Shaping the WIL Vision Creating and sustaining WIL relationships Fostering WIL engagement Communicating and influencing Driving organisational outcomes WIL Context

The WIL Leadership Framework

WIL Leadership Vignette 21:

Wil[ling] and wanting to create a shared understanding of WIL@Deakin



Dr Karen Young
Deakin University

What was learned from this:

  • The 'little guys', not labelled as leaders, but as champions, can enable innovation and change.
  • For the 'little guys' to maintain momentum and stay strong as champions, a supportive culture is required.
  • Bottom up approaches do work for driving institutional change if the climate and the culture is ready to receive the change.

Context of the event, experience or activity:

Despite the diversity, rigour and high quality of discipline specific WIL experiences within courses at Deakin University, the absence of a shared understanding of WIL lead to a loss of opportunity to harness cross-disciplinary practices, knowledge and resources for continuing best practice. Common within the culture was a re-inventing of the WIL wheel thus reducing productivity in terms of service, teaching and research.

Description of the event, experience or activity:

A group of middle management and middle band academics spread the word to create an informal WIL group to get the WIL conversation started. As advocates of WIL, our aim was to begin to formulate a shared understanding of WIL at Deakin. It was clear from the group’s conception that there was a dire need for the development of an institutional WIL vision and policy.


  • The group was recognised by senior management and as a result the committee is now a formal reference group for a newly formed university level strategic WIL committee.
  • The Wil@deakin group is now endorsed and empowered with being a mechanism for driving, advocating, sharing, championing and showcasing WIL practice at Deakin from an operational point of view, always with the view of assisting academics and WIL staff to improve on WIL practice in a coordinated and strategic way.

Dr Karen Young is a Lecturer in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment at Deakin University. Karen also has a Faculty-wide policy and project management role, working closely with the Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning) on projects relating to assurance of learning outcomes in curricula, with a particular focus on WIL practices, processes and outcomes.





Last Update: 10 March, 2014
Reference: Page 35