Embedding Resilience into the Curriculum

Embedding Resilience into the Curriculum

Workshop led by Dr. Margo Brewer, Curtin University

Date: Wednesday 14th February, 2018

Time: 9.00am – 1.30pm    (Morning tea and lunch provided)

Venue: Room 230, Building 211, Curtin University Map The room and building have been changed since originally publicised.

Register before COB on Wednesday 7th February.


Free to ACEN member (however you must register)

Non-members $20



The journey for students through higher education into the workplace can be complex, unpredictable, challenging and stressful. Research has shown that resilience can diminish psychological stress, help with managing pressures and improve academic results. Discover how a national Australian Technology Network (ATN) funded project is supporting student  outcomes by enhancing academics capacity to embed resilience into the curriculum.

Dr. Margo Brewer

Dr. Margo Brewer is the Director of Practice and Interprofessional Education in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University, having been involved in health professional education since 1983. Margo leads clinical education across 26 courses and the interprofessional education curriculum delivered to over 5,000 students each year. Margo has been awarded several teaching excellence awards for her interprofessional education program including the OLT Teaching and Learning Award for Programs that Enhance Learning. She has led multiple national teaching and research grants and her research has been presented at national and international conference including international plenary addresses.


More Information:

David Rowbottom (d.rowbottom@murdoch.edu.au)

Employability for the WIL community – webinar

Employability for the WIL community – webinar

Topic: Employ your abilities! Rethinking and enabling employability development within curriculum…

Date:  14 November 2017 • 11:00am-12:00pm (AEST)

Employability development involves the cognitive and social development of learners as individuals, professionals and social citizens. This webinar focuses on how to embed this development within existing curriculum, sharing research-enabled tools and resources that help scaffold employability learning including that gained within WIL experiences.

Presenter biographies

Dawn Bennett is Distinguished Professor of Higher Education with Curtin University. Her research focuses on the development of employability and graduate work. Dawn is a National Senior Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow operationalising a metacognitive model for employability with faculty and students in Australia, the UK, Europe and the US.

Sonia Ferns is Manager of Course Design and WIL Governance at Curtin. She is a Director on the ACEN Board and has been involved in many national projects on WIL. She has published extensively on industry engagement and WIL and works with a national consortium of WIL researchers.

Dr Sophie Lindsay lectures at Monash University in the Business and Economics Faculty. Her research interest is the intersection between marketing and public health and how this intersection differs cross-culturally. She also focusses on consumer behaviour and the different ways we – as a society – make sense of products and services. Supporting work-integrated learning at Monash includes current teaching in capstone units. This teaching focus has influenced growing research projects in Employability, as well as exploring barriers to student success.

Julia Richardson is Associate Professor of HRM at Curtin University. Prior to coming to Australia. Her research interests focus primarily on themes relating to contemporary careers including individual and organisational career management practices, changing work arrangements and relationships, work-life balance and career change.

Dr Rachel Sheffield is an educator in science education in the School of Education at Curtin. She is interested in helping students develop their teacher identity and reduce the attrition that is currently impacting on graduating teachers

Presenter overviews

Employability development involves the cognitive and social development of learners as individuals, professionals and social citizens. Dawn will set the scene for the webinar by discussing how to embed this development within existing curriculum. She will share research-enabled tools and resources that help scaffold employability learning, including that gained within WIL experiences.

Julia will talk about the connections between the Developing Employability initiative and the contemporary career marketplace. She will highlight how the initiative supports career sustainability both with regard to fulfilling professional potential and maintaining individual life-balance. A key message will be the extent to which the site and its resources encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own career/professional development, with respect to both reflective practice and future planning. Drawing on specific examples, she will show how the site enables users to manage, prepare for and find professional and personal fulfilment on their own terms.

The Literacies for Life model is a useful framework for scaffolding WIL in curriculum to provide a developmental approach to employability. Sonia will outline how the model affords a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to curriculum design.

Rachel will describe how she is using the employability tool to help her first-year PST (pre-service teachers) to identify their skills and start thinking about how to exercise more agency over their learning.

Sophie will be discussing integration of an employability self-assessment tool into a business capstone unit. Suitability for a flipped classroom design will be explained, as well explaining written and image based curriculum engagement by 3rd year business who participated in an employability focused workshop. Examples of student team based images will be shared to conclude.


Due to technical difficulties the recording is not available for this webinar.

Medical Student Placement in East Gippsland

Medical Student Placement in East Gippsland

2017 ACEN Work Integrated Learning Scholarship Reflection

I had the privilege of completing my entire fourth year as a medical student rurally in the East Gippsland community in Victoria.  I was predominantly based at a General Practice in Bairnsdale, however travelled to hospitals and community sites over the entire region. During this time I worked in the maternity ward, theatre, outpatient clinics at Bairnsdale Region Health Service, did a term at the local Aboriginal Co-operative GEGAC and visited Central Gippsland Hospital and Latrobe Regional Hospital for specialist terms.

Skill Development

Looking back over the 42 weeks of my work integrated learning (WIL) placement in East Gippsland, I have grown considerably both professionally and personally.

Placement in East Gippsland is under the “wave consulting” model whereby as a student I have my own case load in order to develop my clinical knowledge, diagnostic skills and management plans under the supervision of an experienced GP. Over the year I became more confident in taking a thorough history and competent examination and then discussed investigations and management plans with my supervisors. From this experience, I have begun to address not only the current reason a patient is presenting but to also look more broadly at areas such test results to review or screening to follow up; in other words to look at the past, present and future health issues such as screening for similar patients. I also regularly ask patients for any concerns or questions at the beginning of consultations to allow for their consultation to address their health concerns and expectations, as well as the issues that we as health professionals think are important to address.

Confidentiality in this region is critical as unlike a metropolitan hospital setting, many patients in a rural area have personal, professional or familial connections with their GP and other patients.

Confidentiality in this region is critical as unlike a metropolitan hospital setting, many patients in a rural area have personal, professional or familial connections with their GP and other patients. Maintaining professionalism and protecting patient confidentiality is much more complex and challenging in a rural setting. I have quickly learned to navigate these situations that would rarely arise in a big city. Further discussions with my GP supervisors about how they maintain confidentiality in a small town, I have become more comfortable with politely redirecting questions regarding patients I have seen.

Cultural knowledge and safety is another area I felt this placement really provided in terms of skill development. Helping at the health checks at primary schools run by the Aboriginal Health Co-op really improved my skills – particularly with communication. I was surprised to discover how stark the health inequalities between the indigenous and non-indigenous population were even in an area where a targeted programme had been formed to provide an adequate health service specifically for the indigenous community. The annual health checks provided at both the primary and secondary schools aimed to prevent health issues from the ground up and ensure children in the area were up to date with vaccinations, dental check ups and general health checks on a regular basis.

Personal Growth

Coming towards the end of my degree, this placement has enabled me to consolidate my critical thinking, clinical skills and communication. I have gained a sense of self confidence that I certainly did not have when arriving for my work integrated placement. During the year I have seen many patients independently and also performed procedures such as skin lesion excisions, cannulation and pap smears. These skills are vital to learn and be confident to perform as an intern. I am grateful that this particular placement has allowed me to feel competent in independently gathering information about a patient and the steps of how to move forward with their treatment.

Being a community based programme, placement in Bairnsdale had a profound affect on me personally as well. As a small group of students we were really embraced by the community and given the opportunity to participate in a number of activities and events outside of our placement. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to get to know the community on the sporting field, at the local markets and by enjoying the amazing surrounding.

As a consequence, I have reflected often on the importance on rural health services and have begun considering working in a rural area when I graduate. I believe rural placements are vital in giving students the experience and insight to consider work in a rural area.

ACEN Scholarship

Immersing yourself in the community is such an important part of a rural placement and being awarded an ACEN scholarship allowed me not only to complete my placement but fully participate and learn within the local community, both from an educational and social perspective. I thank them for the invaluable experience I have had in the East Gippsland health service and community.

Secondary teaching placement in remote NT

Secondary teaching placement in remote NT

ACEN student scholarship

Secondary teaching six hours from Darwin

2017 ACEN Student Scholarship Work Integrated Learning: Reflection

I completed the WIL placement in a very small remote community in the Northern Territory, a six hour drive from Darwin down dusty, bumpy roads. When you search for the town Google Maps struggles to find it. Once there, you can walk along the red dirt roads and complete a lap of town in less than 10 minutes. You will notice a lack of houses and an array of tents and during the middle of the day, the complete absence of movement as everyone sleeps through the heat.

The WIL placement provided me with invaluable skills that I would have been unable to gain through any other placement. I was placed in a community setting that tested me both mentally and emotionally, however this encouraged personal growth as I was challenged to view and think about a range of things through different eyes.

When you search for the town, Google Maps struggles to find it.

Working with Indigenous high school students, I learnt not only a lot about myself but also the country that we live in. There is a level of injustice that these students face that is still completely incomprehensible to me; these students do not choose to live in the environment they do, however their connection to land and country astounded me. Whilst many recognise that work and opportunities lie outside of their home community, country and family connection remains the focal point of their lives. Without having completed this placement I would still be unaware that this is one of the largest barriers they face to receiving an education and acting on employment opportunities.

Whilst completing the WIL placement, I was able to develop relationship building skills and the ability to adapt and change plans at any given moment. As each day varied greatly, developing these skills was a must! I worked in a classroom that was designed for year 8 to year 12 students, though sometimes I would have one student show up for the day and on other days there would be 20 students. On a professional level, I learnt how to alter lesson plans according to how many students attended on the day and what their knowledge level was on the content (for example, had the students been attending regularly and would therefore be up to speed with the topic, or have I not seen them in three weeks and thus need to cover some background knowledge with them?).  Having now entered other placements, I have been able to implement these skills into other situations and have consequently witnessed the positive effects they have had upon my teaching.

From the moment I enrolled in my Masters of Teaching course, I knew that I wanted to work in remote communities. Growing up I always wondered why students from remote areas needed to travel such distances in order to receive a quality education. As a future teacher, I want to work in far-reached areas where students face an array of difficulties when it comes to their education. This aspiration to work in remote communities was enhanced by the WIL placement and as a result of completing it, I am now one step closer to achieving this career goal as it provided me with the connections I need to make this happen. Without the ACEN Scholarship, my goal of working in a remote community would still be a pipedream in the making.

Prior to beginning my placement in a remote NT community, I already held assumptions and biases due to my upbringing. I initially thought these may have been a barrier however I found that they actually provided me with a stepping stone to further uncover information about my students and communities. Upon alerting my students to the knowledge that I grew up in Darwin NT, I saw sparks light up in their eyes as they commented “so you know the NT Miss, you know what the bush is like and how we live”. Chatting with my students, I was able to question what I assumed and knew about their community life. In doing so I built relationships with the students as we developed a mutual respect for one another. I was able to challenge educational ideas as they too questioned mine. The knowledge I gained by completing this WIL placement will forever stay with me as it is not knowledge you gain by reading a book, but knowledge you gain through experience and practice.

WA WIL in Science network

WA WIL in Science network

Thursday, 23rd November 2017

Time: 1.30pm – 5.00pm

Location: Edith Cowan House (Building 20, room 101), Joondalup Campus, Edith Cowan University.


1.30pm – 1.35pm Welcome

1.35pm – 2.45pm Talking about WIL to various stake-holders (including students, colleagues and industry) – David Rowbottom (Murdoch) and Sonia Ferns (Curtin).

2.45pm – 3.45pm Showcasing WIL in Science at ECU

3.30pm – 4.00pm Preparing for an extended WIL workshop at the end of February – Jo Ward (node lead and Curtin). This session will discuss plans for an extended workshop and in particular the pre-work that network members may wish to do in order to get the most out of the workshop.

4.00pm – 5.00pm Networking

ECU Map Note that the best parking is carpark 14 (visitors parking is green). Edith Cowan House is at E4.

Free to ACEN members