This is a brief commentary on a new initiative to promote engagement with the wider community through the Catalyst Clemente project, which was introduced in Western Australia in 2008. It encourages participants to improve their personal situation through learning and developing essential skills in a supportive environment. It also seeks to promote self-confidence in people at risk of homelessness or physical and mental illness, by encouraging them to take control of their lives and bring about personal change through undergraduate education The program gives applicants the opportunity to do accredited university courses in the area of the humanities. I was asked to join the project for one semester at Mission Australia’s Maddington office in south-east Metropolitan Perth. Edith Cowan University (ECU) provides the lecturer while Woodside’s Community Initiative Program assists with additional mid–week educational support. Mission Australia wants to expand the program to include other universities in Australia.

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