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Australian Catholic University (ACU) engages the Catholic Intellectual Tradition to bring a distinct perspective to higher education. We explore cultural, social, ethical and religious issues through the lens of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in our teaching, research and service.

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Articles (1 - 20 of 111)

Man Haron Monis, the perpetrator of the Sydney hostage siege, appeared to be unaware of basic Islamic theology. AAP/Dean Lewins

Sydney siege shows the rise of a new form of extremism

Man Haron Monis, the sole perpetrator of the Sydney hostage siege, is but one example of the recent development of a new form of Islamic extremist radicalisation. In recent years, Islamic extremism has…
The Senate has rejected Christopher Pyne’s fee deregulation plan, but that doesn’t mean the sector isn’t in need of reform. AAP

Fee deregulation is a bad idea, but our universities do need reform

Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s scheme for the deregulation of university fees is dead or delayed. Either way it has been exposed as bad for Australia. This is because it will put universities in…
New age ways of teaching where the children guide their learning rather than the teacher are perhaps not as effective. Shutterstock

‘Chalk and talk’ teaching might be the best way after all

Seventy teachers from the UK were sent to Shanghai to study classroom methods to investigate why Chinese students perform so well. Upon their return, the teachers reported that much of China’s success…
Jane Goodall is one of many scientists who have revealed how much there is to learn from animals about social organisation and communication. AAP/Julian Smith

If we could talk to the animals, what might they tell us about politics?

To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental about both animals and us. – Frans De Waal Some time ago I began reading scientific…
Piloted in South America, Coca-Cola Life launched in the UK and US in September, and is due in the Australian market in April. RiveraNotario/Flickr

A rose by any other name: the low-down on ‘healthy’ Coke

Coca-Cola has announced it will launch its newest soft drink in the Australian market in April 2015. Strongly promoted as “healthy” Coke elsewhere, Coca-Cola Life may do more to improve the company’s finances…
Foster parents often receive inadequate emotional and financial support. prudkov/Shutterstock

Foster parents need more support to care for vulnerable children

When children are deemed at risk of abuse or neglect and are removed from the family home, they are placed in out-of-home care, either with foster parents, relatives or in residential facilities. The latter…
A vice-chancellor has very different priorities, including the finances of the institution, so should they speak for the academy? Flickr/Ben Shepherd

Vice-chancellors vs the collegiate: who is right on deregulation?

The idea of university collegiality is an old one. Among some working in universities it evokes romantic notions of shared authority, democratic governance and inclusive decision-making. Others recall…
In office and in opposition, Gough Whitlam’s advocated for the Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry into Poverty. AAP/Dean Lewins

Whitlam’s forgotten legacy: a voice for the poor

Former prime minister Gough Whitlam, whose death at age 98 was announced on Tuesday, left significant legacies from his short time in office. Whatever their condition today, many of his government’s initiatives…
The Whitlam government’s legacy continues to be felt today, close to four decades since it lost office. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Gough Whitlam’s life and legacy: experts respond

Gough Whitlam, Labor prime minister from 1972 to 1975, has died aged 98. A giant of modern Australian politics, his passing triggered a flood of tributes on Tuesday morning. In a statement, current Labor…
Troops conduct an anti-terrorist drill in front of a banner of one of the Saudi royal family. Despite the kingdom’s role in fostering extremism, the US sees Saudi Arabia as an ally against Islamic State. EPA/Saudi Press Agency

Anti-terrorism plan must tackle ‘allies’ who also fuel radicalism

As Australia prepares to join combat operations, the coalition of nations stitched together by the US in response to the developing threat of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS or ISIL) is overlooking the…
The best of our society’s thoughts and ideas should be compulsory learning for all students. AAP

A common curriculum means all students share common values

Should all schools, whether government, Catholic or independent, be forced to follow a centrally designed and monitored curriculum? And should this central curriculum be imposed upon schools regardless…
The distribution of wealth is fundamentally a moral question. So why has the response to the GFC been so sluggish? EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Bringing the free market down to earth is a moral question

Five years on, the response of governments around the world to the global financial crisis (GFC) continues to draw criticism. Leaders failed to fulfil the promises they made during the GFC’s darkest days…
The Commonwealth government is wielding increasingly more power over schools, but it’s better left to those closer to the action. AAP

Renewing federalism: school education within a federal system

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. In this special series, we ask leading Australian academics to begin a debate on renewing federalism, from tax reform to the broader issues of democracy…
Fairness and empathy are closely connected to moral development and reasoning. George A. Spiva Center for the Arts

Tolerance is more than putting up with things – it’s a moral virtue

We hear a lot about tolerance these days. Tolerance is a moral virtue best placed within the moral domain – but unfortunately it is often confounded with prejudice. Much of the psychological research about…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott (back left) with elder Wendy Marika (back centre) during a Welcome to Country ceremony on his arrival at Yirrkala on the Gove Peninsula in North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, yesterday. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

‘PM for Aboriginal Affairs’ Abbott faces his biggest hearing test

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Treasurer Joe Hockey and his Coalition colleagues continue to demand that their opponents ‘respect the mandate of the new government and the will of the people and vote with the government’. AAP/Gary Schafer

The ‘will of the people’? It’s the bastardisation of democracy

The Abbott government, when faced with opposition over the past year, has commonly resorted to two lifeline statements. The first is that it’s carrying out the “will of the people”. And the second is that…
Parents can help prevent bullying in the way they model acceptable behaviour and problem solving. AAP

How parents can prevent and deal with bullying

Parents are one of the most influential factors when talking about bullying - in that they are the most likely to be able to prevent it. The way parents model appropriate interactions and communication…
Gough Whitlam’s free university didn’t greatly improve access for students from low socio-economic backgrounds, but if Pyne thinks his reforms will, he’s badly mistaken. Flickr/Gostalgia

Maybe free university didn’t improve access for all, but neither will fee deregulation

Education Minister Christopher Pyne defied historical orthodoxy last week by declaring Gough Whitlam’s free tertiary education a failure. Free education only helped reinforce the place of the rich, Pyne…

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