. 
Greg Black, the President of The William Light Institute said “Our partnership with Australian Catholic University is a great fit for us. The University’s commitment to the highest ethical standards sits very comfortably with William Light and we are very excited about working with ACU. I also think that from a student’s point of view, studying at William Light with ACU means being able to live in Adelaide, which is inexpensive, whilst obtaining a degree that is well known by employers in most parts of Australia given ACU’s seven campuses across the country’ said Mr Black. 

FOCUS ON THE INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH 

Professor Simon Stewart is the Director of the Institute for Health. Established in April 2014 and based in Melbourne, the Institute is committed to research which promotes health and well being for all Australians. 
“We aim to be Australia’s premier research institute focused on health services research,” said Professor Stewart. “Our research programs aim to make a difference to people’s lives, especially those in our society who are affected by inequality and disadvantage.” 
Born and brought up in England, Professor Stewart moved to Australia when he was 16, with his mother and brothers. In Australia, he first trained as a primary school teacher, before switching to nursing, where he said he found his niche. 
“During my time as a nurse, I won a number of awards in hospital-based training programs and this encouraged me to undertake advanced training in intensive care and coronary care. This led to a position as a Nurse Educator and then research around chronic disease management, based on adult learning theory.” 
Professor Stewart was particularly interested in health services which focused on how best to help people with chronic disease (particularly heart failure) avoid repeat hospitalisations and live longer. 
ACU’s Institute for Health is comprised of four semi-autonomous centres, each reflecting a different theme within the University’s priority research area of health. 
The NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease, led by Professor Stewart, focuses on improving the heart health and outcomes of groups and communities including regional Australians, Indigenous Australians, and low to middle income countries such as South Africa and Mozambique. 
The Centre for the Heart and Mind, led by Professor David Thompson, focuses on the psychological aspects of heart disease and how patients and their carers cope accordingly. 
The Centre for Primary Care and Prevention is led by Associate Professor Melinda Carrington.  It focuses on the role of innovative primary care and regional strategies (e.g. nurse-led clinics) in delivering cost-effective healthcare to prevent cardiovascular disease. 
The Centre for Health and Social Research is led by Professor Sandra Jones. It focuses on the role of social marketing techniques to promote health from childhood to adulthood and across a range of risk factors and health conditions. 
The Institute will also work to develop the potential of early career researchers and higher degree research students. 
“We want to attract the very best talent and are committed to nurturing our students and staff. Our vision is to develop teams of researchers who are capable of working within a multidisciplinary environment and can use excellent research skills to develop cost effective health services,” said Professor Stewart. 
“ACU already has a significant health sciences research presence in the form of many hospital and community-based collaborations and affiliations. Our relationship with St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne at the Cardiovascular Research Centre is an excellent example of this. We will continue to work closely with our current partners, as well as building and developing new relationships.” 
Professor Stewart said he was thrilled that the Institute had a home at ACU. “It is an exciting time to be here, given the University’s current research intensification agenda. ACU’s mission reflects our own vision– undertaking quality health research to improve the life chances of all Australians.”

COURSE UPDATES 

Master of Nursing (Practice Inquiry) The Semester 1, 2015 intake has been cancelled. Doctor of Education is no longer offered to international students. T he university will update any of your clients who have paid or who have an offer for any of the above degrees.

GENERAL ENGLISH GETS OFF TO A GREAT START IN BRISBANE! 

General English now offered on all  three campuses: Brisbane, Melbourne and North Sydney.
General English classes commenced on the Brisbane campus on 2nd February, 2015 with students from Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Chile. As well as their English classes, students are enjoying activities on campus and excursions to popular destinations such as the Gold Coast and Lone Pine Koala Park. 
In 2015, students can enrol from 4 to 48 weeks General English program. From 2016, the ACU English Language Centres will move to 10-week terms and students will be able to package up to 25 weeks General English with English for Academic Purposes and an ACU degree or diploma. 

ACU GIVES UP SMOKING 

On 1 January 2015, ACU joined many other Australian universities in becoming a Tobacco-Free University. ACU Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Dr Stephen Weller said the University recognises the increasing evidence of health risks associated with exposure to second-hand smoke, as well as life-threatening disease linked to the use of tobacco, and this initiative was a positive step towards providing a healthy environment for staff and students. 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE UNVEILED

Lovers of chocolate and those eagerly awaiting their Easter eggs can rest easy this April knowing their guilty indulgence can actually be a health benefit. 
Dr Shawn Somerset, nutritionist and Associate Professor of Public Health at Australian Catholic University (ACU), said it’s all thanks to a group of chemicals known collectively as flavonoids - which can have antioxidant properties and improve arterial function.“ 
In chocolate, the essential ingredient containing flavonoids is cocoa,” he said. “Clinical trials show that these chemicals can help protect us from damage to the heart and blood vessels, control inflammation, and guard our DNA from damage that can lead to cancer.” 
“In general, the darker the chocolate the more flavonoids you’ll find – so we’re looking at chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70 per cent. Unfortunately, the majority of chocolate consumed in Australia is the lesscocoa and more-sugar type, which doesn’t have the same benefits.” 
Dr Somerset said that research has shown that tea is by far the major source of flavonoids in the Australian diet. 
“There are a huge range of foods that contain flavonoids – including fruit such as berries and apples, and vegetables such as onion and broccoli – however they are obviously not as appealing to most as a bar of chocolate.” 
Dr Somerset warned that those tempted to indulge should remember that chocolate also contains high amounts of calories and saturated fats, and, in some cases, trans fats – linked to weight gain and high cholesterol. 
“The key is as always to eat in moderation – and this Easter go for the better quality  dark chocolate.”
ACU will launch undergraduate degrees in Applied Public Health next year in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

HEALTH FOR HAPPINESS 

ACU student Nicolle Healy recently took part in a volunteer program in Cambodia called Health for Happiness, which is an initiative of ACU’s Institute for Advancing Community Engagement (IACE) and Challenges Abroad Australia (CAA). 
“The aim of the program is to promote routine health procedures and to teach basic hygiene skills to reduce illness and disease in Cambodia’s Battambang region. International aid work is something I hope to do when I finish my degree so this was the perfect opportunity to gain a real sense of the healthcare system in a developing country”, said Nicolle. 
“There were 10 ACU nursing and paramedicine students on the trip and the study component was supervised by Associate Professor Thomas Harding. We volunteered in a variety of health clinics in the local community where we had the opportunity to work alongside doctors and nurses to assess patients with mental health issues, administer immunisations and observe prenatal care. 
The most confronting aspect of the trip was witnessing so many children in poverty. Many had been abandoned by their parents who had mainly left for Thailand to find work. It was not rare to see children wearing dirty oversized clothes, or no clothes at all. It made me sad and I couldn’t help but contemplate their future. 
Having Associate Professor Harding with us made the Cambodia experience both educational and fun. He played an instrumental role in teaching us the necessary skills to help overcome the language barrier between English and Khmer (local language). He was constantly quizzing us and prompting us to ensure we were gaining adequate knowledge. I love the way he recognised us as capable undergraduate clinicians and pushed us to make the most of the experience. 
Professor Thomas Harding, Head School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine (NSW/ACT) said that his main reason for visiting Cambodia’s Battambang region was to supervise a group of ACU students and to ensure that they were meeting all the required competencies for their clinical unit in primary healthcare. He said their key objective was to try to help build the health capacity of the local community. 
“I saw the trip as an opportunity to make a small contribution to the health of a developing nation while providing a culturally enriching experience for ACU students. We really wanted the local community and health centres to benefit from the initiative just as much as our students. 
ACU students benefited immensely as they were exposed to a completely different cultural context. They were required to think differently, apply their knowledge differently, and use their resources more effectively. They had the opportunity to reflect on their practice and on how they could better work with  people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. 

STRAIGHT TO THE TOP 

When second year law student Ellen Turner began her pro bono placement, she never imagined that just three weeks later she would be sitting in the High Court of Australia, assisting with a case. 
I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to do my pro bono work with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (RILC) in Melbourne, at a time when they were preparing to take a case to the High Court of Australia in Canberra. 
RILC is a community legal centre which assists asylum seekers, refugees and disadvantaged migrants in the community and in detention. The centre helps around 5,000 people every year. 
This particular case was brought to RILC back in late 2013 and looked at challenging the Commonwealth Parliament and the Minister for Immigration’s Migration Regulations – which place a ‘cap’ on the number of protection visas awarded each financial year. 
My part in helping with the case was to research certain sections of the Migration Act 1958, find Second Reading Speeches and Explanatory Memorandums which supported the case, and to familiarise myself with both our plaintiff’s and the respondent’s submissions. 
The case was scheduled for two court days as RILC had joined our case, M150, with another case, M279 to be heard at the same time, as these challenges were similar enough. The M279 case also looked at challenging the ‘cap’ placed on permanent protection visas, but it also dealt with sections in the Migration Act about unwanted boat arrivals and mandatory detention. 
On Wednesday 14 May at 10am the case began in front of a full bench of seven justices. The grandness of the building and the inside of the courtroom was amazing. I sat with Greg Hanson and David Manne from RILC in the general public area. We were right behind our counsel’s table and were able to communicate with them in case they needed us to find any materials in the High Court law library or if David needed to give counsel certain instructions. While David acts on behalf of the client, he had referred this case to Allens Law Firm to represent the client in court. 
This was such an invaluable experience for me. Not many cases make their way to the High Court, and even many solicitors and barristers have not had the opportunity to be a part of a High Court case – making my experience even more incredible. 
The decision of the High Court was delivered on 20 June 2014 with a unanimous decision in favour of the plaintiff (RILC’s client). This meant that the minister’s determination made on 4 March 2014 pursuant to s 85 of the Migration Act was invalid and so the court provided relief by a writ of mandamus directing the minister to consider and determine the plaintiff’s application for a Protection (Class XA) visa according to law. This decision greatly impacted a number of people who were awaiting decisions on their protection visa applications. RILC does an incredible job and I am grateful that they allowed me to participate in one of their many cases that make a difference to so many people’s lives. 

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