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October 2017 newsletterACEN LinkedIn GroupACEN

In this issue

1. From the President

2. ACEN 2018 National Conference WIL: Creating Connections – Building Futures

3. ACEN webinars             

4. New ACEN award category announced

5. ACEN Student Scholarships reflections

6. WIL Academics - be part of a PhD study

7. 'Collaborative research incubator: Developing cross-institutional WIL research and evaluation projects'


8. Service Learning

9. 2017 NAGCAS Conference

Judie Kay ACEN President1. From the President

Data becomes more and more critical in our working lives but there have been some very obvious gaps in work integrated learning data. One critical gap has been the number of students participating in WIL in Australia each year with no national WIL data or baseline to measure changes. A recent important project from the Office of Chief Scientist identified WIL participation in STEM disciplines which led to action to strengthen WIL in STEM including specific projects to enhance WIL in Science. In November Universities Australia will commence a national audit of WIL in undergraduate programs in 2017 across all Universities funded through the International Education Strategy. This audit will provide, for the first time, an important snapshot of WIL across the country which will be able to be used for a range purposes including planning, strategic projects and advocacy. Three ACEN Board members, Sonia Ferns (Curtin), Jude Smith (QUT) and myself (RMIT) are on the UA working group providing advice on this audit.

Another piece of the data puzzle will also fall into place soon when we survey all ACEN members about their professional development needs. This survey is collaboration with a number of national associations internationally and will give us information about areas you would like development in and in what mode you would prefer it. The survey is anonymous and will be sent to you over the next few weeks. I would strongly encourage you to participate when we email you the link. The Australian data will inform ACEN's planning for future professional development activities for professional and academic staff involved in WIL.

Finally the call for abstracts is now out for the ACEN conference in October 2018 with super early bird registrations available shortly so make sure you get yourself to what will be a great conference in Brisbane.

Judie Kay, President

ACEN 2018 conference strip

2. ACEN 2018 National Conference WIL: Creating Connections – Building Futures

3-5 October 2018 at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre

Research Symposium

Opportunity to connect with stakeholders from education, research, industry, community and the student experience to experience rich discussions about WIL. Share research and innovation and explore ways for WIL to continue to grow, influence and respond to the future world of work.

Pre-conference workshops

Opportunity to share and learn about current WIL good practice. Collaborate with students, educators, and practitioners from industry and government to discover how WIL practitioners are working to ensure that WIL remains relevant and cutting edge now and into the future.


Opportunity to wine, dine and network at one of Australia’s premier venues for events, exhibitions and conferences. Strengthen existing relationships and establish new connections with stakeholders from education, research, industry and community.


Call for Papers and Abstracts

Just released, your chance to submit a proposal for a full refereed paper, a showcase presentation, a roundtable discussions or a poster.


We're offering super early bird fees - opening shortly and available until Jan 2018.

Other Conference details

All the where, what, why and how we have at the moment.

3. ACEN webinars             

Employability and WIL'Employ your abilities! Rethinking and enabling employability development within curriculum…' • 14 November, 2017

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.

WIL Innovation'Transforming practice: Innovative models for WIL' – webinar recording

Held on October 9, 2017

The contemporary and emerging environment facing Australian and global enterprises is characterised by the arrival of disruptive technologies and global economic transformation with innovation as an economic driver. In this rapidly changing landscape graduates need to be highly adaptable, resilient and prepared to gain and create their own employment opportunities over their careers. Research shows that work integrated learning (WIL) can have a positive impact on enhancing student work readiness (Smith et al, 2014) and demand is rapidly increasing for innovative models of WIL that align with the contemporary work environment and meet student needs by preparing them for this changing world of work.

4. New ACEN award category announced

case studiesACEN has been working with its members to showcase innovative, exemplar models of WIL that maximise the value of WIL experiences for students. Of the case studies submitted to ACEN to date, five have been identified as exemplar case studies and published on our website. Whilst we know that sharing this information is valuable to our members, we also want to acknowledge the hard work put in by project leaders in developing and delivering these case studies. Accordingly, ACEN has added a new 'Excellence in WIL: Case Studies' to its suite of recognition awards.

This award will be presented biennially to the author/s of the published case study that has demonstrated the most outstanding level of contribution within a number of specific themes, including innovation, adaptability, topicality, impact and evaluation. The award will be delivered at the national conference and all case studies selected to be published on the ACEN web pages will automatically be considered for the award.

If you have developed or deliver a WIL activity or initiative that you think could be considered as an exemplar project, fill in one of our case study application forms. Provided your case study has been published by August 1, you will automatically be considered for the 2018 Excellence in WIL Award.

Get your case studies in now so that we can showcase your work!

5. ACEN Student Scholarships reflections

WIL reflections extracts

Each year ACEN awards eight $1500 scholarships to provide financial support for students undertaking a WIL placement in a regional or remote area of Australia as part of their 2017/2018 university studies. Upon completion of the placement recipients are required to provide a reflection of the WIL experience which should

Here's two reflections

Speech pathology placement Naturaliste Community Health WA

'My recent speech pathology placement experience at Naturaliste Community health has been an exponential learning curve for me. Not only did the placement provide practical experience related to my course of study, but it also taught me to think more holistically about the clients I am seeing.'

Dietetics placement in Orange NSW

'I worked as a student dietitian for 4 weeks, mainly conducting a quality improvement project on the food service system in the maternity unit of Orange Health Service. In addition to that project, I was able to gain some experience in clinical dietetics (e.g. reviewing patients in the hospital wards), and conduct a small group education session for a mental health group.'

2018 Scholarships

ACEN Student scholarship criteria will be announced early in 2018. It's expected they will be similar to the 2017 criteria.

6. WIL Academics - be part of a PhD study

If so, I am looking for you to participate in an interview for my PhD study.

I am seeking to identify the factors you consider when engaging in dialogic communication with industry WIL stakeholders.

The interviews will be conducted via Skype, telephone or in person at a mutually convenient time and will take between 30-45 minutes.

Ms Kim Burley, PhD candidate and lecturer, University of South Australia

7. 'Collaborative research incubator: Developing cross-institutional WIL research and evaluation projects'

Research incubatorNSW/ACT • ACEN Wednesday, 8 November, 2017

UTS, Design/Architecture building, Sydney

The primary focus will be to foster research collaboration across and between Higher Education Institutions, as well as supporting and enabling like-minded people to come together to explore research and evaluation topics under the guidance of experienced facilitators.

You don't need to be an ACEN member or an experienced researcher to participate. All are welcome - including those new to research and evaluation, academic or professional staff.

To register your attendance at the forum click here: http://acennswact.weebly.com/

More details from Dr Barbara Walsh, University of Canberra, E: barbara.walsh@canberra.edu.au or T: + 61 2 6201 2648 or M: 0409 985 600.

8. Service Learning workshops

Service Learning

The Vic/Tas ACEN Chapter recently held two sessions on 'WIL and Service Learning'. The morning session hosted by LaTrobe University featured engaging speakers from Goethe Institute, Germany; LaTrobe University and Griffith University and was attended by 40 participants. The interactive afternoon workshop was hosted by The University of Melbourne and facilitated by Carol-Joy Patrick from Griffith. The 26 participants were thoroughly engaged in the collaborative, hands-on session. All attendees enjoyed the robust discussions on WIL and Service Learning issues, challenges, scalability and ways to move forward.

9. 2017 NAGCAS Conference

NAGCAS conferenceThe 2017 NAGCAS Conference will focus on the importance of having an evidence-base practice, to maximise employability in an ever-changing world. Keynote speakers will focus on the importance of professionalisation, reporting outcomes, maintaining relationships, research and the status quo.

Nov 28-30, 2017

It's an opportunity to network with careers service professionals from the tertiary sector, and spend a week in Sydney! The infamous Conference dinner will be overlooking the beautiful Darling Harbour, and this year's theme is…HEROES!