University opens door for community engagement partners

University opens door for community engagement partners

The Australian Catholic University (ACU), through its Stakeholder Engagement Scholarship Unit (SESU), is seeking research partnerships with organisations that support disadvantaged and marginalised communities.

The recently established program will allow the University to provide “scholarly expertise” and research assistance to organisations for projects “that address broad, widespread problems or enhance their programs and services.”

Professor Sandra Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor Engagement, said that the SESU reflected the University’s commitment to working with partners in improving the lives of vulnerable people both in Australia and overseas.

“We are aware that many Catholic organisations are under-resourced and find it difficult to undertake scholarship activities to inform, improve and grow their services,” she said.

“Projects supported by the Stakeholder Engaged Scholarship Unit will help to address this problem, and many of them will bring about more just and compassionate social policies and services.”

Professor Greg Craven, ACU President and Vice-Chancellor, added that the program also demonstrated the University’s mission to “advance the common good and affirm human dignity.”

The SESU is part of ACU Engagement, the University’s civic engagement arm, which has a long-standing tradition of supporting partner-driven projects.

Netty Horton, chief executive officer of CatholicCare Melbourne and member of the SESU Advisory Group, said the program will give community organisations, many of which lack the capacity to undertake research, a much-needed boost.

“I am delighted that ACU recognises both the capacity and resourcing constraints faced by these organisations and is engaging academics on issues of community significance,” she said.

“The Stakeholder Engaged Scholarship Unit will work with partners to understand their needs and present the research findings in ways that are meaningful to them.”

The SESU is accepting expressions of interest (EOI) until 01 July. Interested parties can visit ACU’s official website for more details.