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ACEN Australian Collaborative Education Network logo

Supporting Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

in Australia

• September 2013 Newsletter •

ACEN eNews

In this issue

1. ACEN AGM - save this date

2. State chapter elections - outcome

3. 2014 ACEN Conference - Call for papers

4. 2014 Conference events

  • Research Symposium
  • Pre-Conference Workshops
  • Conference

5. 2013 Student scholarships

6. 'Young people unprepared for evolving labour market' - ABC Radio

7. Ever wondered what happens at a WACE conference?

8. ACEN LinkedIn Group



11. ACEN NSW-ACT Forum 'The Challenges of creating WIL Placements for a diverse student cohort'

12. Next NSW/ACT ACEN forum - diary date

13. 'Better Judgement' OLT funded project

14. Pre-Place Preparation Program resource

15. You can contribute too

16. Contact us

1. ACEN AGM - save this date

The AGM will be held by teleconference on November 13, 2013.

More details and a formal notice of meeting to come.

2. Hand votingState chapter elections

Elections have been held for each state chapter. Congratulations to the following people.


Chapter Chair and National Board Representative - Alan Blackman, Griffith University

Chapter Secretary - Karen Robinson, Griffith University

Chapter Treasurer - Annissa O'Shea, University of Southern Queensland


Chapter Chair and National Board Representative - Sonia Ferns, Curtin University

Chapter Secretary -  Megan Le Clus, Edith Cowan University

Chapter Treasurer - Pam Struthers, Murdoch University

Chapter Committee member - Joanne Connaughton, The University of Notre Dame Australia

Chapter Committee member - Susan Edgar, The University of Notre Dame Australia

Chapter Committee member - Sofia Elliot, The University of Notre Dame Australia


Chapter Chair - Gail Quirk, La Trobe University

Chapter Secretary - Gaon Mitchell , Victoria University

Chapter Treasurer - Leoni Russell, RMIT University

National Board Representative - Friederika Kaider, Deakin University

Chapter Committee member - Karin Mathison, University of Tasmania

Chapter Committee member - Rachael Hains-Wesson, Deakin University


Chapter Chair and National Board Representative - Ceri Macleod, Flinders University

Chapter Secretary - Colin Sharp, University of South Australia

Chapter Treasurer - Helen Stephenson, Flinders University

Chapter Committee member - Dale Wache, University of South Australia

Chapter Committee member - Ruth Wallace, Charles Darwin University


Chapter Chair - Angela Samuels, University of Newcastle

Chapter Secretary - Theresa Winchester-Seeto, Macquarie University

Chapter Treasurer - Sarah Fletcher, University of Sydney

Chapter Committee member - Nitsa Athanassopoulo, University of Sydney

Chapter Committee member - Des Saunders, University of Technology Sydney

Chapter Committee member - Wayne Fallon, University of Western Sydney

National Board Representative - Freny Tayebjee, University of Western Sydney

Chapter committee induction

ACEN Secretary, Matthew Campbell, will co-ordinate an induction session for new chapter committees on Friday 11 October, commencing at 3pm (AEST).

All chapter committee people have been invited.

3. 2014 ACEN Conference - Call for papers

‘Work Integrated Learning: Building Capacity’  A cutting-edge conference in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) for practitioners and researchers from the higher education sector, industry, community, government representatives and students.

Interested researchers, academics, practitioners and industry partners are invited to submit papers for inclusion in the conference proceedings.

The Committee invites submissions across four categories:

1. Full refereed papers for review, including abstract, must be submitted not later than 4th March, 2014.

2. Showcase presentation abstracts must be submitted not later than 1st August, 2014.

3. Roundtable discussions abstracts must be submitted not later than 1st May, 2014.

4. Poster submissions abstracts must be submitted not later than 1st August, 2014.

More details

4. 2014 Conference events

Research Symposium

Monday 29th September, 2014
in Brisbane hosted by Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Tuesday 30th September, 2014
at the Gold Coast hosted by Southern Cross University


Wednesday 1st – Friday 3rd October, 2014
Twin Towns Services Club


5. 2013 Student scholarships

flying doctorACEN has again awarded five scholarships valued at $1,500 each to help students undertaking WIL placement.

Here's some comments from two reports

'Around 60% of the patients are indigenous, so I have learnt a lot about how to-communicate effectively … I also had the pleasure to work with many patients who have migrated to Australia from the Middle East and South-East Asia, as well as refugees from the Darwin Detention Centre.'


'Being on placement for a full year is financially challenging. Like many other students on placement, I had to work in the evenings and weekends to pay the bills. Having to live away from Brisbane for 6 weeks with no other sources of income was going to be a struggle. In order to save enough money to go away, I stayed with friends who generously opened up their homes to me.'


6. 'Young people unprepared for evolving labour market' - ABC Radio

ABC Radio logoWith the teenage and youth unemployment rates steadily rising in Australia, there's growing concern that young people aren't being taught the practical workplace skills they need.
A new report from the Foundation for Young Australians indicates that while more and more young people are going into higher education, fewer are finding full-time work when they graduate.

Hear the program

Join the ACEN LinkedIn discussion

7. Ever wondered what happens at a WACE conference?

University of Newcastle at WACE DurbanHere is short digital story of the University of Newcastle staff's  experience at  the WACE World Conference in Durban in 2013. Many thanks to Kylie Twyford for sharing it with us.


This digital story reflects the participation and experience of faculty and divisional staff of the University of Newcastle (UoN), Australia, who attended the 18th WACE World Conference in Durban, South Africa, 24-28 June 2013. Between them, the UoN staff attended the WACE Board of Directors and International Research Group meetings, presented and chaired various concurrent sessions, facilitated roundtable discussions, met with UoN Alumni, and networked with the WIL/CWIE global community.

8. ACEN LinkedIn Group

Join ACEN members on LinkedIn who are currently discussing:

  • the new Core skills for Work Framework
  • the impact of Post study arrangements on international student participation in WIL
  • design of Internships, issues relating to unpaid internships, resourcing
  • and WIL  and much more ………….

Join here - members only


The newly-formed SA/NT committee is looking forward to working on a program of activities and events for the Chapter.  We are currently working in partnership with The South Australian Northern Territory Promoting Excellence Network (SANTPEN) and Higher Education Research and Development Society Australasia South Australian Branch (HERDSA SA) in hosting a teaching and learning event to promote collaboration and collegiality between our members.

Details are still being finalised and will be circulated as soon as possible.  Watch this space!

WA consultation10. ACEN WA

The National Symposium for the OLT project titled 'Assessing the Impact of Work Integrated Learning on Student Work-Readiness' was held at Curtin University's Bentley campus on 29 August. Dr Calvin Smith facilitated the event with more than 50 attendees from diverse backgrounds including teaching and learning staff, careers, project management and industry practitioners.

The symposium gave participants an overview of the purposes, design, constraints and outcomes of the project as well as an explanation of the project findings. Participants were also involved in discussions on the implications for practice, curriculum design, and research.

A survey was administered to participants after the event. All attendees agreed that the symposium was informative and the opportunities for collaboration invaluable. Respondents reported that the key message gleaned from the Symposium was that WIL has a significant and positive impact on work-readiness. All are eager to remain informed as findings emerge from the data and project draws to a close.  

11. ACEN NSW-ACT Forum 'The Challenges of creating WIL Placements for a diverse student cohort'

ACEN UoN forumAudio files of this event are now available.

Welcome from the University of Newcastle – Vice-Chancellor Prof Caroline McMillen

Ms Belinda Munn, Manager, Equity & Diversity Unit, The University of Newcastle - 'Take a walk in my shoes'.

Dr Theresa Winchester-Seeto, Senior Lecturer, Higher Education Development, Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University- 'Socially inclusive practice in community engagement: Meeting the needs of specific learners'.

Ms Gillan Shaw, Curator, The University Art Gallery - 'The fusion of Culture and Creativity'.

Workshop and Panel Discussion -  'Alternative models for meeting the demand for WIL placements' .

12. Next NSW/ACT ACEN forum - diary date

'Contemporary WIL practices: employability & digital innovations in curricular & co-curricular contexts' in conjunction with the University of Wollongong.
27 November 2013

13. 'Better Judgement' OLT funded project

It is increasingly clear that human judgement is indispensable in the assessment of students, especially in competency-based education. Judgement biases are incomplete (or incorrect) representations in the assessor's mind of what has occurred during the assessment, so learning to manage them is important in developing the expertise of assessors. However, biases are very hard if not impossible to train away so a more viable approach is to focus assessor training on recognising, naming and managing biases to prevent them from unduly influencing the assessor's judgement.  

We have developed an assessor-training package containing video presentations for the theoretical background, video vignettes of assessment situations to practice recognition in well-defined situations, real-life YouTube clips for ill-defined situations, activities to apply all this to the participants' professional contexts and a compendium of practical strategies to prevent biases from unduly influencing the overall judgement. The project demonstrated a need and demand in this area and provided a deeper understanding of how biases individually influence assessors' judgements and interact with each other, and how this can be counteracted. The resources are available at www.flinders.edu.au/better-judgement.

Please feel free to contact the Project team with any questions, Dr Lisa Schmidt & Professor Lambert Schuwirth, Flinders University.

Bettr Judgement logos

14. Pre-Place Preparation Program resource


Do you prepare students for placement? Would you like to provide your students with a user-friendly, adaptable, online tool that walks them through this preparatory process? If so, Pre-Place may be for you!  This award-winning, multi-disciplinary online program prepares students for placements, covering topics such as safety practices, organisational culture, professional conduct, work/life balance, and how to deal with workplace injury, violence, harassment, bullying and discrimination. 

Get further information and a brief demonstration of the program, plus how to organise a temporary trial.  

Pre-Place was developed by Flinders University to provide students with a firm foundation for participating in a successful Work-Integrated Learning placement.  It is now available for purchase by any tertiary organisation as a flexible package that can be customised to your institution.

MorePre-place strip

15. You can contribute too

Space permitting, in this newsletter we'll share news about state, national and international events, research, projects, position vacancies and more. Submit material to admin@acen.edu.au

16. Contact us




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