Australian Catholic University

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.


Displaying 161 - 180 of 211 articles

University in Germany is free for all citizens, why isn’t it free for us? Pabkov/

Should we follow the German way of free higher education?

Against the international trend, Germany has announced it will abolish tuition fees and higher education will once again be free for its citizens. Could the same happen in Australia? In a shortlived experiment…
The question of how we treat innocent people who seek our protection from persecution is ultimately a moral one. AAP/CNN

How we treat the vulnerable is a moral test beyond politics

I was recently invited to give a talk at a private club in a Melbourne suburb. A colleague has been a member for some years and arranged an invitation for me to speak at one of its regular dinners. Asked…
Whatever one makes of George Pell’s legacy, the Catholic Church in Australia must tackle challenges on several fronts without one of its dominant figures of recent times. AAP/Paul Miller

A daunting task or radical opportunity? The Catholic Church’s challenges in Australia

With the recent appointment of Cardinal George Pell to Rome, the Catholic Church in Australia will lose a dominant figure. While there are criticisms, his influence and legacy are broad ranging. Pell’s…
Some research shows outcomes may not be as closely related to socioeconomic status as often thought.

Social class affects school achievement less than you think

In a recent article in The Conversation, Stewart Riddle cited UK, US and Australian research to argue that: … social class is the strongest predictor of educational achievement. But recent research shows…
Decisions made when the University of Sydney was founded in 1852 laid the historical foundation for a curious relationship between universities and religion in Australia. AAP/Paul Miller

Australian universities and religion: tales of horror and hope

Australian universities have had a curious relationship with religion. The nation’s first university excluded clerical teachers of religion, which soon had the unintended consequence of marginalising religious…
A down-to-earth bloke with a CV to make some other leaders blush, Peter Cosgrove was made to be a modern governor-general. AAP/Dave Hunt

Peter Cosgrove, groomed by a life of service to be our GG

In racing terms, there are favourites, odds-on favourites and unbackable favourites. Then there is Peter Cosgrove. About the only person not certain over the past three months that Cosgrove would be appointed…
Scrawled or legible, your signature is still important. Losinpun

Is your signature safe? How to avoid forgery

Have you ever had your credit card stolen and used? Did the thief try to forge your scrawled signature, miniaturised on that impossibly tiny and slippery white line on the back of your card? I once had…
Resolved to be ‘more active’? Try instead to set yourself a specific goal that you can achieve with small steps. Flickr/Ed Yourdon

Struggling with that New Year’s resolution? How to hang in there

It’s a time of year when many of us have made resolutions. The New Year feels like an ideal time to kick those old habits and replace them with habits that we hope will make us thinner/richer/younger-looking/insert-desirable-state-of-your-own-here…
Business Council of Australia and now National Commission of Audit head Tony Shepherd is unlikely to make recommendations that don’t fit with the Coalition’s agenda. Nikki Short/AAP

Beware the veil of independence in government reviews

The Abbott Coalition government, like the incoming Labor government before it, has marked the beginning of its term with a raft of reviews, including the wide ranging National Commission of Audit. Given…
What kind of filmmaking does Tropfest encourage? Go_OffStation

Has Tropfest gone troppo? Implications for Australian film

Sunday night in many ways marked a great achievement for the Australian short film genre, with the live broadcast of Tropfest – “the world’s largest short film festival” – on national television via SBS…
If only you could see what I’ve seen with your eyes … Jodi Sita

What eye tracking tells us about the way we watch films

In Blade Runner (1982), Roy Batty, the leader of an outlaw group of Nexus-6 replicants, undertakes a quest to “meet his maker”. When he encounters Chew, the genetic designer of his eyes, he mocks: “Chew…
How do we deal with people who use a night out as an excuse for a fight? Flickr/Anamorphic Mike

Itching for a fight: the motives behind alcohol-fuelled violence

This weekend, yet another violent assault has reminded us of the need to curb alcohol-related violence in public spaces. For most students, schoolies week means a trip away from home to celebrate the end…
Levels of masculinity vary for men and women depending on if the questions are asked online or offline. Helga Weber

How much of a man are you? Being online can change that

How masculine are you? This might seem a fairly simple question, especially if you’re asked to fill out a simple ten-question survey investigating traits such as “aggressive” and “forceful”. But it may…
Elite sports training is starting earlier and earlier – but is this always a good thing? School sport image from

Do we really need elite sports training in schools?

A short conversation with a parent a number of years ago made me realise the extent of the problems we have in youth sport. This parent wanted advice on how to make his child faster and stronger to ensure…
Pope Francis’ liberal approach to theology is aimed at reforming the church’s attitude towards issues. EPA/Alessandro Di Meo

Revitalising the Catholic Church: is Pope Francis proposing a new way forward?

Pope Francis has made headlines recently with comments about abortion, gay marriage, contraception, work and capitalism. Francis has said that he’s “not spoken much about these things [abortion, gay marriage…
Both sides of politics are in a race to the bottom in the mistreatment of asylum seekers. EPA/STR

Julian Burnside: Alienation to alien nation

I had a conversation with Tim Costello some years ago which significantly changed my way of seeing things. He told me of a time when he was running the Collins St Baptist Church. A guy who had been sleeping…
Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has opted for experienced hands in naming his first Cabinet. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott’s new Cabinet: steady as she goes

Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has announced his new Cabinet and ministerial line-up. In keeping with previous Coalition and Labor governments, there will be an inner Cabinet of senior ministers and…
The tail on Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party (PUP) certainly wagged at the ballot box on Saturday. AAP/Dave Hunt

How the Palmer United Party came out barking

A funny thing happened at the polls in Queensland over the weekend. To great surprise, the two right-of-centre minor parties - Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) and the recently-established Palmer United…
Everyone has views on the new prime minister, but who is the man behind the headlines? Dean Lewins/AAP

The Tony Abbott I know

As a public personality, our new prime minister is an involuntary paradox. On the one hand, Tony Abbott is one of the most discussed people in Australia. On the other, much of the discussion is so ill-informed…
The return of Kevin Rudd was aimed at denting the Coalition’s chances in Queensland, however it now appears that Teresa Gambaro will hold on to the marginal seat of Brisbane. AAP/Alan Porritt

Defying the Rudd revival: Brisbane is the real bellwether seat

If any seat is going to indicate whether all the pain that Kevin Rudd put the Labor Party through in regaining the prime ministership was worth it, it will be the inner-city seat of Brisbane. The seat…

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