Five minutes with ACU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Zlatko Skrbis
The Catholic Voice spent five minutes with the newly appointed Australian Catholic University (ACU) Vice Chancellor Professor Zlatko Skrbis.
When did you start your appointment as Vice Chancellor of ACU?
I started a few weeks ago on January 11. I joined ACU just over two years ago from Monash University and prior to that the University of Queensland.
What do you hope to achieve in your appointment?
I would like to ensure that ACU continues on its trajectory. My predecessor always talked about the fact ACU needs to be an excellent university and it needs to be supremely catholic and that is the journey I would like to continue. There is no question that I would like us to position ACU as an outstanding academic institution, not only nationally but globally.
When did you come to Australia?
A long time ago! I came to Australia from Slovenia in 1991 as an international postgraduate research student studying at Flinders University in Adelaide. I got my doctorate and then landed my first job in Queensland in 1995.
Did you know much about Australia?
I knew enough about Australia when I first came, but I now love it and still continue to explore and discover parts of it.
What is your first language? How many languages do you speak?
My mother tongue is Slovenian and I still speak Slovenian at home with my wife and children. I speak more than one language, but only speak Slovenian very well.
What do you do in your spare time?
I don’t have much spare time but I am an avid reader and when I do read I like contemporary politics and I love literature as well. My children live in Brisbane and I love to talk to them and maintain that family atmosphere at a distance, and it’s really important to me. My children were born in Australia so they are Aussies!
What does being a Catholic mean to you?
Well, being Vice Chancellor of the ACU is like coming home. Working for a Catholic university really allows you to explore your spirituality as an integral part of the role you are doing. I really enjoy that aspect of the community that I belong to.
You’re a distinguished sociologist. Do you have a lesson about life you would like to share?
We continue to grow and evolve as individuals and every segment of your life tells a different story. I think one of the lessons I would like to emphasise is patience and tolerance, because they are in great demand these days.
What is your favourite book?
There is a great deal of competition for my favourite book, partly because different books address different sentiments in you. As you grow up and mature different genres tell you different things. Bernhard Schlink is probably up there in my top 10 authors.
— Aust Catholic Uni (@ACUmedia) January 31, 2021