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September 2016 newsletterACEN LinkedIn GroupSend to a friendACEN

In this issue

1. From the President

2. 2016 ACEN Conference

3. ACEN Special General Meeting

4. Online WIL Evaluation Tool - workshop ACEN Vic/Tas

5. ACEN National WIL Awards finalists

6. How to get involved in ACEN – State Chapters and Board Membership

7. WIL at Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

8. WIL Research Summary

10. Third year Community Nutrition Students descend on Foodbank

11. Embedding WIL in postgraduate management courses for evidencing employability outcomes

12. Undergraduate WIL and Business Management

Judie Kay ACEN President1. From the President

Only a few weeks to go till many of us will meet from across the country and the Asia Pacific in Sydney for the ACEN National Conference. The Conference Committee has put together a fascinating and full program so for those attending be prepared for an action packed few days. At the Conference we will be awarding the first ever ACEN Life Membership Award for significant contribution to advancing the practice, theory and status of work integrated learning in Australia as well as Industry Awards for partnerships  around WIL, a Collaboration Award and a Local Hero Award ( see below for shortlisted industry awards ). There will also be a special conference edition of the Asia Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education from the papers next year .

Education, Practice and Employability Network,  Charles Sturt University recently held a think tank on Graduate Attributes & Employability - Are we on the right track ? A number of speakers spoke on a range of interesting topics and I was asked to speak on 'How does Work Integrated learning contribute to Employability?'  Here is the link to a series of videos around this topic including mine http://www.epen.edu.au/videos .

We are holding a special General Meeting next week (see below) to discuss important constitutional changes and I would ask that you attend and contribute.

2. 2016 ACEN Conference

It is spring already and that means the ACEN Conference will soon be a reality. The conference committee is busy with the final details to make sure it is an interesting and stimulating experience for everyone. The program is packed with varied and thought provoking presentations, roundtables, and social events so that you can talk about the day's proceedings and network.

The two big-ticket events during the conference include a panel discussion entitled: 'Preparing for the great unknown: What is the role of WIL in developing skills for the future?' with panellists from government, industry and academia, and, unusually, some students. Keeping the future-focus of the conference, Professor Dawn Bennett will take a different look at what kind future we are preparing students for, and what we need to do in WIL to give them the best chance. Her Keynote address is: 'Breaking open WIL: preparing students for 2020 and beyond'.

Conference App

As mentioned in previous newsletters, this will be a paperless conference, with no printed programs or satchels. Everything you need to know is on the app and this can be downloaded onto a phone or iPad or laptop. The app not only has lots of information, but it also enables you to communicate with anyone at the conference and to set up meetings, provide feedback and much more.

We are still in the process of preparing the app, but it will be available before the conference. You will be notified by email 1-2 weeks beforehand so that you can download and familiarise yourself with it. If you are unsure about it, we will have people at the conference near the registration desk who can help you and do some trouble-shooting (look for the red lanyards).


Due to unprecedented demand (I have always wanted to use that phrase) the accommodation has been booked out. However, our event organisers have found another hotel and negotiated special conference rates.

Information about Holiday Inn

Pre-conference Workshops

There is still some space left in the Pre-Conference Workshops – book now to avoid disappointment.

More about pre-conference workshops

Research Symposium

An information email has been sent to participants with transport and timing information.

See details here

Telling you

Keep an eye on your email as anyone who is registered will be sent an email about one week prior to the event with more information. If you haven't registered yet, what are you waiting for?

I look forward to meeting you all there, for the best conference of the year.

Theresa Winchester-Seeto

Conference Convenor

3. ACEN Special General Meeting

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 • 2:30pm AEST by teleconference

A formal notice has been sent to members concerning a Special General Meeting of ACEN to be held by telephone conference to consider and vote on the changes to the Constitution.

More about the meeting, the current and proposed changes to the Constitution and proxy voting

4. Online WIL Evaluation Tool - workshop ACEN Vic/Tas

Thursday, 3 November, 2016

This workshop will provide an opportunity to fully trial the tool and will include a series of interactive activities that will take participants through setting up a survey, adding customised questions, uploading a discrete participant list, releasing and completing a survey.



5. ACEN National WIL Awards finalists

The National WIL Awards recognise the contribution that organisations make to work-integrated learning. There are two categories; The Collaboration Award, and the Local Hero Award.

The Collaboration Award

The Collaboration Award is awarded to a partner organisation that is collaborating with a university to provide a sustained and significant contribution to WIL.

The three finalists are:

Local Hero

Awarded to a small-medium enterprise (SME; 0-199 employees) partner that is contributing to WIL beyond the expectations of the size of their organisation.

The three finalists are:

The winners will be announced on Friday 30th September at the 2016 ACEN National Conference in Sydney.

6. How to get involved in ACEN – State Chapters and Board Membership

Have you ever wondered how best to get connected with and involved in the development of WIL locally, nationally and internationally? ACEN is a member organisation run by members for members, and we have opportunities for you to get involved at state as well as national level. State chapters run networking, workshop and professional development sessions for members to gather, create and share best practice. At national level, the Board sets the strategic direction of the organisation and liaises with government and other national bodies to help drive forward the WIL agenda.

Getting involved is simple – make yourself known to any Board or State Chapter member and have a chat! 

The ACEN Conference is the ideal time to start up a conversation and see how you can get involved – there are likely to be many opportunities for you to engage and participate and shape the future direction of the organisation and WIL across Australia.

7. WIL at Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia's independent national regulator of the higher education sector.

They have released a range of guidance notes for comment. One of them relates to WIL

The ACEN Board would be interested in your comments. Comments to admin@acen.edu.au

8. WIL Research Summary

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has released the research summary: Work-based learning and work-integrated learning: fostering engagement with employers.

This short discussion paper examines work-based learning in VET and work-integrated learning in higher education. It looks at the similarities and differences between the two approaches, and discusses how education providers, practitioners and lecturers can better engage with employers.  

Drawing on the literature, the paper highlights the keys to successful engagement with employers including:

By looking at both sectors, the paper aims to provide a summary of how education providers engage with employers, and identify what the key factors are for successful work-based learning and work-integrated learning partnerships.

10. Third year Community Nutrition Students descend on Foodbank

Community Nutrition is a fascinating journey of how, as a professional, you can plan, coordinate or initiate community programs to improve population health status, based on evidence, from a community level.

In the classroom this can be a difficult concept to comprehend. A site visit to Foodbank in WA was organised to expose students to the programs that are currently provided by an emergency food relief agency, in addition to supplying food.

The students were shown how to deliver a lesson from Food Sensations for Schools. They were given background information of rationale/frameworks they worked to a lesson plan. These are all skills that are taught in theory which they were able to see applied. The students were able to then cook the recipes and Foodbank facilitators talked about methods of coordinating these tasks with children and how it would be different with adults.

11. Embedding WIL in postgraduate management courses for evidencing employability outcomes

The School of Management at Curtin University has engaged in Comprehensive Course Reviews (CCR) of several of its postgraduate programs. A key focus of the reviews was to embed work-integrated learning (WIL) into curriculum through authentic assessment to evidence the development of employability skills. Professional pathways for graduates of Management degrees are diverse and globally competitive. The inclusion of real-world learning and assessments in the student experience enables graduates to meet dynamic needs of business in a globalised world.

The School of Management - led in the reviews by the Director Learning and Teaching, Ruth Taylor, Course Coordinators John Taya and Subra Ananthram – worked collaboratively with the Course Design team to use an evidence-based approach to embed WIL in postgraduate curricula. Curtin has adopted a WIL framework to support staff in determining a descriptor to define the nature and extent of WIL evident in the learning outcomes and assessment. WIL attribute descriptors were allocated to units within the Master of Human Resources, Graduate Diploma in Human Resources, Graduate Certificate in Human Resources and Master of International Business courses, to identify where WIL is situated within curriculum and how it is substantiated through the authenticity of related assessment. Figure below shows the spread of WIL attributes across the Master of International business degree programme.

Examples of authentic assessment in the curriculum include critical case studies and presentations, industry strategic analysis, and workshop facilitation. The School has established strong networks with industry that inform the design and implementation of curriculum for employability. Course Coordinator, John Taya, has secured recently retired Chief Commissioner of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Tony Beech, to work with the students on developing the practical skills to investigate, mediate and negotiate workplace conflict and disputes. John has also engaged the Australian Fair Work Commission Conciliator, Dave Robinson, who was formerly the head of the peak union body in Western Australia, to do the same work with students, with a focus on the federal jurisdiction. Students studying postgraduate Industrial Relations Negotiation, Mediation and Advocacy undertake an industrial relations hearing and the current Chief Commissioner of the Western Australian Industrial Relations, Pam Scott, has agreed for the students to present to her as advocates would in real cases, in the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission courtroom in St Georges Tce, Perth.

12. Undergraduate WIL and Business Management

Whilst postgraduate curricula have been the focus of CCR in 2016, the undergraduate student experienced is greatly enhanced by the School of Management's commitment to work-integrated learning. The Sustainable Event Management class have recently undertaken a site visit to the Swan Brewery and Event Risk Management students undertook a site inspection for the Chevron City to Surf event 2016. Curtin Sarawak students visited Sarawak Slipways SDN BHD to learn more about managing operations.

Chevron City to Surf event 2016 risk management site visit