Unable to read this email? Click here

ACEN Australian Collaborative Education Network  logo

Supporting Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in Australia

• July 2012 Newsletter •

ACEN website

‘Collaborative Education: Investing in the future'  2012 ACEN National Conference

Hi %%firstname%%

ACEN eNews

In this issue

1. From the National Director

2. 'Collaborative Education: Investing in the future' ACEN National Conference

3. Good WIL Hunting

4. On the Impact of WIL Menu: Employability and Work-readiness

5. Marketing and workshopping the WIL Portal

6. Reflections from WACE Istanbul

7. National Career Development Strategy Green Paper

8. State events

9. ACEN Student Scholarship update

10. Core Skills for Work

11. LinkedIn group

12. You can contribute too

13. Contact us

1. From the National Director

I am just back at my desk after a break overseas which included attending the WACE Conference in Istanbul. The conference provided lots of food for thought and later in the bulletin a number of ACEN members share their reflections on the conference.

Heather Smiegel and I represented the ACEN National Executive  at the  meeting of National Associations (Sweden, South Africa, Thailand, New Zealand, Canada and Japan) prior to the conference where we exchanged ideas and discussed areas for further cooperation. Outcomes included the commitment to increase collaborative professional development activities between associations and greater links to WACE for national associations. The growth of WIL worldwide is clearly evident through these meetings particularly the growth of WIL in Asia with the emergence of the strong national associations in Thailand  and increased representation from Japan, alongside the other countries with a strong WIL tradition.

I have had the great pleasure this week of signing letters of congratulations to five students who are this year’s recipients of the ACEN Student Scholarship. The Scholarships will assist the students in the costs of undertaking a WIL Placement in rural and remote locations, the focus for this year of the scholarship scheme. Many thanks to the sub group of the ACEN executive, led by Dr Keri Moore, who has overseen the implementation of the scholarship program and the selection process.

ACEN has been assisting the Project team undertaking the investigation into the prevalence of unpaid work experience and internships in Australia for the Fair Work Australia Ombudsman. The team will shortly be seeking feedback through an online survey which will be distributed to all ACEN members so watch out for that and contribute your ideas to this important investigation.

Lastly  the registrations are building for the ACEN National Conference 30 October – 2nd November at Deakin University, Geelong so be sure to attend this important conference ! More details elsewhere in the newsletter.

Judie Kay, ACEN National Director

2. 'Collaborative Education: Investing in the future' ACEN National Conference

Australia's Premiere WIL Conference

Register Now

29 October to 2 November 2012

Sneak peek

The ACEN 2012 conference committee are excited to show you a sneak peak of the social activities which will take place in conjunction with the official program. Full details will be launched in the coming days.

'After 5' – Tuesday 30th October 2012. If you have joined us for the pre-conference workshops, or have arrived a day early into Geelong and you are looking for some familiar ACEN faces, why not come and join us for a drink at the Edge which is located at 6-8 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong. There is a fantastic selection of beverages and food which can be purchased at the bar.

'Choose your own adventure' – Wednesday 31st October 2012. The ACEN 2012 Conference committee have partnered with local restaurants to offer you a 'Choose your own adventure' dining experience in and around Geelong’s spectacular Waterfront. Full details to be available shortly.

'Breakfast by the sea' – Wednesday 31st October to Friday 2nd November 2012 . A satisfying breakfast is the key to a good start to the day. You will find members of the ACEN conference committee fuelling up for a big day of conferencing at the Baveras Brasserie which is located on Cunningham Pier, 10 Western Beach Foreshore Road, Geelong (opposite Deakin University). Breakfast items range from muffins to a fully cooked breakfast and the coffee is sensational.

'Body and Soul' - Wednesday 31st October to Friday 2nd November 2012. Come and join us on the foreshore each morning for some light exercise from 6.30am to 7.30am. There will be a walking group and a pilates group, both are guaranteed to get you ready for a big day of conferencing.

Who's entitled to member rates?

If your institution is a member you’re entitled to membership rates. Save add it on al dollars by getting the early bird rate. Early bird closes August 31, 2012.

Session details soon

Shortly, we expect to be able to provide details of dozens of sessions that will feed and stretch the mind, just like 'Body and Soul'.

3. Good WIL Hunting

Armed with assorted weapons, the WIL Leadership Project Team has been hunting down good WIL Leaders in some specific discipline areas in their universities and employer organisations, to capture their views and expertise.

All the assorted tools of the hunt, the butcher paper, audio recordings, and websites, are producing data that will inform the drafting of the WIL Leadership framework, which will commence at the Team's face-to-face meeting in August. It is envisaged that this Framework will provide foci for the WIL Leadership Master-classes and resources.

4. On the Impact of WIL Menu: Employability and Work-readiness

While some very fortunate WIL proponents have been partaking of Turkish Delights and WACE, the Impact of WIL Project Team have had other delectable food for thought, considering the dimensions of employability that have emerged from the literature and the Team's work, and the findings on work-readiness that have emerged from interviews with alumni. Comparisons of these findings are informing the design of the Impact of WIL survey, which will start to roll out to students in selected subjects in thirteen universities over the coming semester

5. Marketing and workshopping the WIL Portal

The National WIL Portal team is currently focusing on promoting the Portal to industry and professional associations, and launching social media initiatives to create more awareness and engagement around the Portal.

We always welcome universities assistance in marketing the Portal. Please contact Kathy Ryan if you would like marketing materials such as letter to prospective host organisations, promotional flyers, or Portal postcard, which could be sent to employers in your area. The team is holding a workshop this week with University contacts to help streamline processes at the university end, so employers are responded to in an appropriate and timely manner. This group will also assist in drawing up guidelines for WIL opportunities to make sure those posted through the Portal meet university expectations. Contact: Kathy Ryan 03 9919 5403.

6. Reflections from WACE Istanbul

'What an amazing location for a conference – on the shores of the Bosphorus!  Bahcesehir University made all delegates feel very welcome. The University President Mr Enver Yucel took great interest in the conference and attended several plenary sessions.

Photos courtesy of Kylie Twyford and Liz Levine

Pre conference activities included a roundtable discussion followed by a methodology workshop led by four experienced and knowledgeable facilitators, Dr Maureen Drysdale and Judene Pretti both from University of Waterloo, Canada, Dr Kristina Johansson from University West, Sweden and Dr Sheri Dressler, University of Central Florida, USA. Discussions focussed around three key themes, namely learning outcomes, the employer, and the institution. Participants look forward to being able to jointly action some of the research issues that were clarified and clearly of international interest.

Plenary sessions were lead by experts from around the globe. Dr Richard Coll started off the conference by discussing how WIL research and practice has evolved and reflections gleaned whilst editing the second edition of the International Handbook for Cooperative Education. Concurrent sessions were lively with interesting presentations from the international delegates who came from far and wide, from Malaysia, China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, US, Canada, Sweden, NZ, Australia, lots of South Africans (the next conference will be in Durban) and of course a strong delegation from Turkey.

The conference provided plenty of opportunities for idea exchange and also for networking and socialising. The conference dinner was preceded by a late afternoon cruise on the Boshpurus past some magnificent properties flanking the European and Asian shores. The conference highlight for the Australian delegate was an invitation into Mr Yucel’s private residence to hear about his plans for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. Despite the language barrier Mr Yucel was very keen to discuss collaboration opportunities between Bahcesehir University and Australian universities.'

Australian delegates were presented with publications on Gallipoli by the Enver Yucel, Board President of the University at the Conference dinner (see picture).

Liz Levin, Swinburne University of Technology


'One of the themes of WACE that I found particularly interesting this year was the internationalisation of co-operative education and, really, how WACE is helping to achieve this through sharing ideas about the various models of learning experience that might support an internationalised student experience. The internationalisation of co-operative education can be achieved in a range of ways - and it was notable that two examples of internationalising at the conference came from VU: one example focused on the VU/UTEP Students-as-Staff Exchange Programme which sees students in El Paso and Melbourne studying and working in each other's institution with a view to achieving an internationalised learning and working experience. The other example was from Anne Venables at VU who reported on as group of low-SES students who were involved in a visit to Shanghai to work with Chinese students on ethical IT issues in an effort to address a challenge for ICT educators:  namely, how to develop cross-cultural professional awareness in students. Her study showed the extent to which both student cohorts experienced enhanced cross-cultural awareness and "soft skill‟ development through a bi-national study experience supported by a contextual study of real-life ICT scenarios (Venables, Miliszewska & Tan, 2012). Both papers covering these projects are available on the WACE website . The amount of interest generated by these papers - including offers from other institutions to participate in student exchanges - means that WACE has a great capacity to  connect people and places that could provide even greater diverse and global study and work opportunities for Australian students.'

Carolyn Woodley , Victoria University


'I think the great thing about WACE International Conference was that it is 'international'. As some of my photos show, there are shots with Australians, Swedish, South African, Thai, Americans, Canadians, Malaysians, Turkish, etc. all in them and with each other. The camaraderie in the co-op/WIL/WIE  was fantastic. Everyone is so engaged in the presentations, and also willing to share and collaborate on ideas. It is a great conference to instigate international institutional relationships, and enhance those Australian and international relationships you have already established. The students of the Bahcesehir University were fantastic ambassadors for their university and their country as well.'

Kylie Twyford, University of Newcastle

7. National Career Development Strategy Green Paper

Under the National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions, the Department is developing a National Career Development Strategy in order to enable a more strategic approach to providing improved career development for all Australians.

The Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett has released a Green Paper outlining options for the National Career Development Strategy. The Green Paper has been guided by a research project that included consultation with state and territory governments and key stakeholders.

8. State events


The next State event will be late November and have an Industry focus across a variety of sectors. Dates and specific details to be advised soon.

9. ACEN Student Scholarship update

At the most recent meeting of the Executive we confirmed the names of five winners of the ACEN Student Scholarships of $1,500. They came from the following disciplines and Universities.

  • Bachelor of Applied Science; Speech Pathology, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science/Veterinary Biology, Charles Sturt University
  • Bachelor of Nursing, Flinders University
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) Curtin University

The winners will receive letters this week confirming their success.

In 2011 the executive decided:

'Each year ACEN will determine a nomination category for the applicant group. For the next three years the scholarship will be offered to final year students who are involved in a full-time placement, 4-5 days, for a minimum of three weeks duration and which requires them to relocate from their home address.' 

We have collected interesting data from the Scholarship applications over the last 3 years. We have found this is the first evidence of the out-of-pocket expenses for students re WIL. This is important information and a committee are being formed to further explore how more data might be gathered and what use can be made of what we are learning. The costs of WIL to the student will be the topic of several conversations, formal and informal, at the Geelong Conference.  

10. Core Skills for Work

Working Sessions for Developers

The Core Skills for Work Framework has been developed for the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as a way of representing employability skills. The consultation process is complete and the Framework has been finalised.

In August/September, Ithaca Group will be conducting a number of hands-on practical working sessions for those who are likely to use the Framework to develop learning programs and activities, resources, and tools.

Cities and dates

Sydney: Tuesday 14 August, 8.30am – 1.00pm

Perth: Tuesday 21 August, 8.30am – 1.00pm

Darwin: Thursday 23 August, 8.30am – 1.00pm

Brisbane: Monday 27 August, 8.30am – 1.00pm

Adelaide: Wednesday 29 August, 8.30am – 1.00pm

Hobart: Friday 31 August, 8.30am – 1.00pm

Melbourne: Tuesday 4 September, 8.30am – 1.00pm

The workshops

The workshops will comprise an overview of the Framework and a working session to explore its use to develop learning resources and diagnostic tools. A copy of the Framework will be available for download prior to the workshops.

To register

Due to the nature of the workshops, space will be limited. To secure a place, please e-mail your interest by 3 August 2012 to workshops@ithacagroup.com.au , giving: name / organisation / nominated city / contact phone number. Registered participants will be sent venue details within three working days of notifying their intention to attend.


All enquiries: workshops@ithacagroup.com.au or (07) 3371 0101.

11. LinkedIn group

There's a LinkedIn members-only ACEN group - join now and take part in WIL conversations. The LinkedIn group is 'Australian Collaborative Education Network'.

If your institution is a member, then you're automatically eligible to be a member but you need to register.

12. 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 by the 10th of each month for distribution a few days later.

13. Contact us




To unsubscribe, send an email to admin@acen.edu.au with 'Unsubscribe' in the subject line.