ACEN Award Finalists 2020

Finalists and winners for the ACEN WIL Awards 2020.

ACEN Local Hero Award Finalists 2020

The Local Hero award is awarded to a partner organisation that is a small-medium enterprise whose engagement with a university in WIL and whose contribution to the WIL experience of students, is above and beyond the expectation of the size of their organisation. 

Hidden Harvest Winner

Nominated by the University of Wollongong 

Hidden Harvest is a non-for-profit initiative that raises awareness about food waste and its related environmental and social problems. As a volunteer-run, community-based organisation, Hidden Harvest provides a large number and a diverse range of WIL opportunities, from social media content creators to finance interns. 


Wateraid AustraliaFinalist

Nominated by the University of Melbourne 

Our relationship with WaterAid began in 2016 when a partnership was formed to regularly host Master of Public Health (MPH) placement students specializing in the area of Global Health. These bespoke project placements involve students with particular skill sets and health interests being matched to current agency projects and working on a specific project throughout the duration of the placement experience. 

ACEN Collaboration Award Finalists 2020

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

Royal Society For the Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Qld (RSPCA) – Winner

Nominated by the University of Queensland 

The RSPCA’s Lorraine Hannah Animal Hospital, Wacol, has successfully accommodated each and every final year veterinary student from the University of Queensland for a 2-week intensive WIL experience, for the past 10 years.  

The Intercontinental Hotel GroupFinalist

Nominated by Edith Cowan University 

IHG have embedded their capacity identification regarding supervision and placement roles through regular contact HR meetings. This process produces a list of placement roles and related qualified supervisors that is passed on to our matching specialist weeks in advance of our matching and placement processes.

IRT Group Finalist

Nominated by the University of Wollongong 

IRT Wollongong has been engaging with the UOW Careers Service for a number of years. In 2014, IRT attended the Career Expo to promote their Graduate Nursing Program to students. Since then, the relationship has grown exponentially to the point where the Business Development Leads at Careers Central have a monthly meeting with Rachel Poppett (IRT). A formal relationship was agreed upon two years ago, and since then IRT has contributed to a range of WIL initiatives and subjects at UOW through Careers Central. Their contribution ranges from internship opportunities, industry panels, industry-based projects for both curricular and co-curricular WIL activities and the development of UOW’s Career Development Learning Framework (a key element of UOW’s WIL Curriculum Classification Framework).


WIN News Finalist

Nominated by the University of Wollongong 

WIN News has been consistent partner in the delivery of WIL with Journalism subjects at the University of Wollongong for over 10 years. There is a close working relationship between the Subject Coordinator for a range of Journalism subjects (ranging from first to final year) and WIN News Directors; pathways into Journalism for interested and capable students begin early on in the degree and climax with newsroom internships at WIN TV on offer to all Journalism students through a competitive application process. The WIN News team will consider all applications and offer placements to all worthy candidates – there is no limit to the number of internships available, and demonstrates how committed this organisation is to students exploring a career in journalism.  

The Department of Health and Human ServicesFinalist

Nominated by the University of Melbourne 

With training at the core of the organisation’s ethos, the DHHS has been one of the University of Melbourne’s strongest WIL partners across the breadth of our programs, offering invaluable experiential learning opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds. With a long history of hosting interns, DHHS is a partner of choice for many faculties across the University due to their student-centred approach to placements, consistently outperforming other departments in their commitment to providing diverse opportunities for students. The University’s placement program with DHHS has been enhanced by an unprecedented “whole of organisation” legal agreement, which has allowed for the administering of placements to be streamlined, easing the approach for students by removing initial barriers. Notably, DHHS’s assistance during the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020 was invaluable, when DHHS accepted students who had not been able to commence/continue placements with other organisations. Without DHHS’s commitment at this difficult time, many students would have missed out on a placement opportunity. 

ACEN Innovation and Excellence Award Finalists 2020

The Innovation and Excellence Award is awarded to the case study that displays quality and innovative WIL practice. 

HealthStop@Agfest – Winner

From the University of Tasmania 

HealthStop@Agfest (HealthStop) is an interprofessional student-led university-community engagement program, held at a 3-day Tasmanian agricultural festival, Agfest. HealthStop provides students from six health disciplines with opportunities to develop skills for communication and health promotion through interaction with the public. Students provide preventative health screening and motivational counselling to adults and facilitate a suite of children’s activities promoting healthy messages. Prior to the event students undertake training, including an online and in-person component. At the event they are supervised by clinicians and academics. UTAS partners with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Cancer Council, Exercise Sports Science Australia, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Rural Youth Tasmania to provide the program.

Bridge of Hope Innocence Initiative (BOHII)Finalist

From RMIT University 

BOHII is a multi-disciplinary campus workplace for students investigating wrongful conviction claims in collaboration with staff and industry.  Students complete 20 or 50 day internships supported by tutors, mentors, and supervisors. Students work in teams to research the merits of claims including factual errors that might establish a person’s innocence. Students are trained in ethical procedures and professional communication, resilience and self-care, critical thinking, and case analysis methodologies, providing authentic learning experiences and translatable work-ready skills.  In response to 2020 COVID-19 restrictions, BOHII activities were migrated online enabling continuity of WIL opportunities and case investigations, and a new familiarity with real-world online protocols.

Transdisciplinary community-based WIL in international contexts Finalist

From University of Technology Sydney 

 Undergraduate students of all disciplines at UTS participate in 2-4 week international community-based projects in India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Nepal where they collaborate with and learn from community stakeholders to find sustainable human-centred solutions. Students apply their discipline-specific skills and work in transdisciplinary teams while enhancing their cultural awareness and intercultural skills. Local communities and stakeholders benefit from co-created project outcomes and ongoing relationships based on collaboration, mutual learning and respect. Supported throughout all stages of the program, students further learn to reflect on and articulate their learning outcomes to apply their enhanced transferable skills to their careers.

From skills to start-ups – Finalist

From University of Wollongong 

The University of Wollongong (UOW) School of Electrical Computer and Telecommunication Engineering (SECTE) has embarked on a program to create work-ready graduates through a specific and curriculum-based structure that introduces students to project-based learning from year 1 through year 2 and into the final years. Students are first introduced to design thinking in first year, then into building a specific design in second year, before industry based projects are introduced in year 3. From there students can go into advanced programs which can lead directly to start-up companies. Students can gain two years of collaboration experience with industry during their studies.