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Danny Kerr

Patience a virtue on Danny's Italian adventure


The 10-hour time difference between Cronulla and ACU’s Rome Campus was no shock to student athlete Danny Kerr.

What rattled him was the contrast between the hurried pace to which he had become accustomed and what he calls “Rome time”.

“No one’s particularly bothered about arriving on time. I guess that’s the most Roman experience I’ve had to adapt to,” he said.

“The traffic is horrendous, the bus is always late and people in general are in no hurry. You could book a doctor's appointment and the doctor could be 10–15 minutes late and act like there’s no problem.

“It's pretty hilarious.”

A golden opportunity

Danny tackled a money-can't-buy summer semester late last year when he packed his swimmers and travelled to Italy to play top tier water polo and continue remotely with his Bachelor of Commerce.

While his ACU Cronulla Sharks teammates trained at home, Danny became the first Australian student to land at Campus di Roma since the COVID-19 international border closures.

The challenge was steep. Such an amazing opportunity required the discipline to complete three study units when the lure of incredible cultural adventures beckoned from beyond the balcony of his self-contained apartment.    

Seemingly bottomless coffees, the discovery of trapizzinis (a popular street food) and the freshest pizzas he’s ever devoured failed to completely distract him from devoting attention to course work.

Among those units he was stimulated by the content of Leadership and Organisational Sustainability, and Evidence-based Decision Making. While he was always interested in management, both subjects fuelled in him a confidence that he has the potential to drive change from the top.

Danny Kerr throwing water polo ball

“The subjects I've studied in the last 12 months have started being more specific to the career path I can see myself undertaking,” the 21-year-old said. 

“The knowledge definitely helps, and it also has provided me with a way of figuring out that I have the characteristics to perform in a leadership/management role.

“I want to work in technology or construction, either way working towards sustainable energy. I want to work in a role that will actually help make a difference with the environment.”

Finding balance

Danny is among almost 500 members of ACU’s Elite Athlete and Performer Program which supports student athletes to find harmony between their academic and active lives.

His major goal is to represent Australia at the 2024 Paris Olympics. This stint in Rome has provided the opportunity to broaden his water polo resume by playing for SC Tuscolano in Italy’s Serie A2 competition.

With no set return date, Danny has commenced a new semester and will continue the intense training load as he absorbs all the rich experiences on his Italian adventure.

“The competition was interrupted due to Covid-19 so I’m unsure when I’ll be back in Australia,” he said.

“Being my first time away from home, I will always remember living here and figuring out the game of life for the first time and living on my own terms. 

“I have had a lot of ups and downs that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.”

Interested in an international educational experience? Explore ACU.

Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright@ Australian Catholic University 1998-2022 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G