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Catholic university's 25 first-class years
Katie Jayne, Mandy and Sarah O'Brien celebrate 25 years of the Australian Catholic University.
The Australian Catholic University in
Canberra is celebrating 25 years
following the amalgamation of four
Catholic tertiary institutions in
Australia in 1991. Formally known as
the Signadou College of Education,
the university continues to host
students studying teaching today.
Mandy O Brien and her two
daughters Katie Jayne and Sarah have
all studied primary education at the
university. Mrs O Brien attended
Signadou from 1979 to 1981, with her
daughters following in her footsteps.
Katie Jayne finished her degree in
education in 2012, and Sarah began
hers in 2014.
Both daughters will be sixth
Mrs O Brien, who travelled from
West Wyalong to study in Canberra,
said she chose Signadou because at
the time it was a university for
She was accepted as a teaching
student after attending an interview
and completing a written application
to confirm her suitability for teaching.
Katie Jayne and Sarah, who lived
with their parents on a cattle farm
about an hour south of Braidwood,
said they were impressed with the
university s support of rural students.
Katie Jayne said she always wanted
to teach in a rural or remote
community and was given the chance
through the university s practical unit.
She travelled to an Indigenous
community near Alice Springs, Santa
Teresa, on the edge of the Simpson
We were encouraged to do a rural
prac in our third year . . . once the prac
was over I stayed in contact with the
school and I have been teaching there
since 2013, she said. If it was not
for the prac in Santa Teresa I don t
think I would be there today.
Sarah said she hoped to teach in
rural communities when she finished
her degree, although nothing as remote
as her sister. I have wanted to teach
since I was a little girl, she said. I
love my involvement with my rural
community at Krawarree and I am
prepared to go anywhere in rural
Australia when I complete my
degree. The O Briens agreed they
were proud to have attended a first
class institution in Canberra. You
basically have a first class university in
Australia s capital city that is
exceptional but small enough to care
about each and every student, Katie
Jayne said. Canberra is very lucky
having such a fine institution that
continues to grow as Canberra has
in Gungahlin set
Final works continue on the Common
Ground project, Canberra s
experiment in low-cost supportive
public housing, ahead of planned
completion this month.
The state-of-the-art housing
development on Gungahlin s The
Valley Avenue will draw on
international models in supporting
people experiencing homelessness and
other vulnerability in Canberra.
It will combine quality
accommodation and on-site support
services within a stable community.
First developed as a model in New
York in the 1990s, Common Ground
includes 20 one-bedroom units for
people experiencing homelessness in
the community and a further 20 units
available as affordable
As residents move in during a
staged occupancy this year, tenancy
and building management services
will be provided by Argyle
Residents will also benefit from
support services provided by
Northside Community Service.
Builders, decorators and landscape
gardeners are continuing to work on
site this week, as Housing Minister
Yvette Berry invited members of the
public from across Canberra to join an
open day at the site on Saturday from
11am to 2pm.
The ACT contributed $7.5 million
to the project, along with $4 million
from the Commonwealth government.
The site, worth more than $2 million,
was provided by the territory and was
chosen for its proximity to the
Gungahlin town centre.
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