CDU steps up to national community engagement conference 


Charles Darwin University is stepping up its active role in the national community engagement agenda. Don Zoellner, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Community and Access was recently elected Vice-President of the Australian University Community Engagement Alliance (AUCEA).

CDU is also hosting the 4th Annual AUCEA conference in Alice Springs in July 2007. The AUCEA conference is the leading forum for community engagement dialogue and debate in Australia. The call for abstracts and registrations is now open on the conference website.

The 2007 conference theme, ‘The Scholarship of Community Engagement: Australia’s Way Forward’ will focus on how engaged teaching, learning and research enhances student learning and contributes to broader community and regional development outcomes.

The program will revolve around three sub-themes. The first will explore the policy context of community engagement including what’s driving the engagement agenda at the regional, national and international levels. The second will examine the institutional responses by universities including the administrative, structural and operational arrangements that facilitate community engagement. The third sub-theme will highlight perspectives on practice through case studies and workshops that demonstrate practical ways of capturing community needs and priorities and developing mutually beneficial partnerships.

Don Zoellner says, 'The conference is an opportunity for CDU to showcase its community engagement activities and to network with colleagues from universities across Australia. It is a key tool for growing our capacity to engage; a chance to reflect, inspire and learn from each other.

'As a regional, dual sector university, CDU is strongly engaged with its communities.  We deliver in remote Aboriginal communities across the Territory, our VET lecturers and students are closely involved with industry and many higher education students have practical experience in the workplace.

'CDU researchers are engaged in collaborative projects in the areas of desert, tropical and Indigenous knowledge specifically aimed at addressing problems of importance to the peoples of the region,' says Don.

Linda Cuttriss, coordinator community engagement, who is the conference coordinator says, 'We hope that CDU staff from across the University will attend the conference to be part of the discussion and debate. It would also be great to see lecturers and researchers involving their students or community partners in presenting papers or workshops at the conference.'

Linda says, 'AUCEA is the peak university-community engagement organisation in Australia. The 2007 conference in Alice Springs puts CDU at the leading edge of the national community engagement agenda.'

To submit an abstract, register to attend or for more information on the 4th Annual AUCEA Conference go to the conference website, or contact Linda Cuttriss on 08 8946 6336 or