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Keynote Speakers and Panel

Thursday Panel

Preparing for the great unknown: What is the role of WIL in developing skills for the future?

Norah McRaeNorah McRae, PhD, is Executive Director of the Co-operative Education Program and Career Services and the Director of the Office of Community-University Engagement at the University of Victoria, Canada. Her involvement in co-operative and work-integrated education spans more than twenty years, over which time she has led strategic program development and research on student engagement, community-engaged learning and intercultural competency development. In 2016 she was awarded the Albert S. Barber award from the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) for outstanding contributions to the field of co-operative education in Canada and was co-recipient for the BCCIE Award for Outstanding Program in International Education. In 2013/14 she was awarded the CAFCE Service Award for meritorious service to the association and in 2012 the CAFCE Graham Branton award for research excellence. Her doctoral research examined conditions that enabled transformative learning during work-integrated education and led to the development of a preliminary theoretical model for learning during work-integrated education. Norah has been published in the International Handbook for Co-operative and Work-Integrated Education, the Asia-Pacific Journal for Co-operative Education, CEIA Journal and The World is my Classroom: International Learning and Canadian Higher Education. She is a faculty member for the WACE Planning Institute for Global and Experiential Education and the WACE Assessment Institute. Norah has served as President of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education and is an Executive member of the World Association for Co-operative and Work-integrated Education Board of Directors.

Honourable Phil Honeywood is CEO of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA). He was a Member of the Victorian State Parliament, Australia, for 18 years (1988–2006). During this period Phil served as the Victorian Minister for Tertiary Education, Training and Multicultural Affairs and was Deputy Leader of the Opposition 2002–2006. Since 2006, Phil was Marketing Director and CEO at Stott's Business College and Cambridge International College, Melbourne. He also served on the Governing Council of Swinburne University of Technology. Phil is a member of the Higher Education Standards Panel, New Colombo Plan Steering Committee, Education Visa Consultative Committee and the inaugural Council for International Education.

Annette YoungerAnne Younger is an Economist at Ai Group and responsible for education and training policy development. The role involves researching the workforce development needs of member companies and developing solutions to assist their competitiveness. Issues range through literacy and numeracy needs, apprenticeships, higher education graduate employability, leadership and management and education systems. Anne also oversees Ai Group's national network of Skills Advisers under the Industry Skills Fund, assisting companies to innovate and grow. Before joining Ai Group ten years ago, Anne worked for over 25 years in the VET sector in a range of management, policy, training and research roles.

Dr David CookeDr David Cooke is Chair and Managing Director of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia. David was appointed as the first non-Japanese Managing Director of Konica Minolta in Australia in 2013. The company is a global firm operating in the tech sector. He is also a non-executive director of the Australian based anti-human trafficking organisation Project Futures and Cambodia's Together1Heart.

He completed his doctorate in 2008. David's dissertation was titled "Building Social Capital though Corporate Social Investment" which dealt with the role of profit–making corporations in furthering the work of the NGO sector. His work was awarded the Globally Responsible Leadership award for Social Impact in 2011 and in 2014 he was awarded the Top Alumnus of the last 20 years by the Southern Cross University Business School.

Gold Sponsor keynote

2017: WIL + TECH = TEQSA, Wes Sonnenreich, Intersective

From Jan 1 2017, new Higher Education Standards Framework (2015) guidelines come into effect. According to a guidance note released by TEQSA, the bar for WIL program compliance will raise substantially. Wes will talk about what this means for existing programs and how new learning and collaboration technologies can help to meet the new requirements, control costs and improve outcomes.

Friday Keynote

Professor Dawn Bennett 

Prof Dawn BennettWe are fortunate to have persuaded Professor Dawn Bennett from Curtin University to be a Keynote Speaker at the Conference.

Professor Bennett is the John Curtin Distinguished Professor and Director of the Creative Workforce Initiative at Curtin University in Perth. With a discipline background in music education and performance, her research expertise is in higher education learning and teaching, creative and academic labour markets, and identity development.

Dawn is an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow and a Principal Fellow with the Higher Education Academy in the UK. Her Australian Fellowship investigated the role of identity development in student engagement.

Keynote Title: Breaking open WIL: preparing students for 2020 and beyond

The complexity of Work Integrated Learning reflects graduate outcomes that are inherently unpredictable, unique and socially dependent. In this keynote the Professor Bennett breaks open WIL to look at the changing nature of work and career. This includes shifting career styles and worker mobility, self-managed and portfolio careers, the need for cultural competence and global citizenship, and diminishing reliance on the physical workplace in some professions.

With a focus on the complex characteristics of work, Professor Bennett asks what work might look like and how WIL might play a central role in preparing students for such work in 2020 and beyond.



The Gold Sponsor of the ACEN 2016 Conference is Intersective, supporting work-integrated learning in Australia


Performance Careers is a Silver Sponsor of the ACEN 2016 Conference

Performance Careers

InPlace is a Silver Sponsor of the ACEN 2016 Conference


The Conference Dinner is generously sponsored by The University of Queensland

The Universiy of Queensland

The Welcome Reception is generously sponsored by RMIT University

RMIT University

The Networking Function is sponsored by HERDSA


The ACEN Conference is grateful for the support of

Macquarie University
Western Sydney University
Education for Practice Institute - Charles Sturt University

Partner organisations

South African Society for Cooperative Education
Canadian Association fo Co-operative Education
New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education
National Association of Field Experience Administrators Inc.
Thai Associataion for Cooperative Education