Australian First! Australian Christian College launches Excelencia - an academic journal entirely contributed by students

December 7th, 2020

7th December 2020 - Sydney, Australia - Continuing its history of academic distinction, Australian Christian College (ACC) announces the inaugural edition of its student-contributed academic journal, Excelencia. An Australian first, the academic journal is composed of work submitted by students across the country, and provides both academic and creative learners a forum in which they can express capability and flair.

Produced and published by Australian Christian College, the journal offers K-12 students from across the ACC network in Australia and beyond with an outlet that displays the excellent results of their academic and artistic efforts.

Alarna Morley created a mixed media depiction titled ‘Malattia Genetica’, a representation of her father’s deeply personal and challenging experience with Huntington’s Disease. Her anatomical brain illustrations are combined with descriptions of the effects of the disease to provide personal meaning to the progressive artwork.

Elizabeth Wilbur undertook a multi-media cooking project titled ‘Mixing It Up With Auslan’, a project that combined a love for food with Elizabeth's passion for inclusiveness. The project is presented in video form, where Elizabeth uses Auslan sign language to describe the recipes so that hearing impared students can also recreate the brownies.*

“The ACC Excelencia initiative provides students with an accredited forum to showcase their research, writing and presentation skills. Academic journals of this sort can encourage deeper levels of thinking about learning, further research and the pursuit of excellence in the writing and rewriting process. In the same way that tertiary-level academic journals inspire further research and development, a K-12 journal should encourage students to contribute work about their own passions and interests. During this period of their lives youngsters can be incredibly creative - seeing and experiencing the world in new and unique ways - and this needs to be encouraged! Excelencia is an invitation for them to develop investigative and critical mindsets and hard work that will be useful in all areas of their lives - now and in the future,” Dr Peter Milnes, Co-editor said.

To align Excelencia with the student body, ACC plans the formation of a Student Editorial Board for subsequent editions. The Board will review student submissions from across the ACC network and recommend which submissions should be published and why.

Many of the staff within the ACC network have spent time living and teaching in culturally different locations such as remote Aboriginal communities and developing countries. As a result, they are acutely aware of the positive effects of providing children from these places with an opportunity to publish their work. Excelencia proudly showcases work from culturally diverse situations - such as Aboriginal students enrolled in non-ACC schools and students from developing nations such as Cambodia. For example, the first edition of Excelencia included:

Uriah Daisybell, a student at the Christian Aboriginal Parent-directed School (CAPS) Coolgardie, contributed to Exelencia by special invitation. Uriah’s research project entitled ‘Deadly Heavy Metals Filter’ was a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project that proposed a carbon-coated mussel shell and a magnet to remove heavy metal ions from solution. Uriah developed a low-cost filter that can help to reduce the public health risks posed by toxic heavy metals in water supplies affected by the mining industry.*

The inclusion of excellent work from non-ACC schools and culturally diverse situations also provides enrichment to the ACC network that serves to increase cultural appreciation and inspire further linkages. A digital version of the journal can be downloaded here.