Ethics Education at Notre Dame

The Institute for Ethics and Society serves the University by supporting and informing the teaching of Ethics across all Schools. We work alongside UNDA Staff to assist them in fostering the ethical development of their students as individuals, professionals and citizens to ensure that our students are competent to address moral issues of professional and social import. To this end, we aim to make Notre Dame a leading contributor to scholarship on Ethics Education in Australia and beyond.


IES staff members teach and support the teaching of Ethics in various capacities across the University at the request of a School or staff member; for example, by offering guest lectures, peer-reviewing lectures or team-teaching within a unit. The Institute offers high-level expertise in ethical theory and its application, particularly in our Research Focus Areas. Institute staff seek to model best practice in their approach to teaching Ethics, drawing on current and well-supported research in the Scholarship of Ethics Education.

Ethical Leadership Course


The Institute provides consultancy services to Notre Dame staff with regard to ethics-related aspects of curriculum development and review. Staff or schools interested in working with the Institute in this way should contact the IES Director, Prof Sandra Lynch.

The IES also provides ethics training and ethical leadership consultancy to clients in the public and private sector. In recent years, the IES has delivered training packages to the following clients:

  • Government of Western Australia
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • The Commercial Law Association of Australia
  • Association for Tertiary Education Management

Training and Support

A central task of the IES is to enhance UNDA staff members’ ability to engage with ethical issues relevant to their specific professional contexts. Forums for staff training and support in relation to the teaching of ethics are held to help develop the confidence and competence of staff in this area. To this end, in 2015 the Institute launched its inaugural staff Ethics Education Forum. See the events page for further details.

Scholarship of Ethics Education

The IES seeks to make significant contributions to the burgeoning scholarship on teaching Ethics in various professional fields, particularly with regard to those professions for which UNDA trains students. We promote research-led teaching in Ethics Education across the University and seek to establish the University as a leader in this field in Australia and beyond. For further information on our research in this area, please go to the Ethics Education Research Focus Area. Staff who are involved in the teaching of Ethics and would like to reflect further on their practice and develop their reflections for publication should contact IES Director Prof Sandra Lynch.

Ethical Leadership in the Community

Beyond our service to the Notre Dame community, the IES seeks to contribute to the integration of ethics into personal, social and professional life in the wider community, providing ethical commentary and engagement informed by the Catholic tradition with a commitment to the whole human family. We pursue creative avenues for Notre Dame to share its unique identity and strengths with the broader community, particularly in areas that link with our Research Focus Areas. This commitment has given shape to numerous public engagement events over the past five years, as well as increasing contributions to news and media outlets. We encourage you to look through our News & Events and our Media pages to see the various avenues through which the IES has sought to engage the broader community in ethical reflection and discussion, and to explore ways you can get involved in future activities. One of our exciting new initiatives in this area, launching in 2015, is QndA.