In 2008, the School of Communication and Arts, along with its corporate partner Woodside, launched the Catalyst Clemente Program. The purpose of this project is to change lives through humanities learning, by helping socially disenfranchised people out of cycles of poverty and homelessness. It is designed to build the capacity of its participants to be proactive, and to examine, contemplate and question the world around them. The project teaches accredited university course units in humanities in a community setting, at the Mission Australia site of Wattle House in Maddington. Corporate volunteers provide learning partners for students to supplement the learning process. ECU engages in sustained connections with philanthropic work in the community, incorporating collaborative learning experiences with visible outcomes.
The Catalyst Clemente Program is ongoing, providing students with a University Certificate leading to tertiary entry after the successful completion of four units. To date six students have gone on to enroll at university, some receiving high distinction results for the course. Other students have felt empowered quickly and have re-entered the workforce. Mission Australia and the School of Communication and Arts continue to fund the Catalyst Clemente Program to ensure continue successful outcomes for students. In 2011, ECU is seeking to extend the program.
Associate Professor Susan Ash.
Mission Australia, Woodside (former partner).