WIL Awards

2024 WIL AWARDS

Awards Ceremony

The National WIL Awards recognise the contribution that organisations, institutions and individuals make to work-integrated learning. The Awards are open to the following:

  • Local Hero Award – Organisation
  • Innovation and Excellence Award – Individual or Collaborative Team
  • Collaboration Award – Organisations
  • People’s Choice Award – Individual or Collaborative Team (Top 5 Case Study)
  • Honorary Life Membership – Individual 

ACEN recognises that work integrated learning needs institutions and partner organisations to collaborate to provide an authentic learning experience for students engaged in WIL. We also know that individuals within many of our institutions and partner organisations go beyond our expectations and integrate WIL into their operations and activities and work hard to improve the WIL experience for students.

2024 Categories

Local Hero Award

The Local Hero Award is awarded to a partner organisation that is a small-medium enterprise (SME:0-199 employees) 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. Successful applications will be able to demonstrate how the partner organisation has tailored discipline-related WIL experiences for students that are innovative and industry-relevant. 

Criteria

Supporting Statement: Your supporting statement should provide an overview of why the organisation should be nominated for the Local Hero Award. You may use testimonials from staff and students, as well as graphic material in support of your application. The statement should be no more than 1,000 words in total and should address the following criteria:

  1. How the organisation’s commitment to your program or course has met the WIL needs of a particular cohort of students and is above the expectation of the size of the organisation
  2. How WIL is integrated into the operation of the organisation’s activities
  3. Measures that the nominated organisation has introduced to enhance the student skill-set and student employability prospects
  4. How the partner organisation has tailored discipline-related WIL experiences for students that are innovative and industry-relevant
  5. Any stand out factors that demonstrate the ongoing commitment to WIL by the organisation, on behalf of students eg dedicated mentoring of students by staff in the organisation, examples of cadetships for students etc. 

Applications Due: 31 July 2024

Application Form

Innovation and Excellence Award 

The Innovation and Excellence Award recognises an institution/individual who demonstrates quality and innovative WIL practices across a diverse range of disciplines, models and methods.

This application can be submitted as an institution, individual or partnership between institution and industry partner.

Criteria

Supporting Statement: Your supporting statement should provide an overview of why you/the team should be awarded the Innovation and Excellence Award. You may use testimonials from staff, students and industry partners, as well as graphic material in support of your application. The statement should be no more than 1,000 words in total and should address the following criteria:

  1. How do you/the team demonstrate innovation in WIL practice?
  2. How does this enhance the student skill-sets and employability prospects?
  3. What are the broader/longer term impacts for stakeholders?
  4. How is the WIL activity demonstrating excellence in curricula design? Include how this incorporates the preparation, implementation and reflection phases of WIL.
  5. What are the plans for the WIL activity into the future?

Applications Due: 31 July 2024 

Application Form 

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. Applications will be able to demonstrate how partner organisations have fostered and sustained exceptional WIL experiences for their students and provide a description of the nature and extent of an ongoing relationship with your institution, over the past several years. 

Criteria

Supporting Statement: Your supporting statement should provide an overview of why the organisation should be nominated for the Collaboration Award. You may use testimonials from staff and students, as well as graphic material in support of your application. The statement should be 1,000 words in total and should address the following criteria:

  1. The growth of the relationship over the recent past, how the relationship has been sustained and how the nominated organisation has contributed regularly to WIL
  2. How WIL is integrated into the operation of the organisation
  3. How the nominated organisation has improved the WIL experience for students and contributed to their growth and employability prospects
  4. How the organisation engages with the University eg in–classroom contributions, input into curriculum design, evaluation of course materials and support of student engagement related activities  etc
  5. Any stand out factors that demonstrate their ongoing commitment to WIL for students eg interdisciplinary projects, team focused projects, opportunities for international students, sustainable capacity building in work placements and internships etc.

Applications Due: 31 July 2024 

Application Form 

People’s Choice Award (Case Study)

The new video case study approach will see you develop a short video (3-4 minutes long) that shares your quality and/or innovative practice and needs to demonstrate how it supports at least one of ACEN’s strategic objectives. Your application will be evaluated by a panel and judged against key criteria as outlined in the supporting resources.  Should your case study be ranked in the top five, you will be shortlisted for the ACEN Conference People’s Choice Award, this will see your case study presented at the ACEN Conference 2024 and conference delegates vote for the winning case.

Criteria

Supporting Statement: Your case study should introduce your WIL practice in a creative way. You should link your case study to one or more of ACEN’s strategic objectives. The video should be between 3-4 minutes and should address the following criteria:

  1. demonstrates quality practice and/or innovation
  2. is aligned to at least one priority from the 5 ACEN strategic objectives
  3. Introduces an initiative that offers broader/longer term impacts for stakeholders
  4. Is communicated in a creative, coherent and informed way

More Information 

Applications Close: 31 July 2024

Top 5 cases to be showcased at ACEN Conference for ACEN People’s Choice Award (APCA) notified: 15 August 2024

Application Form

Honorary Life Member Award

Honorary Life membership recognises significant service and contribution to Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in Australia and or internationally in areas of practice, pedagogy or research. 

Criteria to Qualify for Nomination 

Nominees will 

  • Be either WIL institutions or ACEN industry partners 
  • Have made a significant contribution to advancing the practice, theory or status of  WIL 
  • Have a minimum of 10 years’ service in the field of Work Integrated Learning or related area. 

Benefits 

Honorary Life members 

  • will receive a complimentary annual membership  
  • will be recognised at the ACEN National Conference 
  • will be provided with a plaque indicating their Honorary Life Membership 

Nomination Process 

The award is based on written information provided by a member of ACEN and should include: 

  • A letter of nomination signed by a member of ACEN who is familiar with the work of the nominee. 
  • Evidence of the nominees outstanding contribution to ACEN/WIL in Australia and or internationally. Examples of evidence could include publications, major projects, resource development, program development, student feedback, industry partnerships, awards, contributions to institutional state, national or international activities and any other supporting documents deemed appropriate. 
  • Two (2) letters of support from colleagues or associates. 
  • Applicants may not self-nominate. 

Selection process 

Honorary Life memberships will be awarded at the discretion of the ACEN Board. Criteria for assessing applications will include: 

  • Evidence of sustained contribution or innovation in WIL of at least 5 years 
  • Evidence of outstanding contribution to advancing national and international knowledge and practice regarding WIL  
  • Evidence of outstanding contribution to the impact of WIL activities at state, national or international level. 

Up to 3 Honorary Life memberships will be awarded annually. 

Applications Due: 31 July 2024 

Applications to: admin@acen.edu.au

2022 Award Winners

On behalf of the ACEN national board, the ACEN Awards committee are pleased to announce the following winners and finalists for the 2022 ACEN WIL Awards. The winners were announced at the Beyond 2022: Creating the Future with WIL conference dinner on the 24th October, 2022 in Melbourne.

Congratulations to all finalists!

Local Hero Award

The Local Hero Award is awarded to a partner organisation that is a small-medium enterprise (SME:0-199 employees) whose engagement with an institution through WIL and whose contribution to the WIL experience of students, is above and beyond the expectation of the size of their organisation.

Winner: DataSauce – nominated by RMIT University

DataSauce is a fast-growing digital marketing agency based in Melbourne. Since their inception, DataSauce has partnered with RMIT to provide university students a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program that aims to challenge, excite and mentor students in a supportive environment. Collaboration consists of internship experiences through the intensive WIL DataSauce Academy Program,  paid roles, partnered projects, presenting to students as guest speakers and a leadership role as part of the RMIT Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) for the Master of Communication. Following their internship, Datasauce has subsequently offered ongoing employment to many RMIT students. This recognition is testament to DataSauce’s incredible commitment to nurturing emerging talent and providing a highly valuable and structured learning experience.

Finalists:

  • Micro X Ltd. – nominated by Flinders University
  • The Society Inc by Sibella Court – nominated by Torrens University Australia

Collaboration Award

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

Winner: Department of Families, Fairness and Housing – nominated by LaTrobe University

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing has been involved in WIL for over 15 years. This award nomination was a focus on a unique initiative that broadened the scope of students eligible for placements.  In 2012, DFFH approached Latrobe University (LTU) School of Psychological Science about developing a partnership offering undergraduate psychology students WIL experiences specifically for them. DFFH  has now provided 423 LTU psychology students with high-quality WIL experiences. The initiative has increased the pipeline of suitably qualified graduates in critical human services professions such as Child Protection in metropolitan and rural areas.

Finalists:

  • Nestle – nominated by the University of Sydney
  • Thales Australia – nominated by University of Technology Sydney

Innovation and Excellence Award

The Innovation and Excellence Award recognises quality and innovative WIL practices across a diverse range of disciplines, models and methods. The publication of a WIL case study on the ACEN website constitutes a submission for the award.

Winner:

  • Town Camp Architecture Studio  Dr Chris Tucker, University of Newcastle, Michael Klerck, Denise Foster, Anna Flouris, and Vanessa Napaltjarri Davis, Tangentyere Council

Finalists: 

Honorary Life Membership

Honorary Life membership recognises significant service and contribution to Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in Australia and or internationally in areas of practice, pedagogy or research.

Sonia Ferns